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.
The following is a statement from Timuel Black:
"Today, I proudly endorse Alderman Pat Dowell for Illinois Secretary of State. I have known Pat for decades and watched her deliver results no matter the challenge. I admire her commitment to service. She cares deeply about our community, our city, and our state. She will represent all Illinoisans from every corner and put their interests first.”
“Pat has devoted her career to public service. She has worked for three Mayors, led several important non-profits including Public Allies following the service of former First Lady Michelle Obama. She’s focused, hard-working, honest, compassionate, and fair. She’s a leader who looks to build consensus.”
“As Alderman of the third ward, she has navigated many diverse interests and constituencies because the ward is among the most diverse in Chicago.”
“As a lifelong educator, I’m especially invested in Pat’s plans to increase literacy for all ages. Literacy is the key to full participation in our society.”
“I know Pat will lead the Secretary’s office with the same standard of excellence that she has carried to every position she’s held. I hope you will join me in supporting Pat Dowell for Secretary of State,” said Black.
“I am honored and humbled to receive the endorsement of Tim Black, a man for whom I have enormous respect and admiration,” said Dowell. “His support of my candidacy tells me we’re on the right path. I look forward to introducing myself to the voters of Illinois.”
Pat Dowell is a lifelong public servant. She has served as a social worker, a city planner, an administrator of several large and small not-for-profits, and a university instructor.
Since 2007, she has served as the Alderman of the 3rd Ward of Chicago. She is the Chair of the Chicago City Council Budget Committee.
Dowell was a significant catalyst for the rebirth of the historic Bronzeville community that occurred in the 1990s. She has an extensive background in urban planning and community development and was one of the primary architects of the Bronzeville Development Plan.
Formerly, Ms. Dowell was the executive director of the Near West Side Community Development Corporation, the Mid-South Planning and Development Commission, and Chicago Public Allies, a national youth development organization.
Pat Dowell is the proud mother of an adult son and a longtime Bronzeville resident. As a college basketball star, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Developmental Psychology from The University of Rochester and her master’s degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago. Dowell owns a scrappy Yorkshire Terrier named Toots and is an avid Chicago Bulls Fan.
While she enjoys reading, cooking, and traveling – what she is truly passionate about is helping to serve the needs of her constituents.
Alderman Jason Ervin, the Chairman of the Black Caucus of the Chicago City Council, today announced his support for Alderman Pat Dowell’s candidacy for Illinois Secretary of State.
“Alderman Pat Dowell is one of the most hardworking and conscientious members of the Chicago City Council,” said Alderman Jason Ervin. “She champions the needs of African Americans while making sure that all of her constituents are respected and protected. We have worked together for more than a decade. She is smart and focused and gets the job the done.”
“When Alderman Pat Dowell is Secretary of State, Illinoisans will have a Secretary of State that is a true public servant,” Ervin added.
“Helping and serving people has always been my top priority. I appreciate Alderman Ervin recognizing that and supporting my candidacy,” said Alderman Pat Dowell. “My goal is to innovate what the office can do, and provide the residents of Illinois with the best services possible. That’s my focus -- not on using the office as a personal steppingstone to advance my career.”
“The Secretary of State provides vital services to the people of Illinois,” added Dowell. “Jesse White has given a lifetime of service to our community and state; I look forward to building on the foundation of quality service and programs created by Secretary White. And I will look to innovate this office for the future.