New Ald. Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth looks to rejuvenate the 48th Ward

Chicago’s City Council will have a lot of new alderpeople when it convenes Monday and some are making history. 

The 48th Ward on the North Side will be represented for the first time, by an Asian American female.

Ald. Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth has been introducing herself around. From the snack shop to the corner store, small business is at the heart of the 48th Ward.

"I want to be a known person in the community. So for people to know who to go to," Manaa-Hoppenworth said.


Manaa-Hoppenworth has lived in Andersonville for 20 years. She is married and a mother of 3. She owns Chicago Dance Supply in Andersonville. 

She also has the moves, beating nine other candidates to lead the 48th Ward and becoming the first Filipina elected to City Council. Some see her as a superhero, especially the Asian American community. 

Manaa-Hoppenworth’s parents immigrated to Chicago from the Philippines in the mid-1960s to work as nurses. Now she is the political voice for many. 

"How about a woman of color, how about a daughter of immigrants, how about a woman who identifies as part of LGBTQ+ community. All of those representations at the city council is important right now," she said.

She wants to develop a safe, thriving, walkable ward, which includes Andersonville, Edgewater and Uptown.

She dropped in to visit one of her favorite shops, Wall to Wall Framing, 5554 N. Winthrop Ave. 

Owner Leif Forre told her he has seen a lot of change in the neighborhood and he "can’t wait to see what you're gonna do for the neighborhood."

Manaa-Hoppenworth said she is focused on housing and safety. 

"Neighborhood development is a reflection of all the things we want to have, and all of the reasons why people want to live in the big city," Manaa-Hoppenworth said

Manaa-Hoppenworth is the second Asian American female to be elected to City Council.

The other is the 11th Ward Ald. Nicole Lee.