Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Chicago City Council Profile: Regner "Ray" Suarez

Regner Suarez has been alderman of the 31st ward for the past 20 years.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Born in Puerto Rico, Regner "Ray" Suarez has been a spokesman of the Latino community for the past 20 years as 31st Ward Alderman. His ward includes the birthplace of Walt Disney.

    Regner "Ray" Suarez was born in Puerto Rico. The alderman is vocal about his heritage and says he understands the problems that are occurring in the Latino community.

    Background:
    Suarez was born in Yauco, Puerto Rico. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. As a politician, Suarez coordinated the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act Programs for the Department of Streets and Sanitation. He served in the Mayor's Office as Administrative Assistant and was the Assistant Commissioner in Chicago's Department of Streets and Sanitation. In 1989, he was appointed to serve on the Illinois Job Training Coordinating Council by the governor of Illinois.

    The Ward:
    The 31st ward is located on the Northwest side of the city, and includes the residential community of Belmont Cragin and Hermosa. It is home to many Polish restaurants, shops and other businesses. The neighborhood is famous as the birthplace of Walt Disney. The ward is largely residential.

    The Office:
    Suarez was elected as alderman of the 31st ward in 1991. Since he has been elected into office, more than $55 million has been invested in improving local schools. Suarez has helped reduce overcrowding in schools by having annexes built on five of the neighborhood public schools. He was the first to bring Menard's into the city limits and initiated more than 2,500 jobs for residents through job fairs and new businesses that are now in the 31st ward.

    Committees:
    Aviation
    Budget and Government Operations
    Committees, Rules and Ethics
    Finance
    Housing and Real Estate
    Transportation and Public Way
    Workforce Development and Audit
    Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards