This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful.Find sources: "Walter Burnett Jr." – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (August 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Walter Burnett
Walter Burnett, Jr.png
Member of the Chicago City Council
from the 27th ward
Assumed office
May 1995
Preceded byDexter Watson
Personal details
Born (1963-08-16) August 16, 1963 (age 58)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
(m. 1991)
Children2 sons
EducationHarold Washington College
University of Illinois, Chicago
Southeastern Illinois College
Northeastern Illinois University (BA)
WebsiteOfficial website

Walter Burnett Jr. has served as the alderman for Chicago's 27th ward since his first election in 1995. The 27th ward includes the West Loop, Greektown, East Garfield Park, Near North Side, Old Town, West Humboldt Park, West Town, Goose Island and the Illinois Medical District.[1]

Early life and education

Walter Burnett, Jr. was born August 16, 1963 at Cook County Hospital in the Illinois Medical District.[2][3] Burnett served two years in jail for armed bank robbery in Kankakee.[4]

Political career

Burnett had an 11-year career working for the Cook County government, where he had a variety of jobs including working as special assistant to Jesse White who was then Cook County Recorder of Deeds. Burnett later worked on Jesse White's campaign for Illinois Secretary of State.[3]

Aldermanic career

Despite a 1993 Illinois state law that barred those convicted of a felony from holding local office, in 1995 Burnett ran for alderman in the newly redistricted 27th ward.[4] Burnett defeated Dexter Watson, a protege of Rickey R. Hendon who had been appointed to succeed Hendon after Hendon's election to the Illinois Senate.[3] Burnett has subsequently been reelected in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019.

In 2018, J.B. Pritzker appointed Burnett to the gubernatorial transition's Restorative Justice and Safe Communities Committee.[5]

In the runoff of the 2019 Chicago mayoral election, Burnett endorsed Toni Preckwinkle.[6]

Personal life

Alderman Burnett is married to Darlena Williams-Burnett. Williams-Burnett was appointed as a Cook County Commissioner from the 1st district, being appointed after Danny K. Davis resigned in 1997 to serve in the United States Congress. She lost in her attempt to win a full term in 1998. Williams-Burnett challenged incumbent congressman Danny K. Davis in the February, 2010 Democratic primary and lost.[7][8]


  1. ^ Lulay, Stephanie (2015-02-24). "Longtime Ald. Walter Burnett Wins 27th Ward Election, Landing Sixth Term". Archived from the original on 2016-08-15. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  2. ^ "About Me - Facebook".
  3. ^ a b c Dumke, Mick (2012-01-09). "The making of an alderman". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  4. ^ a b "Criminal Past A Shadow New Alderman Just Can't Shed". Chicago Tribune. 1995-04-30. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  5. ^ Miller, Rich (November 30, 2018). "Foxx, Gordon-Booth, Kelly to co-chair Pritzker's Restorative Justice and Safe Communities Committee". Capitol Fax. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  6. ^ "Toni Preckwinkle gets nods from Jesse White, Walter Burnett in push for city's black voters". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  7. ^ Dumke, Mick (2010-01-28). "Congressman Danny Davis Faces Some Real Opposition For Once". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2010-01-29.
  8. ^ Banchero, Stephanie (12 February 1998). "DAVIS FACING A CHALLENGE IN DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2 November 2020.