b. March 11, 1953 - d. February 9, 2015
Chicago, 16th Ward Alderman (2007-2015)
Chicago, 16th Ward Democratic Committeeman (2008-2015)
When JoAnn Thompson ran unsuccessfully for alderman in 2003 she raised and spent an anemic $2,879. When she ran successfully a second time she raised and spent almost $250,000. The difference? The backing of public sector labor unions the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Council 31 (AFSCME) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
Thompson, a community activist and lieutenant Cook County Sheriff's deputy in the county jail, had earned a respectable 23% in the three-way 2003 aldermanic election, but was forced into personal bankruptcy soon after losing - conditions that would end most political aspirations. But Thompson banged the drum for the pro-union Big Box Ordinance and became the recipient of the union's financial largesse. Although the 2007 was originally a rematch of the 2003 three-way fight with incumbent Shirley Coleman and long-time community activist Hal Baskin), it turned into a two-way race with big spending from unions for Thompson and Mayor Richard M. Daley's endorsement and business spending on behalf of the losing Coleman.
Prior to election Thompson was a lieutenant Sheriff's deputy in the Cook County jail. She ran unsuccessfully for Alderman in 2003.
On February 9, 2015, less than two weeks before election day, Thompson died of heart failure.
Important Political Events
- 2003, Ran for 16th Ward Alderman, losing to Shirley Coleman
- 2007, Elected 16th Ward Alderman, defeating Shirley Coleman
- 2008, Elected 16th Ward Democratic Committeeman, uncontested
- 2015, Died in office, replaced by Toni Foulkes for 16th Ward Alderman