George Cardenas
George Cardenas 2014.png
Member of the Chicago City Council
from the 12th ward
Assumed office
Preceded byRay Frias
Constituency12th Ward
Personal details
Born (1964-10-09) October 9, 1964 (age 57)
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Haby Perales
Residence(s)Chicago, Illinois
Alma materNortheastern Illinois University

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George A. Cardenas (born October 9, 1964) is Alderman of the 12th Ward of the City of Chicago. A member of the Democratic Party, he was elected to his first term on the Chicago City Council in 2003.[1]

Early life

Cardenas was born in Santiago Papasquiaro, Durango in the mountains of northern Mexico. Cardenas and his family moved to Chicago in 1978 where he attended Lane Tech High School. After graduation, he joined the United States Navy for four years. He earned his bachelor's degree from Northeastern Illinois University and went on to work as an auditor and a substitute teacher in public schools. Cardenas later became a tax and business consultant and went back to school to earn his master's degree in political science from Northeastern Illinois University.[2]


Cardenas first ran for alderman in 2003. Cardenas was supported by the powerful Hispanic Democratic Organization, a group with strong ties to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.[3] In a 3-way race in February 2003, Cardenas and incumbent Alderman Ray Frias were the top two vote-getters, but neither earned a majority, forcing a run-off election scheduled for April 2003. Frias withdrew his candidacy prior to the run-off, cancelling the run-off, and leaving Cardenas as the winner.[4]

Aldermanic career

Cardenas has won reelection in 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019. Cardenas currently serves as the City Council Deputy Floor Leader and Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection and Energy. He is also a member of eight committees: Committees, Rules & Ethics; Finance, Budget, Contracting Oversight and Equity, Economic Capital and Technology Development, Immigrant and Refugee Rights, License and Consumer Protection and Pedestrian and Traffic Safety.[5]

In the runoff of the 2019 Chicago mayoral election, Cardenas endorsed Lori Lightfoot.[6]

Political career

Cardenas served as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention.[7]

Professional career

Before joining government, Cardenas accumulated over a decade of experience working for Fortune 500 companies, including Centel Corporation, McDonald's Corporation, Andersen Worldwide, Tenneco Corporation, Ameritech/SBC Corporation.[8]

Personal life

Alderman Cardenas lives with his wife and three daughters in McKinley Park.


  1. ^ "Ward 12". Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  2. ^ "12th Ward Chicago | 12th ward of Chicago Alderman George Cardenas' office". Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  3. ^ Lutton, Linda. "Dumped for Another Man". Chicago Reader. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  4. ^ "Election results". Board of Election Commissioners for the city of Chicago. Archived from the original on February 6, 2010.
  5. ^ "City Clerk, City of Chicago".((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "List of Endorsements in the Race for Chicago Mayor". NBC Chicago. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  7. ^ Newman, Craig (September 2, 2012). "Who are the Illinois delegates to the Democratic National Convention?". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on May 2, 2013. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  8. ^ Mihalopoulos, Dan (May 2, 2008). "What's your alderman's side job?". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 9, 2009.