Leslie Hairston

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Leslie Hairston
City of Chicago Alderman
from the 5thth Ward
Assumed office
May 1999 (1999-05)
Preceded by Barbara Holt
Personal details
Born (1961-07-17) July 17, 1961 (age 56)
Hyde Park, Chicago, Illinois
Political party Democratic
Residence South Shore, Chicago, Illinois
Alma mater University of Wisconsin (B.A.)
Loyola University (J.D.)
Profession Attorney

Leslie Hairston (born July 17, 1961) is alderman of the 5th ward of the City of Chicago; she was elected in 1999. Hairston is a Hyde Park native. As alderman, she represents the ward in the Chicago City Council along with representatives from the 49 other Chicago wards. She was re-elected in 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2015.

Early life[edit]

Hairston was born in Chicago and grew up in the Hyde Park and South Shore neighborhoods. She is an alums of University of Chicago Lab Schools.[1] Hariston earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin, and her law degree from Loyola University School of Law.[2] Before becoming alderman, Hairston was in a private law practice.

Public service[edit]

Hairston worked in Springfield as an Assistant Attorney General. She also handled litigation for the office of the Illinois Attorney’s Appellate Prosecutor’s Office, where she argued before the Illinois Supreme Court. She is a member of the South Shore Cultural Center Advisory Council, the Jackson Park Advisory Council, and the O’Keeffe Area Council. She was a member of the McFarland Mental Health Center with the Illinois Department of Mental Health and Development Disabilities and a former beat facilitator for CAPS. Hairston is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

Aldermanic career[edit]

Hairston was elected in 1999, when she defeated an incumbent in her first race. She sits on five committees: Buildings; Rules and Ethics; Human Relations; Parks and Recreation; and Special Events and Cultural Affairs.[2] Between January 2008 and July 2009, Hairston hired Chicago political consultant Delmarie Cobb to prepare newsletters and news releases and to publicize ward meetings for the alderman, and paid Cobb thousands of dollars from Hairston's campaign fund, as well as nearly $28,000 from a taxpayer-funded payroll account, available to aldermen with no scrutiny.[3]

Hairston was one of only five Chicago aldermen to oppose the privatization of Chicago parking meters.[4]

In October 2014, Hairston offered her Facebook followers prizes if they went and voted on November 4. “Vote–you’re eligible no matter the candidate,” the Facebook post read. “Then put their name and contact information on the back of their voter receipt…. And stop by the Fifth Ward office and drop it off.”[5]

An election attorney told Chicago Fox News that Hairston's post violated election law because it constituted "vote buying". According to the law a candidate cannot offer anything of value including money to entice someone to vote one way or the other or simply just to vote.[5]

Hairston soon took the post down.[5]


  1. ^ Alderman Leslie Hairston on Rahm, NATO, Schools, and Daley
  2. ^ a b "Know Your Alderman: Leslie A. Hairston". CityofChicago.org. City of Chicago. Retrieved 2008-05-15. [dead link]
  3. ^ Dardick, Hal; Gabler, Ellen (2009-11-19). "Friends & family fund for Chicago aldermen; Shadowy $1.3 million payroll helps them get around ban on patronage hiring". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-11-19.  External link in |work= (help)
  4. ^ Mihalopoulos, Dan; Dardick, Hal (2009-06-02). "Aldermen approve Chicago parking meter lease". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-10-17.  External link in |work= (help)
  5. ^ a b c "Chicago Dem Alderman Attempted to Buy Votes". Retrieved 2016-09-16. 

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