Long-time Evanston Alderman Jean-Baptiste Appointed Circuit Judge
The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Evanston Second Ward Alderman Lionel Jean-Baptiste to the 9th Sub-circuit vacancy created by the recent death of Judge Gerald C. Bender. Jean-Baptiste's appointment will take effect March 4, 2011 and terminates December 3, 2012. He will resign his aldermanic position effective February 28, 2011 at which time Mayor Tisdahl will appoint his replacement for the balance of his term.
Alderman Jean-Baptiste has a law practice in the City of Evanston and was first elected to Evanston’s City Council in 2001 with 85% of the vote. He retained his seat for a second term through a write-in with approximately 66% of the vote when he was knocked off the ballot as a result of a technicality. He is serving his third term for which he ran unopposed.
During his tenure, Alderman Jean-Baptiste championed equity across the board in the areas of service delivery, economic development, investment in infrastructures, neighborhood improvement for all Evanstonians and all areas of the city.
He also advocated for greater participation of minority owned, women owned and Evanston based businesses (MWEBE) in contracts awarded by the city and increased local hiring. His efforts along with the efforts of his colleagues resulted in the creation of the Local Employment Program to do just that on city projects.
Alderman Jean-Baptiste has also been a strong advocate for city led programs intentionally aimed at transforming the youth and young adults who are “falling through the cracks” from liabilities on the Citizens of Evanston to being productive citizens. The city now has a Youth Engagement division as a result of his and his colleagues’ advocacy.
“Alderman Jean-Baptiste will bring a wise, reasoned, calm approach to his work as a judge. He is a terrific addition to the Cook County Circuit Court,” said Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. “His ability to bring the Evanston City Council together to solve problems by compromising will be missed. Lionel will be missed. He's an idealist, a gentleman and I will personally miss him.”
Alderman Jean-Baptiste was born in Haiti, arriving in Evanston with his family in 1964. He later graduated from Evanston Township High School in 1970. He is 1974 graduate of Princeton University with a major in political science and a minor in African American history. Alderman Jean-Baptiste later graduated from Chicago-Kent Law School and was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1991.
He is married to Lenore Jean-Baptiste. He has three children and three grandchildren. Alderman Jean-Baptiste has lived in Evanston for over Forty years.
Mayor Tisdahl will appoint his replacement soon. Before doing so, she will be reaching out to residents of the Second Ward at a community meeting on Tuesday, February 22, 7 p.m. at the Evanston Township High School to get feedback on the qualities needed in the next Second Ward alderman. The meeting will be held at Evanston Township High School, 1600 Dodge, 2nd floor, Room A241. Entrance and parking in the back of the school off of Lake St. at exit 31. Learn more here>>>