Pat Dowell

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Chicago, 3rd Ward Alderman (2007 - )
Chicago, 3rd Ward Democratic Committeeman (2008 - )

Although Pat Dowell is a newcomer to the Chicago City Council, she's hardly a political neophyte. Dowell worked in the city's Planning Department under mayors Harold Washington, Eugene Sawyer and Richard M. Daley, and was heavily involved in the redevelopment of the historic Bronzeville neighborhood.

Shortly after beating Dorothy Tillman for alderman, Dowell had a falling out with State Representative Ken Dunkin during the race for Democratic Ward Commmitteeman in 2008. Dunkin backed Dowell against former Alderman Tillman, expecting to run unopposed for the committeeman slot. In stead Dowell ran for the post, and Dunkin retaliated with both a hit piece in the mail [1], and website [2] smearing Dowell. Along the way, Ken Sawyer, the nephew of former mayor Eugene Sawyer challenged Dunkin for his House seat. Sawyer was the acting committeeman of the 3rd Ward and the time, and backed Dowell against Dunkin, with Dowell backing Sawyer in the House race. Mayor Daley supposedly backed Dowell in the committeeman's race, and she voted for the mayor's tax increases and budget.

Dowell is a former City Planner and was Deputy Commissioner of Neighborhood Planning under Mayors Harold Washington, Eugene Sawyer and Richard M. Daley. During her tenure in the city's planning department, she worked as one of the main architects of the Bronzeville Development Plan, which mapped out redevelopment of the South Side's historic Bronzeville community. Prior to that she was the executive director of Near West Side Community Development Corporation, which focuses on building affordable housing and commercial retail space around the Henry Horner Homes. In the mid 1990’s, she helped found, and served as executive director of the Mid-South Planning and Development Commission, which helped steer millions of dollars into the preservation of Bronzeville landmarks.

Current Chicago City Council Committees:

  • Committee on Aviation
  • Committee on Budget and Government Operations
  • Committee on Committees, Rules and Ethics
  • Committee on Education and Child Development
  • Committee on Finance
  • Committee on Housing and Real Estate, Vice Chairman
  • Committee on Transportation and Public Way


  • B.A. degree in Developmental Psychology from the University of Rochester
  • Masters Degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago

Important Political Events

  • 2003 - Pushed 3rd Ward Ald. Dorothy Tillman to runoff campaign, which she lost.
  • 2007 - Defeated incumbent Dorothy Tillman for 3rd Ward Alderman
  • 2008 - Defeated Ken Dunkin for 3rd Ward Democratic Committeeman