Get to Know Your Ward: 14th Ward

NBC Chicago and Ward Room bring you profiles on all 50 wards this election season. As candidates face off in the Feb. 24 election, they are also facing a new ward map, which takes effect when the winners assume office.

In this profile, learn all about the 4tht ward, which covers parts of the Far West Side, including Archer Heights, Garfield Ridge and Brighton Park.


  • Total Population: 54,031
  • White: 16.87 percent
  • Black: 1.5 percent
  • Hispanic: 79.89 percent
  • Asian: 1.47 percent (Source: WBEZ)

Current Alderman: Ed Burke

Ward Committeemen: Ed Burke (democratic committeeman) and Vilma Garcia (republican committeeman)

Who Else is Running: Ed Burke is running unopposed.

Adjectives that Describe the Ward: Gerrymandered, family-oriented, influential (Ed Burke is said to be the most powerful alderman in Chicago)

Predominant Economic Engine: Local shops and stores. Midway International Airport is also located just south of the 14th ward and provides jobs to people in the community.

Where People Eat: Restaurants include Beggars Pizza, Birrieria Zaragoza and Leon's Barbecue. Note: The Greater Chicago Food Depository is also located in this ward.

Where People Drink: Bars include Redmond's Pub and Tonyo's Studio 31 Lounge.

Where People Pray: Churches include St. Clare of Montefalco Church and Dr. Martin Luther Church.

How the Ward Typically Votes: Ed Burke has been alderman of the 14th ward since 1969 and has been described as Chicago's most powerful alderman and one of the last old-school machine politicians. In 2007, Burke won 90 percent of the vote, defeating Paloma Andrade. He ran unopposed in 2011.

Landmark: Corwith Yard, a freight train terminal and icon of Chicago's rail history

Resident's Voice: John Zaragoza, co-owner of Birrieria Zaragoza restaurant, said he's happy that there are so many mom and pop stores in the area, but he thinks many of them need more funds and a "touch-up to brighten the neighborhood." Zaragoza said the neighborhood could be more vibrant so that it draws in people from other neighborhoods in the city who might think it's otherwise too dangerous. "We could certainly use some type of funding to continue growing our businesses," he said. Lastly, Zaragoza said he would like to see more investment from the community into jobs and programs for the local high school students.

Ward Expert: Stan Lihosit, executive director of the Archer Heights Civic Association

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