Ald. Cicely Fleming (9th) announced at Monday night’s Special City Council meeting that she plans to resign from the Council next month.
Fleming, who is in the first year of her second term and who was the only alderman to not face opposition in last spring’s election, said the death of her mother earlier this month reminded her that life is very short.
“I realized that, while I love the City of Evanston, I don’t love my role on the City Council,” said Fleming, who previously had announced that she did not plan to run for a third term as a council member.
Fleming, who said she’s a fourth-generation Evanston resident, said she joined the Council “to improve the city and have had some successes, but the position has become more harmful to my health than fun for me.”
Fleming said she planned to remain on the Council until a new city manager is selected, but that she would have to leave on the table her goal of establishing a guaranteed income program for low-income city residents.
She said watching her mother die of COVID-19 was really hard. And she encouraged anyone who is not yet vaccinated to get the shots.
Her mother, she said, was regretful that she had not chosen to get the vaccine.
Other participants in the meeting, held virtually because of rising COVID case levels, praised Fleming after her announcement.
Ald. Devon Reid (9th) said Fleming’s mother had been a lightning rod for advocacy “and you were a manifestation of that as well.”
City Clerk Stephanie Mendoza, who lives in Fleming’s ward, praised her outreach to Latinos, saying she’s been the only council member who actively engages with the Latino community.
Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th), newly elect to the Council last spring, said Fleming had served as a role model for him in terms of her public engagement — with the comprehensive newsletters she sent constituents and her ward meetings.
Former 5th Ward Ald. Delores Holmes said Fleming’s hard work has been appreciated by the community, and “we each have to do what we know is best for us.”
Ald. Bobby Burns (5th) said Fleming has been “a model citizen” who has been a force in improving this community.
Under the city code Mayor Daniel Biss will name a replacement to serve the remainder of Fleming’s term until the next election in April 2025.