Alderman Pat Dowell Biography
With extensive experience in community development and civic engagement, Pat Dowell was elected Alderman of the Third Ward of Chicago in 2007. Previously, she served as a City Planner and Deputy Commissioner for Neighborhood Planning for the City of Chicago. She was also the Executive Director of several non-profits including the Near West Side Community Development Corporation, the Mid-South Planning and Development Commission, and Public Allies.
Since being elected in 2007, Alderman Dowell has had a consistent focus on constituent engagement, community-based development, and transparency. By attending and hosting public meetings, she maintains a regular presence in the Third Ward’s diverse communities to ensure everyone’s interests are represented. Additionally, a monthly newsletter is distributed to keep people informed about important resources and initiatives. She understands that this type of engagement will truly represent the residents of the Third Ward.
This type of strong leadership that is driven by public input and accountability has resulted in initiatives that reverse the historical lack of investment in the area. She is a founding member of the Bronzeville Community Action Council, which provides a community voice for decisions that impact schools in the area. In 2010, she was awarded the Independent Voters of Illinois Best Aldermanic Voting Record. In 2012, Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed her to serve on the City-County Joint Collaboration Committee, which is tasked with identifying opportunities for Cook County and the City of Chicago to collaborate in order to deliver quality services in a more efficient and effective manner.
Alderman Dowell has passed significant pieces of legislation through the City Council that continue to bring needed resources, jobs, services and infrastructure improvements to the ward’s many communities, schools, parks, and residents. She was the lead sponsor for the Vacant Buildings Ordinance that holds lenders responsible for the upkeep of their vacant, foreclosed properties and the ordinance that created the City Council Office of Financial Analysis that provides oversight to budgetary decisions that use public funds.
Alderman 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. In the City Council, Alderman Dowell serves as Chairman of the Committee on Human Relations and also is a member of the Housing and Real Estate, Aviation, Budget and Government Operations, Rules and Ethics, Education and Child Development, Finance, Health and Environmental Protection, and Transportation and Public Way Committees.