||This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. (August 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
|City of Chicago Alderman
from the 12th Ward
|Preceded by||Ray Frias|
|Residence||Little Village, Chicago, Illinois|
|Alma mater||Northeastern Illinois University|
Cardenas was born in Santiago, a small town in the mountains of central Mexico. Cardenas and his family moved to Chicago in 1978 where he attended Lane Tech High School. After graduation, he joined the Navy for four years. He earned his bachelor's degree from Northeastern Illinois University and went on to work as an auditor and a substitute teacher in public schools. Cardenas later became a business consultant and went back to school to earn his master’s in political science from NEIU.
Cardenas first ran for alderman in 2003. Cardenas was supported by the powerful and controversial Hispanic Democratic Organization, a group with strong ties to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. In a 3-way race in February, 2003, Cardenas and incumbent Alderman Ray Frias were the top two vote-getters, but neither earned a majority, forcing a run-off election scheduled for April, 2003. Frias withdrew his candidacy prior to the run-off, cancelling the run-off, and leaving Cardenas as the winner.
Cardenas is the Chairman of the City Council Latino Caucus and the City Council Committee on Health & Environmental Protection. He is also a member of eight committees: Committees, Rules & Ethics; Finance, Budget, Education, Housing and Real Estate; Aviation and Zoning.
In 2006, Cardenas lost to Ald. Ricardo Muñoz in the race for state central committeeman for Illinois' 4th Congressional District, a Democratic Party post. Cardenas served as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Before joining government, Cardenas accumulated over a decade of experience working for Fortune 500 companies, including Centel Corporation, McDonald's Corporation, Andersen Worldwide, Tenneco Corporation, Ameritech/SBC Corporation.
Ald. Cardenas has two young daughters and lives in Little Village.
- "Election results". Board of Election Commissioners for the city of Chicago . Archived from the original on 2010-02-06. External link in
- https://chicago.legistar.com/PersonDetail.aspx?ID=60958&GUID=2A391BBA-404A-4FC8-9452-F657D55C7D9D. Missing or empty
|title=(help); External link in
- Newman, Craig (2012-09-02). "Who are the Illinois delegates to the Democratic National Convention?". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2012-09-06.
- Mihalopoulos, Dan (2008-05-02). "What's your alderman's side job?". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-12-09. External link in