Alderman Pat Dowell Biography
Pat Dowell was elected Alderman of the Third Ward of Chicago, Illinois in 2007. She has extensive experience in community development and civic engagement. Prior to becoming an Alderman, she served as a City Planner and Deputy Commissioner for Neighborhood Planning for the City of Chicago. She was also the Executive Director for several well-known 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 community meetings and events throughout the 3rd Ward, she maintains a regular presence in the ward’s diverse communities to ensure everyone’s interests are represented. Additionally, she distributes a monthly newsletter and maintains an active social media presence to keep constituents informed about important resources and initiatives.
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, businesses, and residents. 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 City Council, she passed groundbreaking legislation that holds lenders responsible for the upkeep of their vacant, foreclosed properties. She was also a chief sponsor of the ordinance that established the City Council Office of Financial Analysis (COFA). In 2016 she was appointed to her first chairmanship as the Chairman of the City Council Committee on Human Relations, and in 2019 she was selected as Chairman of the Committee on the Budget and Government Operations. She now serves as the Chairman of the powerful Committee on Finance, which she was elected to in 2023. Alderman Dowell is also the recipient of many community and public service awards and honors.
Alderman Pat Dowell holds a bachelor’s degree in developmental psychology from the University of Rochester and a Master Degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago. In the Chicago City Council, Alderman Dowell serves as the Chairman of the Committee on Finance and is a member of the Aviation, Budget and Government Operations, Committees and Rules, Contracting Oversight and Equity, Housing and Real Estate, Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards committees. She also serves on the committee that helps to oversee the Council Office of Financial Analysis.