Walter Burnett, Jr.
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2009)|
|Member of the Chicago City Council from the 27th ward|
|Alma mater||Harold Washington College; University of Illinois at Chicago|
Walter Burnett, Jr. is alderman of the 27th Ward of the City of Chicago. He was first elected in 1995.
Early life and education
Burnett grew up in the Cabrini–Green public housing project, in Chicago. Burnett served two years in jail for bank robbery, when he was 17. Burnett attended Harold Washington College and University of Illinois at Chicago, where he received his associate’s degree. In 1998, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University while alderman.
Burnett joined the Young Democrats of Cook County in 1989 and served as their Chairman for two terms; as Chairman, he tried to motivate and educate young people to become involved in the political process. Burnett also had an 11-year career working for the Cook County government, where he had a variety of jobs including working as special assistant to Jesse White who was then Cook County Recorder of Deeds. Burnett later worked on Jesse White’s campaign for Illinois Secretary of State.
Burnett is assistant coach for the Jesse White Tumbling Team.
Currently, he serves on the boards of several organizations: the United Center Economic Development Board, Leslie’s Place, Northwestern University Settlement Association, Family Guidance Center, Windows of Opportunity Inc., and The Inner Voice Inc.
In his first year as alderman, Burnett organized the first Stay in School Picnic, which grew into an annual event which feeds 5,000 people and hands out school supplies to 2,000 school children.
Burnett faced tough choices when his old housing project, Cabrini–Green, was targeted for tear-down, but he ultimately supported the measure. Burnett worked to ensure that some affordable housing remained in the neighborhood.
Burnett is vice-Chairman of the Health Committee. He serves on six additional committees: Budget and Government Operations; Buildings; Committees, Rules, and Ethics; Education; Finance; and Transportation and the Public Way.
Burnett paid his mother, Dorothy Burnett, nearly $20,000 in 2008 from his taxpayer-funded aldermanic expense allowance. "I have no problem helping my mother," Burnett said. "That's my mother. If it weren't for her, I wouldn't be here. ... If I could get her Mayor Daley's job, I would get her Mayor Daley's job."
Alderman Burnett is married to Darlena Williams-Burnett. Williams-Burnett is Chief Deputy Recorder for the Cook County Recorder of Deeds and a former Cook County commissioner. Williams-Burnett challenged incumbent Congressman Danny K. Davis in the February, 2010 Democratic primary. Burnett and Williams-Burnett have two sons, Jawaharlal and Walter.
- Dardick, Hal (2009-08-15). "What's in Chicago aldermanic expense accounts?". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
- Dumke, Mick (2010-01-28). "Congressman Danny Davis Faces Some Real Opposition For Once". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2010-01-29.