Latasha Thomas

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Latasha Thomas

b. May 12, 1965

Chicago, 17th Ward Alderman (2000-2015)
Chicago, 17th Ward Democratic Committeeman (2004-2016)

Prior to becoming Alderman, Thomas practiced law privately until 1994 she joined the Department of Human Services (later the Department of Children and Youth Services) as associate director of the children services division in 1997. In 2000 she became the department's Director of Intergovernmental Relations. She then briefly served as Ald. Terry Peterson's Chief of Staff until she was appointed to the position in late 2000 by Mayor Daley.

Although he has moved on to other things, Latashia Thomas owes her spot in the 17th Ward to Terry Peterson.

Terry Peterson, a political utility player for Mayor Richard M. Daley, had served as 17th Ward Alderman until 2000, when Daley appointed him chief of the Chicago Housing Authority during a sweeping revamp of the agency. As leader of the 17th Ward, Peterson built one of the city's strongest political organizations - becoming one of the largest repositories of city jobs in the process.

Even after becoming CHA chief, Peterson retained the Democratic Committeeman position until 2004. This arrangement was a boon For the 17th Ward and Thomas, as CHA contractors determined it would be a good idea to make political contributions to 17th Ward leaders. Despite Peterson passing the Committeeman position to Thomas in 2004, the 17th Ward continued to be a beneficiary of CHA contractors. [1]

Thomas, never a very vocal or visible alderman, was always dependent on Terry Peterson keeping her in office. But over time, Peterson could do no more, and in 2011 Thomas almost lost her seat to David Moore and accountant and staffer for progressive Board of Review member Larry Rogers, Jr.. Rather than risk losing to Moore, Thomas announced her retirement in 2015. Moore then won the seat outright.

Education

  • University of Illinois, B.A.
  • DePaul University, J.D.

Important Political Events

  • 2000, Appointed 17th Ward Alderman to replace out-going Terry Peterson
  • 2001, Elected 17th Ward Alderman in a special election
  • 2003, Reelected 17th Ward Alderman
  • 2004, Elected 17th Ward Democratic Committeeman
  • 2011, Reelected 17th Ward Alderman, defeating David Moore in runoff
  • 2015, Retired as 17th Ward Alderman, replaced by David Moore in election
  • 2016 Retired, 17th Ward Democratic Committeeman, replaced by David Moore

Sources

http://www.bettergov.org/investigations_cha_story_rj_20060522_01.asp
http://www.bettergov.org/Press/041105suntimesfront.htm
http://www.ipsn.org/hired_truck_scandal/city_employs_1200_daleyites.htm
http://www.chitowndailynews.org/Chicago_news/17th_ward_alderman_says_Englewood_gets_a_bad_rap,14263
http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=4523
http://www.chicagoreader.com/features/stories/citycouncil/thomas/
http://blogs.chicagoreader.com/politics/tag/Latasha%20Thomas/
http://www.bettergov.org/investigations_CHA_release_20060522_01.asp
http://www.iviipo.org/questionnaires/2007/17%20Latasha%20Thomas.pdf