Pat Dowell is an alderman in the Chicago City Council representing 3rd ward of the City of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois. Dowell was elected in April 2007 in a runoff election against incumbent Dorothy Tillman. Dowell had lost to Tillman in 2003. Dowell is a member of the City Council's Housing and Real Estate, Transportation and the Public Way, Landmarks, Rules and Health committees.
Dowell has a B.A. degree in Developmental Psychology from the University of Rochester and a Masters Degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago. Dowell introduced the amendment to the Vacant Property Ordinance that was passed by the Chicago City Council on July 28, 2011, holding banks responsible for maintaining foreclosed properties in neighborhoods across Chicago. Dowell commented on the issue, saying: "The foreclosure process sometimes takes a year or 18 months, two years for them to actually foreclose on the property and sometimes certain banks let those properties sit vacant....They can become haven for gang bangers and drug dealers; there is also the potential for fire hazards.....When vacant buildings are left to deteriorate, local property values tumble and criminality gains an entry into the neighborhood.....The landmark piece of legislation passed today will hold banks responsible for the upkeep of vacant properties, keeping them secure and keeping neighborhoods intact." Dowell also stated that: "This legislation goes a long way to keep our neighborhoods vibrant and soften the negative impact the housing foreclosure process has had on the city."
Dowell was the recipient of the Independent Voters of Illinois' Best Aldermanic Voting Record for 2010, presented by the Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization (IVI-IPO), a not-for-profit, multi-partisan, independent political organization that has been in existence since 1944 dedicated to good government activism. Dowell along with Alderman Bob Fioretti (2nd) and Alderman Joe Moore (49th), was given IVI-IPO's Best Aldermanic Voting Award. Upon receiving the award Dowell stated: "I am thankful for the IVI-IPO recognition of my work in the City Council and my commitment to good government and participatory democracy. These are values I hold most dear and I'm proud to be associated with an organization like IVO-IPO that has been fighting the fight for social justice for over 60 years."