Chicago City Council: Roderick Sawyer

Former mayor's son is 6th Ward Alderman

Tuesday, Dec 6, 2011  |  Updated 12:43 PM CDT
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Chicago City Council: Roderick Sawyer

Strong roots in a political family can have a big impact. Roderick Sawyer knows first hand.

Sawyer is the son of former 6th Ward Alderman and former Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer. That association helped the freshman beat former Alderman Freddrenna Lyle in 2011.

Background: Ald. Sawyer grew up in the 6th ward where his father was an alderman. He attended high school in the area and later received a B.S. in finance from DePaul University. Later, he received a doctorate of law from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law. As a young man, Sawyer was very involved in politics and easily recalls the night Mayor Harold Washington died of a heart attack in office -- the tragedy that led to his father's installation as mayor.

The young Sawyer worked as a private lawyer, then Administrative Law Judge of the Illinois Commerce Commission, Special Assistant Attorney General for the Illinois Department of Transportation and a prosecutor for the Illinois Secretary of State. He is a board member for several organizations and groups.

The Ward: The 6th ward is comprised of parts of Englewood, Park Manor, Greater Grand Crossing, Chatham, Chesterfield, West Chesterfield and Roseland Heights. The area is 98 percent African American. Despite the area’s long history, the population has decreased in the past years and some areas have seen an increase in violence, crime and foreclosures.

The Office: Ald. Sawyer is new to the city council game, but is working to provide a better connection with his constituents. Sawyer stays up-to-date with Facebook and Twitter accounts. Some of the key issues surrounding Sawyer deal primarily with crime. He is implementing programs to fix up abandoned lots and wants to encourage more businesses to build around the transit line. He recently held a "Troubled Buildings" seminar that drew dozens to discuss vacant lots and buildings in poor shape.

Committees:
Education and Child Development
Human Relations
License and Consumer Protection
Pedestrian and Traffic Safety
Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation.

Information Provided By: City of Chicago website, Office of the County Clerk and http://friendsofrodericktsawyer.org/category/news/

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