Latasha Thomas is the alderman of the 17th Ward of the City of Chicago. She was appointed to that position by Mayor Richard M. Daley in 2000, subsequently elected in 2001 and re-elected in 2003 and 2007.
Early life, education, and career
Latasha R. Thomas was born in 1965, the eldest of the five children. Thomas attended Oglesby elementary school in the 17th Ward, Kenwood Academy high school, earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her law degree from DePaul University in 1994. Thomas was Director of Intergovernmental Relations for the City of Chicago Department of Human Services, a commercial litigator in private practice, and chief of staff for Alderman Terry Peterson of the 17th Ward.
Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago appointed Thomas alderman in 2000 to replace Peterson, who had become chief executive of the Chicago Housing Authority. Thomas was elected in 2001 and reelected in 2003 and 2007.
Thomas has worked to get many of the 17th Ward schools renovated.
Thomas serves on five committees: Buildings; Committee, Rules and Ethics; Parks and Recreation; Special Events and Cultural Affairs; and Zoning and she is the Chairman of the Education committee. In the year between April 2007 and April 2008, the Education Committee met three times.
In 2008, Thomas voted with Daley to lease out the city’s parking meters. Thomas voted against Mayor Daley only once in Daley's sixth and final term, the four-year period 2007-2011. She voted against restricting street performers in Grant Park.
Thomas is married to Timothy Thomas Jr. Timothy Thomas was First Deputy Commissioner in the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the number-two post in that office. He was investigated by the Office of the Inspector General of the City of Chicago, who recommended he be disciplined for a patronage violation. He resigned on December 3, 2009, just weeks after city officials did not act on the Inspector General's recommendation. During the City Council hearings on the next budget the following year, Thomas accused City Inspector General Joe Ferguson of targeting African Americans. Ferguson denied the charge.
Latasha and Timothy have two children, Victoria and Timothy III.
- "Alderman, 17th Ward: Latasha R. Thomas". Chicago Sun-Times. 2011-01-11.
- Kogan, Rick (2006-07-16). "'Hard love' Amid heartbreaking violence, Latasha Thomas has hope for her neighborhood". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-11-20.
- Mihalopoulos, Dan (2009-12-11). "The Pulse: Deputy Resigns From Cultural Affairs". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-23.
- Pallasch, Abdon M. (2011-04-01). "Current alderman, ex-campaign field director battle in 17th Ward". Chicago Sun-Times.
- Joravsky, Ben; Dumke, Mick. "Latasha Thomas, 17th Ward". Chicago Reader.
- "Candidate details". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
- Dumke (2008-04-08). "School's out". Chicago Reader.
- Simpson, Dick; Nell, James; Mouritsen Zmuda, Missy; Gradel, Thomas J.; Smith, Cori; Kelly, Tom (March 2011), The Last of the Daley Years; Chicago City Council Voting Report #5; May 21, 2007 – January 13, 2011, University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Political Science
- Spielman, Fran (2010-11-05). "Inspector general to unveil cost-cutting options for city". Chicago Sun-Times.
- Dardick, Hal; Mark, Ryan; Germuska, Joe; Boyer, Brian (2010-04-07). "City Council's $3.7 million allowance: How aldermen spent taxpayer money". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-11-20.
- Mihalopoulos, Dan (2009-12-10). "The Pulse: Anti-Corruption Case Has Avid Followers". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-06-08.
- Official Aldermanic Biography
- Latasha Thomas archive at the Chicago Reader
- Latasha Thomas archive at the Chicago Tribune