John Ostenburg - Staff member - Metropolitan Planning Council

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John Ostenburg

John A. Ostenburg recently retired after serving 20 years as mayor of Park Forest, Illinois. His career in government included seven years as a trustee on the Park Forest Village Board and two years as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives. While mayor, he was an active member of the National League of Cities (NLC), having served for several years as a member of the Community & Economic Development Committee. He also was a member of the NLC’s Race, Equity And Leadership (REAL) Council and served as council co-chair for the 2017-2018 year. At the time of his retirement as mayor, he was chairperson for the Executive Board of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus (MMC), which serves 275 municipalities in the greater Chicago region, and also spent five years as chairperson of the MMC Environment Committee. He was a member of the Executive Committee for the South Suburban Mayors & Managers Association (SSMMA) for several years, and is a past president of the organization. SSMMA represents 45 cities, towns, and villages in Chicago’s southland.

He retired from the staff of the Chicago Teachers Union in 2010 after having served under three union presidents. He was editor for the award-winning Chicago Union Teacher for several years and also chaired the Communications Department. In addition, he was the union’s interim Legislative Director during 2003 and continued as a CTU lobbyist. He served as chief of staff for the union for the three years preceding his retirement.

He and wife Jackie are parents of four children (one deceased) and grandparents of nine. They attend St. Irenaeus Church in Park Forest.

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John Ostenburg Senior Fellow

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