Get to Know Your Ward: 5th 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 5th ward, which covers parts of Indian Village, Hyde Park, Jackson Park, South Shore and Greater Grand Crossing.


  • Total Population: 51,455
  • White: 23.2 percent
  • Black: 64.3 percent
  • Hispanic: 3.72 percent
  • Asian: 7.23 percent (Source: WBEZ)

Current Alderman: Leslie A. Hairston

Ward Committeemen: Leslie A. Hairston (democratic committeeman), Emil Frank Coccaro (republican committeeman) and Christian K. Wedemeyer (Green Party committeeman)

Who Else is Running: Loretta Lomax (removed), Tiffany Brooks, Jocelyn Hare, Robin Boyd Clark, Jedidiah Brown and Anne Marie Miles

Adjectives that Describe the Ward: Divided, intellectual and collegiate (the University of Chicago is located in this ward)

Economic Engine: The University of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry

Where People Eat: Coffee shops and cafes near the University of Chicago, Harold's Chicken Shack, Italian Fiesta Pizzeria and Parrot Cage (located in the South Shore Cultural Center)

Where People Drink: Bars and pubs include those near the university, Jeffery Pub and Cove Lounge

Where People Pray: Several Catholic and Baptist churches. Other churches include First Unitarian Church and Urban Village Church.

How the Ward Typically Votes: Leslie Hairston has been the alderman of the 5th ward since 1999. She won 75 percent of the vote in 2007, defeating Oscar Worrill (20 percent) and Sylvester Hendricks (6 percent). In 2011, Hairston won 62 percent of the vote, defeating Anne Milles (21 percent) and three other challengers.

Landmarks: Museum of Science and Industry and Jackson Park

Resident's Voice: Lenore Lindsey, the owner of Give Me Some Sugah bakery in South Shore, says, "What would I ask the alderman? To be approachable."

Ward Expert: Eric Rogers, a member of the community group Reclaiming South Shore for All

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