Get to Know Your Ward: 4th 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 4th ward, which covers parts of the Near South Side, the Museum Campus area, Kenwood and the lakefront from Grant Park to Hyde Park.


  • Total Population: 54,589
  • White: 22.75 percent
  • Black: 63.75 percent
  • Hispanic: 3.68 percent
  • Asian: 8.28 percent (Source: WBEZ)

Current Alderman: William Burns

Ward Committeemen: Toni Preckwinkle (democratic committeeman) and Lori S. Yokoyama (republican committeeman)

Who Else is Running: Tracey Bey, Jeffrey Booker (removed) and Norman Bolden

Adjectives that Describe the Ward: Historic, cultural, collegiate (several colleges are in this ward, including DePaul University's Loop campus, Robert Morris and the John Marshall Law School)

Economic Engine: Cultural and educational institutions, namely the Museum Campus, and hotels

Where People Eat: Restaurants include fast food lunch spots (Epic Burger, Potbelly, McDonald's, Subway), Yolk, Mississippi Rick's and Norman's Bistro.

Where People Drink: Bars include the Jazz Showcase and bars attached to hotels.

Where People Pray: West Point Baptist Church, Kenwood United Church of Christ, St. Ambrose Catholic Church and God Squad Inc. (a nondenominational church)

How this Ward Typically Votes: Toni Preckwinkle served as alderman from 1991 to 2011 before she came the Cook County Board president. In 2007, Preckwinkle won 76 percent of the vote, defeating Norman Bolden (owner of Norman's Bistro). In 2011, William Burns won 65 percent of the vote, defeating Lori Yokoyama (10 percent), Norman Bolden (9 percent) and four other challengers.

Landmark: Museum Campus and Soldier Field

Resident's Voice: Ashley Johnson, a waitress at Cafe Trinidad, says she's happy with access to transportation in the ward, but there should be more local businesses and jobs in the area. She also said she would like to see more affordable shopping options so people don't have to leave their neighborhoods to shop.

Ward Expert: Jhatayn "Jay" Travis, a community organizer and the executive director of the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization, which focuses on public policy. Travis also ran in the primary for the District 26 seat in the Illinois House of Representatives in 2014, but she did not win.

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