ISSUES & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
From infrastructure and new train stations to ensuring even four-legged residents have access to parks, Alderman Dowell’s record shows she’s a listener and a problem solver who delivers for you.
Business Economic Development
Small businesses are the backbone of our communities – and key to economic development.
As Alderman, she’s reached into the bowels of bureaucracy and pulled out resources for the Third Ward.
By investing in communities, Ald. Dowell is focused on how fostering small businesses (especially those owned by women and minorities) can build generational wealth.
Together, we’ll ensure every corner of the ward – especially those communities long forgotten – thrives.
Promoting women and minority-owned businesses
– ensured women and minority-owned businesses were at the forefront for city contracts
– wrote MBE/DBE Contracting Transparency ordinance
– supported Lending Equity Ordinance
Small Business Support/Growth
– supported the opening of dozens of new businesses across all parts of the ward including XS Tennis, The Plant Chicago, Soul City Kitchen, TeaPotBrew Bakery, Spoke and Bird, Truth Italian Kitchen, Gallery Guichard, Lakeside Bank, and countless more!
– supported changes to business licensing and permitting to make it easier/less expensive for small businesses to open, promote their business, and serve communities
Residential Economic Development
Others may talk about plans, Ald. Dowell brings results. For example, she’s brought new large multi-unit, multi-use developments that neighborhoods haven’t seen in generations – 43 Green, Park Boulevard, Legends South, and Southbridge. And she led the community process for the transformative large-scale developments at the 78 and ONE Central and created the Bronzeville Parade of Homes to turn vacant City lots into new single family homes for local residents.
This thoughtful planning led to Crain’s Chicago Business naming Bronzeville as the city’s “hottest new home market.”
Increasing Home Ownership
– guided the development of thousands of residential units in the booming South Loop while still maintaining neighborhood character
– when Bronzeville had dozens of vacant parcels, Ald. Dowell sold them to neighbors to expand their property and grow residents’ wealth
– supports increasing the number of black appraisers and ensuring appraisal formulas promote equality
– supported changes to Vacant Lot Ordinance
Restoring Bronzeville Plan
– won Burnham award for excellence in planning
– ended food desert
– restored historic buildings and landmarks
– used vacant City-owned land through the “Parade of Homes” project to create new market-rate single-family housing, breaking the ice on neighborhood development convincing developers to construct countless new residences
– redeveloped the long-vacant historic Rosenwald building, revitalizing an entire city block
As the Chair of the Budget Committee on Chicago’s City Council, Ald. Dowell has delivered for her constituents when it comes to securing funding that makes everyday life better. She’s supported a multi-billion capital bond program to upgrade Chicago’s aging road, water, bridge, and sewer infrastructure. She also led the appropriation of billions of dollars in federal infrastructure funding granted to Chicago through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
In the Third Ward, Ald. Dowell has funded over $13 million in infrastructure improvements through Aldermanic Menu.
Ald. Dowell knows how city money can be used to improve your community – and she’ll ensure your neighborhood gets its fair share.
– created 18th/Calumet Pedestrian Bike Bridge and 16th /Dearborn Pedestrian Path
– led community process for new 78 Red Line Station
– ensured new Saturday service for #39 bus
– improved 43rd Green Line Station
– ensured new Cermak Green Line Station
– shephered new 35th Street Metra station
– remodeled CTA Garfield Gateway Station
– coordinated St. Charles Air Line bridge reconstruction
– supported $292.6 million in sidewalk and pedestrian right of way improvements
– completed streetscape projects for 43rd, 47th, King Dr.,
Motor Row & Michigan Ave.
– voted for the creation of the City’s first flood protection and runoff reduction pilot study in the Chatham neighborhood
– supported Capitol Improvement Plan expansion, including $925 million for sewer replacement and $1.7 billion in Chicago’s water system
Every American ought to be paid enough to send their child off to a good future.
In Chicago, we changed the game by protecting workers with paid sick leave, raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, and ensuring city contracts included union workers – and that contractors of color were prioritized.
And that’s what Ald. Dowell will continue to do on City Council: setting the standards so that everyone can earn a good living and have a good life.
Ald. Dowell voted to:
– raise the minimum wage to $15/hour
– ensured paid sick leave
– establish the Office of Labor Standards
– get pension plans on Actuarial funding
– award City contracts to unions
– require employers to provide predictable work schedules and compensation for changes (Fair Workweek Ordinance)
– R2021-392 Mayor Call for Illinois General Assembly to place Workers’ Rights Amendment on the ballot on November 8, 2022 Illinois general election
Ald. Dowell sponsored:
– Wage Theft Ordinance
– Worker’s Rights Amendment
– Worker protections against retaliation from businesses for reporting violations of labor standards
– COVID-19 vaccination rights for workers and prohibition of retaliation by employers
– O2017-5553 – An amendment of Municipal Code Section 2-20-020 by updating licensing regulations for service providers at Chicago O’Hare and Midway International Airports, which tied licenses for airport contractors at O’Hare and Midway to a “labor peace agreement” that allowed thousands of workers to join unions (baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, aircraft maintenance workers and security guards). Contractors were prohibited from preventing those workers from “engaging in strikes, picketing, work stoppages, boycotts or other economic interference.”
– SO2021-2058 – an amendment the Certified Service Provider License Agreement adopted by the City Council on September 6, 2017, which raised airport contract employees hourly wages to $17 and to $18 a year later; future raises were tied to annual CPI increases.
Our constitution is clear: every citizen has the right to vote.
That freedom should not be taken away by the few, and it takes the many to protect.
History has shown us the consequences of disenfranchisement.
Ald. Dowell will continue to work with federal leaders to support the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
– uncovered misinformation campaign targeting Black voters in 2020
– trained hundreds of Deputy Registrars (who help remove barriers to voter registration)
– called on the Illinois Congressional delegation to support passage of Veterans and Visa Protection Act, which makes it easier for Servicemembers and Veterans to become citizens
– secured additional polling locations to ensure equitable access for all residents
– improved every public library in the 3rd ward (libraries provide crucial voter information and serve as polling locations)
– supported creation of Chicago City Key ID which can be used by U.S. citizens to register to vote
Today, as always, people move to make life better for themselves and their families.
Our immigration process must ensure we live up to our nation’s ideals of welcoming those who yearn to breathe free.
America’s supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, so let’s make it that way – starting right here in Chicago.
– supported ordinances and initiatives that prohibited City law enforcement from working with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials to deport immigrants, or taking immigration status into account when qualifying for certain City programs (like rental assistance)
– voted to reaffirm Chicago as a “Welcoming City”
– sponsored a resolution calling for the Secretary of U.S. Department of Homeland Security to extend Temporary Permanent Status for Haitians living in the United States in the aftermath of the horrific devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew
– supported a resolution calling for U.S. Congress to enact legislation to stop the separation of immigrant parents from their children at U.S. border
Housing is a basic human right.
Affordable housing allows families to not only survive, but thrive.
No one should have to worry about if they will have a roof over their head at night.
Some politicians have slashed programs that help struggling families make ends meet while giving a handout to the 1%. Bankrupting programs for the needy to bankroll billionaires is not what America stands for – and on City Council, Ald. Dowell will continue to fight for working families.
– led the first “Disruptive Design” competition to create new, low-cost affordable housing units that could be built anywhere in the city
– rewrote City’s affordable housing ordinance to increase the number of affordable units mandated to be built as part of larger developments and allowed for bigger family-sized affordable units
– voted for the Additional Dwelling Units ordinance allowing homeowners to build or maintain additional developments on their property
– supported an increase in funding for the Low-Income Housing Trust Fund, which is one of the City’s main funding sources for the creation and retention of affordable housing
– supports the Chicago Community Land Trust, which provides prospective homeowners subsidies to purchase a home with an annual property tax deduction in exchange for deed restriction guaranteeing the home remains affordable for future sales
Everyone has the right to be whatever and whomever they want to be.
Most of us have too much going on in our own lives to have time to worry about what other people have going on in theirs, but some politicians want to police the most basic things – like who uses public bathrooms or who loves whom.
Ald. Dowell believes LGBTQIA+ rights are human rights and love is love, full stop. On City Council, she will continue to lead efforts to ensure a more just and inclusive Illinois.
Ald. Dowell supported/voted for:
– As Chairman of the Committee on Human Relations, passed ordinances to allow for equal access to restrooms in Chicago regardless of gender identity, expanded self-identification of gender identity on city forms to include “nonbinary” and they/them
– added an advisory council on LGBTQ+ issues to the Commission on Human Relations
– developed a resolution for the Remembrance of 50th anniversary of Stonewall Riots and declared June 28, 2019 as a day of celebration for LGBTQIA community
It is imperative that we create safe and healthy communities. Everyone should have access to public green space, everyone should have clean water and clean air – and everyone means everyone, no exceptions.
Ald. Dowell isn’t just talking about improving green spaces, she’s leading by example: every year, she leads the 3rd ward’s clean and green day activities. And she ensured Chicago’s Blue Cart Recycling Program was created and expanded, brought the first microgrid in the country to the Third Ward, and included solar panels in residential economic development.
She’s placing clean air and clean water for all ahead of corporate profits for the few.
– created Hadiya Pendelton Park
– found a permanent home for Eden Place Nature Center
– opened first dog park in 3rd ward
– redeveloped Lin Park
– negotiated new community park as part of the creation of Wintrust Arena
– refurbished Metcalfe Park
– renovated Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens field house
– ensured Ellis Park received a new Arts & Recreation Center
– fostered the installation of the first ComEd electric vehicle charging stations in Chicago
– established the country’s first independent micro-grid with ComEd in Bronzeville
– supported a new program to waive permit fees for lead service line replacement in Chicago homes and provide free water meters
– helped create a program to assist low-income homeowners pay for lead service line replacement
– supported the creation of a program to perform over 600,000 drinking water tests to protect residents from lead or copper in their drinking water
– assisted hydroponic farm expansion
– brought first farmer’s market to ward
– supported the creation of numerous community gardens in the ward
From hosting mask and PPE giveaways to guiding millions of dollars to assist Chicago’s public health response, Ald. Dowell walked the walk when it comes to pandemic response. She created tangible ways for struggling businesses to stay afloat, ensured constituents had access to vaccines and tests, and helped individuals who couldn’t work with rent assistance.
We need experienced public servants who will always put people over corporate profits – and that’s Pat.
– hosted face mask/PPE giveaways
– held weekly food box giveaways
– sponsored multiple COVID vaccination and testing clinics
– as Budget Chair, guided millions of dollars to assist the City’s public health response
– supported rental/mortgage assistance programs
– supported appropriations for grant programs for Chicago businesses to weather pandemic-related disruptions
As a breast cancer survivor, Ald. Dowell knows first-hand the importance of preventative care and getting medical treatment quickly and affordably.
No one should have to choose between life saving health care and putting food on the table for family.
No one should go into debt to get well.
Whether it’s routine like strep throat or scary like cancer, illness reminds us that at our core, we’re all human. Everyone wants proven treatments without fearing we’ll go bankrupt to get them. Healthcare is a human right.
– hosted annual flu shot clinics
– sponsored ordinance to address city’s maternal health disparities
With the U.S. Supreme Court stripping our freedom to decide if, how, and when to grow our families, it’s more important than ever for our elected leaders to protect reproductive rights.
As a mother, Ald. Dowell knows the tough choices women make every day for their families. She believes healthcare decisions should be made between medical providers and their patients. And she believes in the right to privacy as codified in the Fourteenth Amendment. For all these reasons, she is proudly pro-choice.
Protecting Women's Health
– voted for SO2016-705 to exempt tampons and sanitary napkins from Chicago’s Home Rule Municipal Retailer’s Occupation Tax
– co-sponsored R2019-358 a call for the Illinois General Assembly to pass House Bill 2495 entitled “Illinois Reproductive Health Act”
– co-sponsored R2019-348 a call for the condemnation on legislative efforts to diminish women’s reproductive rights granted under Roe v. Wade
– oversaw grants for maternal and child health for both overall better health outcomes as well as to address health disparities in Chicago’s high-risk communities as part of the 2022 City of Chicago Budget
– supported resolutions calling on the Illinois General Assembly to exempt tampons and sanitary napkins from the state sales tax
Supporting Youth and Entrepreneurship
America is the land of opportunity for all, and embracing and supporting our youth and local entrepreneurs is one of the best ways to ensure everyone has a shot at the American Dream.
Supporting the dreams of an entrepreneur also means providing affordable and accessible childcare, because all parents should be able to have great local childcare options right in their community.
– created Bronzeville Salon Suites and Gallery Guichard along with private developers to give up and coming stylists and artists affordable live-work space
– welcomed innovative small business incubators to the community, including Momentum Coffee and Cowork, iCAN Collective – a collaborative space for Women of Color entrepreneurs, the Washington Park Arts Incubator, the Bronzeville Incubator, Hatch 41 Coworking, Mox.E Coworking, Chicago Maker Space, and Soul City Kitchens ghost kitchens to the 3rd Ward to support budding entrepreneurs
– recently helped launch the Chicago Recovery Plan Community Development Grant program which will offer grants to businesses in historically underserved neighborhoods
Making Childcare Affordable
– led efforts to add $12.5 million in childcare support assistance as part of the 2022 City of Chicago budget, which helped the City serve 8,312 children
– created a summer youth program with fellow Bronzeville Alderman Sophia King to provide local residents safe summer opportunities
– supported the creation of the One Summer Chicago program offers well over 20,000 youth a year employment opportunities
– led the reform of the Juvenile Detention Support Center (JISC) to create an alternate pathway for diverting youth away from a life of crime
– provides tens of thousands of backpacks and school supplies to local youth
Education allows children to pursue their dreams.
All children have rights, and not just those whose parents are wealthy and well-connected – which is why Ald. Dowell has ensured schools in the 3rd ward have what they need to succeed.
That includes everything from a solid roof over their head, to being safe while getting to school and at their desk, which is why Ald. Dowell has supported tens of millions of dollars for school infrastructure improvements and improved school safety by supporting the establishment of the Safe Passage Program.
– used Tax Increment Financing (TIF) surplus twice to fund schools
– ensured Phillips High School received a new gym
– directed funding for new roofs, repairs, and air conditioners for 3rd ward schools
– helped welcome a U of I Mile Square Health Clinic at Drake Elementary to serve the health care needs of students and surrounding families
– funded the creation of Jones athletic field
– established a new Beasley playground
Local School Development
– created Bronzeville Classical School
– opened new Elementary School building in the South Loop
– helped expand boundaries for Dyett High School
– supported resolution to stop school closings
– assisted the Bronzeville Scholastic Institute in getting authorized as
International Baccalaureate World School
– created the Bronzeville Community
Student Debt Reform
According to the Department of Education, over the last decade, the average debt per student rose more than 50%, even when the numbers are adjusted for inflation.
This is within our power to change – especially by holding private lenders accountable, ensuring higher education is affordable for all, and fostering an economy that allows everyone to pursue their dreams.
Making College Affordable
– supports the Star Scholarship program which allows for CPS graduates to attend City Colleges of Chicago schools for free
– is a member of the Aldermanic Black Caucus, which offers yearly college scholarships to Chicago students
There are too many guns on our streets. We must close loopholes in gun laws that allow purchases at gun shows and transportation of guns across state lines.
In Congress, Ald. Dowell will work to protect our neighborhoods by pushing the Department of Justice to prosecute illegal gun dealers and traffickers and work with the Department of Health and Human Services to provide more trauma-informed care programs.
Ald. Dowell will bring to DC the experience of working in a legislative body to build coalitions, to solve problems, and hold government agencies accountable to the people.
Stopping Gun Violence Before It Starts
– supported the establishment of the office of violence prevention
– led the appropriation of tens of millions of dollars in funding for mental health programs
– funded violence interrupter programs across the City
– supports the “Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act” sponsored by Sen. Duckworth and Rep. Rush, which would would prohibit unlicensed firearm-ownership and the transfer of firearms without a valid firearms license, as well as direct the U.S. Attorney General to establish and maintain a federal record of sale system and conduct fingerprint-based nationwide criminal background checks.
We need better laws and legislation at both the state and federal levels that protect our youth and all residents of Chicago and beyond.
Ald. Dowell supports increasing community policing, rebuilding the relationship between the police and the communities they serve by working better with community partners and local experts, and investing in street outreach.
With Ald. Dowell serving as Budget Chair, Chicago invested $85 million for violence reduction and safety initiatives, youth intervention programs, youth justice diversion, and victim support funding. Not since Mayor Harold Washington has there been this level of investment in these kinds of programs.
Those are the types of results she will bring to the federal level. Because none of us should be satisfied with the status quo – more must be done.
Supporting & Reforming Police
– ensured dozens of new police officers were hired in the ward
– relocated citywide bike patrol to McCormick Place
– supported Community Oversight Commission
– co-sponsored ordinance to allow police to close troubled businesses
– ensured ShotSpotter for districts that cover the 3rd ward
– introduced ordinances and supported hearings on dangerous motorcycles
– installed license plate readers in key areas
No matter our differences, most of us want pretty similar things: to get through the work day and enjoy time with family and friends.
But for some people, the most basic things – like having a roof over their head or putting dinner on the table – have turned into a daily struggle. Maybe their job was just outsourced to a robot, or they have to prioritize paying for prescription medicine over rent.
All of us need a secure, comfortable place to call home. Research shows that cash is the best thing you can do to improve health and education outcomes, and lift people out of poverty. By providing every citizen who needs it a flat monthly income, we’re giving people a fair shot at making life better for themselves and their families.
The Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot (Basic Income Program)
– passed as part of the 2022 City of Chicago Budget which Alderman Dowell oversaw as chairman of the Budget Committee, The Chicago Resillient Communities Pilot program provides monthly $500 checks to 5,000 low-income families for one year. To qualify for the program individuals must be Chicago residents, 18 years of age or older, experienced economic hardship due to COVID-19 and have a household income at or below 250% of the federal poverty level. This largest-of-its-kind in the nation program provides economic security to Chicago residents who have been either hardest hit by the pandemic and/or historically marginalized due to their race, socio-economic factors, or other demographic characteristics.