Get to Know Your Ward: 34th 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 34th ward, which covers parts of the Far South Side, including West Pullman, Washington Heights, Morgan Park and Roseland.


  • Total Population: 51,599
  • White: 0.53 percent
  • Black: 97.27 percent
  • Hispanic: 1.29 percent
  • Asian: 0.08 percent (Source: WBEZ)

Current Alderman: Carrie Austin

Ward Committeemen: Carrie Austin (democratic committeeman) and Percy Coleman (republican committeeman)

Who Else is Running: Henry Moses, Charles Thomas and Shirley White

Adjectives that Describe the Ward: Violent, closely knit and residential

Economic Engine: This ward has a high unemployment rate and has been struggling economically since many factories and industrial jobs left the South Side in the last few decades.

Where People Eat: Restaurants include Chicago Steak and Wings, KFC, Uncle Joe's Jerk, Jamaican Gates Restaurant Chicago, Harold's Chicken Shack, Dell's Deli, Blue Soul, SM Fish and Chicken, I-57 Rib House, Maxwell Street Pizza and New Halsted Bowl.

Where People Drink: Bars include 9705 Cocktail Lounge and Jack's Lounge.

Where People Pray: Churches and places of worship include Calvary Temple Outreach Church, Zion Lutheran Church MO Synod, Zion Faith Center Bible Church, Redemptive Tabernacle COGIC, Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, Gospel Truth Missionary  Baptist, Rehoboth Apostolic Worship Center, Gospel Temple Missionary Baptist, Pentecost Way Church of God, Sanctuary of Prayer Christian, Way of Holiness Mission, Faith Temple Coptic Church, Allen Metropolitan CME Church, Mary Magdalene Missionary, Abundant Grace Assembly, Beth Eden Baptist Church, Upon This Rock Christian Center, West Pullman Baptist Church and Power of Praise.

How the Ward Typically Votes: Carrie Austin was appointed alderman in 1994 when she replaced her late husband, Lemuel Austin, who was the alderman at that time. In 2007, Austin won 70 percent of the vote, defeating Henry Moses (12 percent) and two other challengers. In 2011, Austin won 65 percent of the vote, defeating Moses (15 percent) and three other challengers.

Landmark: Jackie Robinson Park

Ward Expert: Abraham D. Lacy, executive director of the Far South Community Development Corporation

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