Face to face with Chicago Commissioner of News Rosa Escareno on retirement, legacy

Face to face with Chicago Commissioner of  News Rosa Escareno on retirement, legacy

“It was an incredible year and it’s a little bit of a fog because we forget how much happened,” Escareno said. “But I’ve never been in a situation where we had to tell businesses they had to shut down.” In 2005, Escareno helped create the Chicago Department of News Affairs and Consumer Protection. Along the way, Escareno has been instrumental in helping businesses amid the pandemic. She said it’s part of the reason she delayed her retirement. Moving forward, Escareno remains optimistic about Chicago’s business community despite the challenges of the past, present and future.

That experience attracted her to the government.   “Growing up as an immigrant kid, with a mom that arrived here, social services were so instrumental and necessary for us to survive,” Escareno said.

Over the span of three decades, Escareno has seen some of Chicago’s toughest moments: the heatwaves in the 1990s, the 2011 Chicago blizzard and the 2012 Nato Summit. It’s a career that began with the city a year out of high school. Escareno, the daughter of an immigrant family from Mexico, was brought to the United Stated by her widowed mother along with her five brothers and sisters.  

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“I plan to be involved in some way.” Throught it all, Chicago remains a city she loves. It’s not clear what comes next, but as Escareno wraps up her final days as commissioner, she takes away with her 30 years of memories built at City Hall.

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