Appointed by former Mayor Daley in 2000 and endorsed for re-election by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Ald. Latasha Thomas aims to change the perception of the Far South Side and hopes the 17th Ward can be a shining example of urban life in Chicago.
Background: Ald. Thomas is a long-time resident of the 17th Ward. She attended Kenwood High School and later earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Illinois and a law degree from DePaul University. While in school, she served as the editor-in-chief of the National Black Student Association's newsletter. She was a law clerk to Circuit Court Judge Odas Nicholson and the City of Chicago's Corporation Counsel. Thomas opened a private practice in 1994 and was the director of Intergovernmental Relations prior to obtaining the alderman seat.
The Ward: The 17th ward is made up of parts of Englewood and Auburn Gresham on the Far South Side. The area is diverse with roots to a strong Irish American heritage. It was once the original site for the Irish Heritage Parade. The Auburn Gresham area has seen an influx of new housing and businesses. The ward remains mostly residential.
The Office: Ald. Thomas was elected in 2000. She was appointed by Mayor Daley to replace Terry Peterson after he earned a job with the Chicago Housing Authority. Her platform calls to change the perception of the 17th Ward by focusing on education, as well as commercial and residential redevelopment. She is the chair of the education committee and hosts essay contests for children in her ward.
Budget and Government Operations
Committees, Rules and Ethics
Education and Child Development (Chair)
Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation
Workforce Development and Audit
Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards