WHEATON — When Wheaton City Councilwoman Evelyn Pacino Sanguinetti ran for one of the council's vacant at-large positions in spring 2011, she didn't do so on the platform of bringing diversity to the City Council. But when she was elected, that's exactly what she did.
Pacino Sanguinetti was the first Latina to be elected to the council. And following the resignation of former Councilwoman Jeanne Ives to serve in the Illinois General Assembly, she now serves as the only female member of the council.
"Because we are a diverse city, I think I bring the element of that diversity to council, but I didn't run on my ethnicity or anything of that nature. That's just a bonus," Pacino Sanguinetti said. "What I bring to the table is the smarts of a professional mom that knows how to multi-task her every day as a professional and as a mom. So I come at things with a different mindset in that regard."
While the council's four district positions and other at-large position are up for election April 9, Pacino Sanguinetti's at-large seat is not. As the council gears up for potential changes in its membership, the councilwoman took some time to look back on her first two years on the council and share her plans for the remainder of her term.
Pacino Sanguinetti decided to run for the City Council in an effort to give back to her community and ensure the city government was playing the role she thought it should, she said.
As a member of the council, Pacino Sanguinetti said she has focused on flooding issues, street and sidewalk repairs and the city's business environment, citing accomplishments by the council in each of these areas that have made her proud.
For example, the City Council authorized a five-year Street Capital Improvement Plan, as well as a North Main Street Flood Control Project.
The city also has been working with Design Workshop to develop a plan to improve downtown Wheaton and draw more people and businesses to the area, something Pacino Sanguinetti said will most likely play a large role in the final two years of her current term.
Outside of the City Council, Pacino Sanguinetti serves as the chair of the DuPage Chapter of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Illinois, focusing much of her energies on outreach efforts, which use her knowledge of Spanish to communicate with voters and translate political literature.
Born and raised in Miami with Spanish as her first language, Pacino Sanguinetti received her bachelor's degree in piano performance from Florida International University before moving to Chicago to attend the John Marshall Law School, where she met her husband, Ray. Her three children attend Community Unit School District 200 schools, where Pacino Sanguinetti serves on two Parent Teacher Associations.
Although she has not yet publicized what she plans to do after her term on the Wheaton City Council ends, Pacino Sanguinetti said she is keeping an open mind about what she wants to do next.
"I'm keeping an open mind because I love what I'm doing and the people who I serve," Pacino Sanguinetti said.