Chicago City Council Profile: Walter Burnett Jr.

Walter Burnett Jr. is alderman for the 27th ward and is a native to Chicago, raised in Cabrini Green.

By Alise Blunk
|  Monday, Dec 12, 2011  |  Updated 12:56 PM CDT
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Chicago City Council Profile: Walter Burnett Jr.

Marcus Riley

Burnett grew up in the notorious Cabrini Green Housing Complex. Now he oversees parts of West Town, including neighborhoods renowned for their 19th century mansions.

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Alderman Walter Burnett Jr. grew up in an affordable housing complex and has spent his career advocating for affordable housing in Chicago.

Background:
Burnett is a Chicago native and grew up living in the Cabrini Green Housing Complex. His father was the local precinct captain and often took Burnett to work with him. Burnett is a graduate of Harold Washington College and the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 1998, while he was alderman, he went on to earn his Bachelors Degree from Northeastern Illinois University. Burnett served as chairman of the Young Democrats organization for two terms. He is a financial adviser and has licenses to sell life and health insurance.

The Ward:
The 27th ward is located in the West Town community area and Wicker Park neighborhood. The ward is comprised of art galleries, theaters, boutiques, and coffeehouses, with influences of German, Scandinavian and Eastern European communities that make up the neighborhood. The neighborhood is known for its 19th century mansions and is bordered by these and other fine homes.

The Office:
Burnett first ran for Alderman in 1995 and won at 31 years old. He is currently serving his fourth term in office. Burnett formed the "27th Ward Senior Citizen Auxiliary" when he was first elected to office and it is an opportunity for seniors to interact with their peers. He is an advocate for affordable housing, and all developments in the 27th ward are required to have an affordable part to the project. Burnett was recently appointed to the Zoning Reform Board because of his success with affordable housing projects.

Committees:
Budget and Government Operations
Committees, Rule and Ethics
Education and Child Development
Finance
Health and Environmental Protection
Public Safety
Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation
Economic, Capital and Technology Development and Health and Environmental Protection 

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