Ruth L. Ratny, founder and former publisher of ReelChicago, was honored with a Memorial Resolution by the City Council of Chicago on March 29. She joins a list of recipients that includes Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme and a number of Chicagoans recognized for their contributions to the city.
“The Memorial Resolution is a sign of respect that this person did something remarkable in their life,” explains Donal Quinlan, spokesperson for 14th Ward Alderman Edward Burke, who personally sponsored the resolution. “Alderman Burke wanted to reach out to the family and show them a token of not only his respect but also the respect of the entire city council.”
“Sometimes it’s awarded to a fire fighter who spent thirty five years with the city, a police officer who devoted their entire career to public service, a civic leader or a religious leader,” he continues. “In this case, it’s an individual who contributed so much to the city’s cultural life through her publications.”
The resolution was adopted unanimously by the City Council, affixed with the seal of Chicago and signed by Mayor Emanuel and City Clerk Anna Valencia. It has also been entered into the permanent record for the council’s Journal of the Proceedings for March 29, 2017.
The section that specifies the honor is titled “Tribute to late Ruth Ratny.” It includes a brief but comprehensive biography of Ratny’s life and career, mentioning not only her German heritage and the Rogers Park neighborhood where she grew up, but also her early professional years with Fred Niles Studio, her founding of Screen Magazine in 1979 and her founding of ReelChicago in 2004.
Other recipients adopted at the same meeting include Reverend Daniel Mallette, a native Chicago civil rights advocate who marched alongside the Rev Martin Luther King; and Martin McGuinness, a former IRA leader who turned politician, earned recognition as a peacekeeper and eventually became Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland.