Pat Dowell (#VoteHerIn, Episode 68)
Why appoint, as well as elect, women to executive political office? Chicago Alderman (since first elected in 2007), Pat Dowell, a lifelong and distinguished public servant, has the answers for us. For instance, Pat has been a senior city planner and the head of several not-for-profits, as well as a social worker and university instructor. Now running in the Illinois Democratic Party primary for Illinois Secretary of State, a state-wide executive office never held by a woman, she is presently the Chair of the Chicago City Council Budget Committee, overseeing billions of dollars in municipal expenditures. As an economic development expert, Pat was a significant catalyst for the rebirth of the historic Bronzeville community on Chicago’s South Side, beginning in the 1990s. Previously, Pat was the executive director of Chicago’s Near West Side Community Development Corporation, the Mid-South Planning and Development Commission, and Public Allies, a national youth development organization, founded in Chicago by First Lady Michelle Obama (of which #VoteHerIn host, Rebecca Sive, was a founding board member). While a college basketball star, Pat earned her B.A. in developmental psychology from The University of Rochester. She then earned her M.A. in social service administration from the University of Chicago.