William D. Burns

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William D. Burns
Alderman William D. Burns.JPG
Alderman for Chicago's 4th Ward
In office
May 2011 (2011-May) – February 2016 (2016-Feb)
Preceded by Shirley Newsome
Succeeded by Sophia King
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 26th district
In office
January 2009 (2009-Jan) – May 2011 (2011-May)
Preceded by Elga L. Jefferies
Succeeded by Kimberly du Buclet
Personal details
Born (1973-08-22) August 22, 1973 (age 43)
Cleveland, Ohio
Political party Democratic
Children Athena
Residence Chicago, Illinois
Alma mater University of Chicago

William D. Burns (born August 22, 1973 in Cleveland, Ohio) is a former member of the Chicago City Council representing Chicago's 4th Ward.[1] A member of the Democratic Party, Burns represented the 26th District in the Illinois House of Representatives from 2008 through 2011. After winning election as an alderman on February 22, 2011, he stepped down from his role as a state legislator.[2] In February 2016, Alderman Burns announced his resignation from the Chicago City Council to take a job with Airbnb.[3]


Burns attended the University of Chicago where he received both his B.A. and M.A. degrees. He is a former Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to Emil Jones, the Illinois Senate President, and a former Vice President of Program and Field Offices for the Chicago Urban League. Burns has also served as an Education and Tax Policy Manager for the Metropolitan Planning Council, a community outreach coordinator for State Senator Barack Obama and the Deputy Campaign Manager for Obama for Congress 2000.[4]

Illinois State Representative[edit]

In 2008 Burns challenged incumbent State Representative Elga Jeffries, and defeated her in the Democratic Primary on “Super Tuesday.”[5] He went on to defeat perennial candidate Sylvester “Junebug” Hendricks in the general election. As a State Representative, Burns has served on committees addressing education, health care, and government reform. Burns also sponsored the first green jobs program in the United States which was specifically targeted at low-income urban areas. The Urban Weatherization Jobs Initiative employs inner-city residents in the weatherization of homes and other buildings on the South Side of Chicago. Burns also has been a vocal supporter of reform to Illinois’ campaign finance laws, strengthening gun control, and property tax reform.

Campaign for Alderman of Chicago's Fourth Ward[edit]

In November 2010, long-time Alderman Toni Preckwinkle was elected Cook County Board President. Community leader Shirley Newsome was appointed by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley to serve out the remainder of Preckwinkle’s term, but did not seek a full term. With Preckwinkle’s support, Burns entered the race for Alderman in the February 22nd first round of the municipal election, preferring not to seek the temporary appointment for the remainder of Preckwinkle’s term. Will Burns faced five Democratic or independent opponents, and Lori Yokoyama, who was endorsed by the Chicago GOP and Chicago Young Republicans. Burns won the race with 64.6% of the vote in the February 22nd election. Burns served as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention.[6]

Aldermanic Committees[edit]

Rules and Ethics


Housing and Real Estate

Pedestrian and Traffic Safety

Transportation and Public Way

Workforce Development and Audit


Burns has one daughter, Athena.

Electoral History[edit]

Illinois House of Representatives - 26th District

Election Candidate Votes Percent Candidate Votes Percent Candidate Votes Percent Candidate Votes Percent Candidate Votes Percent
2008 Democratic Primary[7] William D. Burns 9,063 33.09% Kenny Johnson 7,653 27.94% Phillip Jackson 4,912 17.94% Elga L. Jefferies (i) 3,270 11.94% Paul Chadha 2,489 9.09%
2008 General[8] William D. Burns (D) 41,807 86.06% Sylvester "Junebug" Hendricks (R) 6,770 13.94%
2010 Democratic Primary[9] William D. Burns 14,574 100%
2010 General[10] William D. Burns (D) 29,914 83.48% Sylvester "Junebug" Hendricks (R) 5,290 16.52%

Alderman, 4th Ward[11]

Candidate Votes Percent
William D. Burns 8,518 64.65%
Lori S. Yokoyama 1,264 9.59%
Norman H. Bolden 1,247 9.46%
Brian Scott 951 7.22%
George Rumsey 632 4.08%
Adam L. Miguest 632 2.91%
James E. Williams 181 1.37%


  1. ^ "Alderman William D. Burns". City of Chicago. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Hyde Park gets new state representative". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Dardick, Hal (2016-02-01). "Emanuel ally Ald. Burns quits, takes Airbnb job". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2016-03-24. 
  4. ^ "Representative William D. Burns (D)". Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  5. ^ "Education a Priority for 26th District State Rep Opponents". Gazetter. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  6. ^ Newman, Craig (2012-09-02). "Who are the Illinois delegates to the Democratic National Convention?". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  7. ^ "Election Results". February 2008 Democratic Party Primary -- Rep. in Gen. Assembly, 26th. Chicago Board of Elections. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  8. ^ "Election Results". November, 2008 General -- Rep. in Gen. Assembly, 26th. Chicago Board of Elections. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  9. ^ "Election Results". February 2010 Primary Democratic -- Rep. In Gen. Assembly, 26th. Chicago Board of Elections. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  10. ^ "Election Results". November, 2010 General -- Rep. In Gen. Assembly, 26th. Chicago Board of Elections. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  11. ^ "Election Results". February 2011 Municipal General Election -- Alderman Fourth Ward. Chicago Board of Elections. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 

External links[edit]