Anne Marie Miles, a former president of the U of C’s Comer Children’s Hospital Service Committee, announced last Tuesday that she would join eight other candidates challenging incumbent Fifth Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston.
Miles is on the steering committee of Safe Youth Chicago of the Union League Club of Chicago. A former president and secretary of the U of C’s Comer Children’s Hospital Service Committee, she has also been an active presence in the Lab Schools, which both her daughters attended.
Miles hopes to stimulate economic development and increase security in the ward that encompasses Hyde Park and South Shore, advocating the expansion of emergency blue lights to beyond the immediate University of Chicago vicinity.
“The fifth ward has for many years been known for the independent voice of reason in the city council…I just don’t see it in the current moment,” Miles said.
Last summer, Hairston used ward funds to finance $62,000 worth of free parking lots. Miles said she would have used that money to fund employment.
“I thought in a summer of astronomical youth unemployment that money could have been used to employ people,” Miles said. “Full-time jobs, part-time jobs, summer jobs...it just seemed wrong to me.”
Miles grew up in Morningside Heights, New York City. She practiced elder law in New York City before moving to Hyde Park in 1999 with her husband Emil Coccaro, chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of Chicago.