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Help me help you Invite Your Aldermen to Join the Art Therapy National Awareness Day

Cheryl Wash /Highest Good Institute

Apr 27, 2015 — Aldermen's Responsibilities

Aldermen have several responsibilities. Depending on the municipality, aldermen meet with fellow council members monthly, twice a month or even weekly. They might also serve in emergency situations to work through issues pertaining to the area that they represent. Aldermen adhere to a scheduled list of items known as an agenda, but can deal with matters that arise quickly and without warning. The agenda is often posted before the meetings, which are usually open to the public.

In addition to working with fellow aldermen to hash out issues including zoning and other matters of city policy, aldermen often serve on committees that work on larger projects. For instance, let's say someone brought up the idea to build a youth center in your community. The first step in the process before ever breaking ground on the project would be to form a group to design a plan. Aldermen are appointed to head each of these committees. Aldermen might do research on some of the related issues, talk to representatives from other cities that have undertaken similar projects and discuss concerns with residents who might be affected by the construction of a new youth center.

In the United States, an alderman's job can range from a part-time position earning less than $10,000 a year to a full-time job earning as much as $100,000, as seen in Chicago [source: Office of Chicago City Clerk]. Just about anyone can run for election to be an alderman, though circumstances such as felony convictions may keep candidates off the ballot.

Each district has guidelines residents must meet to be considered viable candidates. These guidelines are often set by a board of elections or electoral commission to ensure candidates' integrity and to investigate possible conflicts of interest. This is where things can get interesting: Imagine if a city or county employee such as the person who checks your water usage was an alderman and he or she introduced a recommendation to give pay raises to meter readers. That would be an obvious conflict of interest.

Since aldermen are residents in communities and many times are only part-time city employees once elected, a potential candidate must be able to balance his or her time. While there is usually no prescribed number of hours required of aldermen, it's not uncommon to spend 20 or more hours in service per week. Also, aldermen can be required to be on call 24 hours a day.

Some well-known cities in the United States that have aldermen include St. Louis, Milwaukee, New Haven, Conn. and Chicago. Cities in Australia such as Adelaide elect aldermen, and several European countries still have their aldermen.

For more information on local government and to read related HowStuffWorks articles, take a look at the links on the next page.


Chicago Wards

Find your Ward and Alderman

Ward 1

Served by Alderman Joe Moreno
Ward 2

Served by Alderman Robert Fioretti
Ward 3

Served by Alderman Pat Dowell
Ward 4

Served by Alderman William Burns
Ward 5

Served by Alderman Leslie Hairston
Ward 6

Served by Alderman Roderick Sawyer
Ward 7

Served by Alderman Natashia Holmes
Ward 8

Served by Alderman Michelle Harris
Ward 9

Served by Alderman Anthony Beale
Ward 10

Served by Alderman John Pope
Ward 11

Served by Alderman James Balcer
Ward 12

Served by Alderman George A. Cardenas
Ward 13

Served by Alderman Marty Quinn
Ward 14

Served by Alderman Ed Burke
Ward 15

Served by Alderman Toni Foulkes
Ward 16

Served by Alderman JoAnn Thompson
Ward 17

Served by Alderman Latasha Thomas
Ward 18

Served by Alderman Lona Lane
Ward 19

Served by Alderman Matthew O’Shea
Ward 20

Served by Alderman Willie B. Cochran
Ward 21

Served by Alderman Howard Brookins Jr.
Ward 22

Served by Alderman Ricardo Munoz
Ward 23

Served by Alderman Michael Zalewski
Ward 24

Served by Alderman Michael Chandler
Ward 25

Served by Alderman Daniel Solis
Ward 26

Served by Alderman Roberto Maldonado
Ward 27

Served by Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr.
Ward 28

Served by Alderman Jason Ervin
Ward 29

Served by Alderman Deborah Graham
Ward 30

Served by Alderman Ariel E. Reboyras
Ward 31

Served by Alderman Ray Suarez
Ward 32

Served by Alderman Scott Waguespack
Ward 33

Served by Alderman Deborah Mell
Ward 34

Served by Alderman Carrie Austin
Ward 35

Served by Alderman Rey Colon
Ward 36

Served by Alderman Nicholas Sposato
Ward 37

Served by Alderman Emma Mitts
Ward 38

Served by Alderman Timothy M. Cullerton
Ward 39

Served by Alderman Margaret Laurino
Ward 40

Served by Alderman Patrick J. O'Connor
Ward 41

Served by Alderman Mary O’Connor
Ward 42

Served by Alderman Brendan Reilly
Ward 43

Served by Alderman Michele Smith
Ward 44

Served by Alderman Thomas M. Tunney
Ward 45

Served by Alderman John Arena
Ward 46

Served by Alderman James Cappleman
Ward 47

Served by Alderman Ameya Pawar
Ward 48

Served by Alderman Harry Osterman
Ward 49

Served by Alderman Joseph A. Moore
Ward 50

Served by Alderman Debra Silverstein


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