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Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander has been waiting in the wings, a back-bencher, for nearly two years. While colleagues presided over important council committees, Alexander held no such portfolio.

But today that all changed. Alexander is chairing her first hearing as the new chair of the Committee on Aging and Community Affairs. On the docket is an examination of mayoral nominees to the Commission on Human Rights. “I feel pumped!” she exclaims.

When asked to explain her take on her job in vetting the mayor’s people, Alexander states, “I understand the mayor’s vision, but I want to understand the individual nominee’s vision.”

And what about chairmanly conduct? Does the new committee chief take cues from colleagues with respect to running a hearing? Any role models? “I’m a very compassionate person. I don’t use my chairmanship as an interrogation,” she responds.

So you’re not going to be David Catania? “I didn’t say that.”

By Mike DeBonis