Mayor Lori Lightfoot will have the chance to nominate the fourth member of Chicago City Council next month as Ald’s 12th District. George Cardenas announced that he would step down as councilor effective November 30.

Cardenas is due to sit on the Cook County Board of Review, the property tax appeals body, following the election next Tuesday. There is no objection to him. Whoever Lightfoot decides to replace him will have the upper hand in the 2023 local elections.

Cardenas has represented the district – which includes McKinley Park, Brighton Park and part of Little Village – since 2003 and has been a reliable ally of the mayor through the administration of Richard J. Daley, Rahm Emanuel and Lightfoot. Cardenas has headed the council’s environmental committee since 2011, and has served as Lightfoot’s deputy leader for voting since last year.

“When I first ran for office, communities in Ward 12 faced enormous challenges and lacked essential resources. As a councilor, I focused like a laser on the real problems affecting my constituents. My staff and I have worked diligently to be efficient, flexible and responsible, ”he said in his resignation letter, citing the construction of Back of the Yards High School and Calmeca Academy as key achievements.

“I hope my successor builds on these efforts and is a leader who is not afraid to make difficult decisions to keep our communities healthy and safe,” he wrote.

Cardenas has already backed his former chief of staff Anabel Abarc in his place. She was also an adviser to US representative Mike Quigley and worked on now-Sen. 2012 Tammy Duckworth campaign for Congress. Julia Ramirez also submitted paperwork to city and state governments to operate in the 12th District.

The replacement for Cardenas follows three others this year as several councilors have already left the Council. About a dozen others are not running for re-election.

In September, Lightfoot appointed Timmy Knudsen to replace Ald’s retiring. Michele Smith in the 43rd branch. In June, she chose the outgoing 24th Division Ald. Michael Scott’s sister Monique Scott to replace him with over 18 other candidates. Scott left City Council to work in the private sector at the Cinespace film studio. Shortly thereafter, he was selected by Lightfoot for a seat on the Chicago Board of Education.

In March, she elected Nicole Lee, the director of United Airlines, deeply rooted in the city’s Sino-American community, as 11th Ward councilor. Lee, the first Asian American to sit on Chicago City Council, replaced Patrick Daley Thompson after convicting a crime in February for tax evasion and lying to banking regulators.

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