Edgeville Buzz

Former Edgewater Alderman and Activist Marion Volini Dies At Age 83

Sun-Times Photo of Volini

The former Alderman of the Edgewater neighborhood from 1978-1987, Marion Volini,  has passed away after her battle with leukemia. She is best known for officially making Edgewater Chicago’s 77th community, her human rights activism, and her work on lakeside erosion.

Volini served under Chicago’s only female mayor and was a important supporter of Chicago’s first African-American Mayor Harold Washington. During Washington’s term, she helped negotiate bitter feuds between the Mayor’s camp and a group of 29 mostly white aldermen during a time that was known as the Council Wars.

She viewed everyone as being equal and sought to distribute power between the diverse groups that made up the city. She was dedicated to empower more women to run for political office and also was a leading figure in the Chicago’s Gay rights movement.

She started her journey through the church and school level, helped form the Lakewood Balmoral Residents Council and eventually became president of the Edgewater Community Council. After her great concern with mentally ill patients being released back into the community without proper ongoing support, her successful grass roots run for Alderman hit the heart of Edgewater.

Volini once said,“When people are working together for their neighborhood,
they can make things better for all and that keeps us going and growing as a community.”

Volini paved the way for Edgewater to become the official 77th community in Chicago. She focused on public safety, public housing, equal rights and lakefront erosion. She also helped revitalize Edgewater’s Clark Street corridor, the Bryn Mawr commercial area and helped establish the Broadway Armory Park as a recreational facility.

Volini is survived by her five children and ten grandchildren. Her husband Camillo Volini died in 2001.


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