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Debra Silverstein
Member of the Chicago City Council
from the 50th ward
Assumed office
May 16, 2011
Preceded byBernard Stone
Personal details
Born (1965-10-04) October 4, 1965 (age 56)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Ira Silverstein
EducationUniversity of Illinois, Chicago (BA)

Debra Silverstein is the Alderman of the 50th Ward of the City of Chicago, Illinois.[1] She defeated 38-year incumbent Bernard Stone in the 2011 runoff election, a race in which she was endorsed by Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel. As of 2019–2020, she is also the Democratic Party's committeeperson for the 50th Ward.


Silverstein is married to former Illinois State Senator Ira Silverstein, with whom she has four children.[2] She holds a degree in accounting from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Before entering politics, she founded a small tax consultancy.[3]

In addition to her political work, Silverstein is a co-founder of the Libenu Foundation, an organization creating supervised housing for adults with developmental disabilities in the Metropolitan Chicago area.[4][citation needed]

Aldermanic career

In conjunction with the Chicago Department of Transportation, Silverstein planned and executed the Devon Avenue Streetscape, a $15 million project on Devon Avenue in the 50th Ward. The project was designed to modernize and beautify a "20-block stretch in the West Ridge Business District which is known for ethnically diverse mixture of shops and restaurants."[5] The project covered Devon from Kedzie Avenue to Leavitt Street.

The project highlights included:

In 2016, Silverstein and Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans for a new library and senior housing facility in the 50th Ward. A partnership between Chicago Public Library and Chicago Housing Authority, Northtown Apartments and the new Northtown Branch Library are located at 6800 N. Western Avenue.[6] The project was designed by Perkins + Will and to feature 44 apartments designated for senior use on top of a 16,000 square foot library. The library was scheduled to be open in December 2018, but actually opened on March 5, 2019, while apartment construction continued.[7]


  1. ^ "Debra Silverstein Ousts Longtime Alderman Bernard Stone in 50th Ward," Chicago Sun-Times.
  2. ^ "About Debra Silverstein,"
  3. ^ "About Alderman Silverstein | 50th Ward Chicago". Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  4. ^ "About Us | Libenu". Libenu. Archived from the original on 2018-05-16. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  5. ^ a b "City of Chicago :: CDOT Launches Final Phases of Devon Avenue Streetscape Project". Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  6. ^ Spielman, Fran (January 26, 2018). "Emanuel to break ground on three library-housing partnerships". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  7. ^ Ballew, Jonathan (March 5, 2019). "West Ridge's Bright And Bold New Library Now Open, With Attached Affordable Housing For Seniors Coming Soon". Block Club Chicago. Retrieved 2019-04-04.