Applications are now being accepted to replace 21st District state Rep. Silvana Tabares, who resigned her seat in the state legislature last month when she was appointed to be alderman for the 23rd Ward in Chicago. 

She replaced Michael R. Zalewski, who stepped down from his post this spring after serving as the Southwest Side ward’s alderman for 23 years. He is the father of the Riverside state Rep. Michael J. Zalewski,

Tabares’ successor, who will serve out her term and run for a full two-year term in November, will be chosen by the Democratic township and ward committeeman of the heavily Hispanic district, which stretches from the Southwest Side of Chicago to Summit and includes the portion of Riverside that is south of the BNSF railroad tracks.

The 21st State Representative Selection Committee, which is chaired by state Sen. Steve Landek (D-Bridgeview), held its first meeting on July 14 and set out the timeline to choose Tabares’ replacement.

By state law, a replacement must be chosen by July 25. The selection committee is currently accepting applications for the post and will do so until noon on July 22. 

Anyone interested in applying for the position should send a resume to the 21st Legislative District Representative Replacement Committee Chair, Steve Landek, Lyons Township Democratic Committeeman, 7678 W. 63rd St., Summit, Illinois, 60501. Applicants can also email their resumes to the committee at

If the committee receives multiple applications, it will interview those seeking the job on July 23 and possibly July 24 before making its pick on July 25. 

One potential applicant is Celina Villanueva, a youth engagement manager at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. The Capitol Fax newsletter reported last week that Villanueva has the backing of Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who is running for Congress in the 4th Congressional District and is a major force in politics on the Southwest Side of Chicago. 

According to the ICIRR website, Villanueva once worked as an outreach coordinator for Garcia.