Walter Burnett, Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois; his family lived in the Cabrini Green Housing Complex. His father was the local precinct captain, often took Walter with him to work the precinct. Planting the seeds that would ultimately sprout a successful political career.
Burnett first ran for Alderman of the 27th Ward in 1995. When Burnett won the 27th Ward aldermanic race in 1995, he was 31 years old. Burnett is currently serving his fourth term.
Burnett works creatively to support the young people of our city. He has been an assistant coach of the Jesse White Tumblers for 10+ years. In this position, he serves as a positive role model for the young boys and girls who live in and around the Cabrini Green Housing Complex.
Burnett attended both Harold Washington College and the University of Illinois at Chicago before earning an Associate Degree and a Certificate in Mechanical Drafting from Southeastern Illinois University. He went on to earn his Bachelor Degree while he was a full time alderman in 1998 from Northeastern Illinois University. He is also a financial advisor and completed the Series 6 and 63. He has obtained a license in Life and Health Insurance.
Burnett is presently serving his fourth term as alderman of the 27th ward. He is the Chairman of Special Events and Cultural Affairs and a sitting member of seven committees: Budget and Government Operations, Buildings, Committees, Rules and Ethics, Education, Finance, Health, Police and Fire, and the Zoning Reform Board.
Burnett also serves on the Board of the following organizations: The United Center Economic Development Board, Leslie’s Place, Harold Washington Advisory Board, CHA Alumni Association, St. Leonard’s Ministries Advisory Board, Family Guidance Centers, Inc. Advisory Board, Deborah’s Place, Haymarket Center Advisory Board, the YMCA Youth and Government Advisory Board, and The Inner Voice, Inc. Burnett is also a member of St. John Masonic Lodge, Shriners, and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, and a former member of the Elks and Near North Kiwanis.
Burnett is a strong advocate for affordable housing in the City of Chicago and all developments within his ward are required to have an affordable component to the project. Burnett has developed a strong reputable as an advocate for affordable housing and continues to be a leader on this issue, the Mayor most recently appointed him to the Zoning Reform Board because of the success with affordable housing projects in his ward.
Alderman Walter Burnett is an ordained Deacon at First Baptist Congregational Church and has served as a Trustee.
Walter is married to Darlena Williams-Burnett. Darlena Williams-Burnett, the alderman’s wife is also in government. She is the Chief Deputy Recorder of Deeds for Cook County and the State Central Committeewoman of the 7th Congressional District. They have two sons, Walter Redmond and Jawaharial “Omar” Williams. Jawaharial “Omar” Williams is currently President of the Young Democrats of Illinois.