Occupation: Alderman, 14th Ward
Occasionally singed by scandal but never burned, this City Hall lifer has stayed relevant through 43 years and seven mayors. His influence runs wide and deep: ruling the City Council’s finance committee like a feudal lord, chairing the Democratic panel that slates judicial candidates, knowing Robert’s Rules of Order better than anyone alive. Burke even joined the council’s Latino caucus; after all, the man who redrew Chicago’s ward map gets that his is 88 percent Hispanic.
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