ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — It’s the end of an era in Rockford politics as long-standing city council members leave their posts and their replacements take the reigns.
We caught up with two former alderwomen at Monday’s meeting.
“I felt that the West side of Rockford was not being represented properly,” said 7th Ward Alderwoman Ann Thompson Kelly (D).
“Helping this ward is just a part of what I have to do,” added 5th Ward Ald. Venita Hervey (D).
Alderwomen Hervy and Thompson Kelly have both served the City of Rockford for well over a decade.
“The people that I’m working with, the people that I’ve helped over these 12 years, these are the folks I went to school with, my neighbors are my neighbors,” said Ald. Hervey. “I just felt like I’d be working for the people that I grew up with.”
From the projects they’ve worked on, to picking up the phone when a resident would call, Alderwoman Ann Thompson Kelly broke barriers with her seat.
“I feel very honored to be the first black female to be on the Rockford City Council,” said Ald. Thompson Kelly. “To look at the swearing-in today, now we have four. So that’s a major accomplishment.”
As they say goodbye, new faces are ready to take over their positions.
“It’s going to be hard not doing, but Gabrielle Torina is amazing. We are in good hands because I’ll be here too,” added Hervey.
The city’s 6th and 12th Ward will also have new faces serving them.