ALDERMAN BRIAN HOPKINS
Putting 2nd Ward Residents FIRST
Alderman Brian Hopkins finished first in a field of six highly-qualified candidates running for Alderman of the 2nd Ward and was sworn in on May 20, 2015.
After graduating as a Student Regent from Sangamon State University [now University of Illinois-Springfield], Brian's career in public service began with an internship with the Appropriations Committee in the Illinois State Senate.
He went on to be the Director for the Illinois Coalition to End Homelessness and led the successful campaign to pass the Illinois Homeless Voting Rights Act, the first of its kind in the nation. He also directed the Midwest tour of “Address Unknown” a nationally-recognized theater company of homeless actors. His work with the Illinois Coalition to End Homelessness afforded him an opportunity to advise President Bill Clinton’s transition team on addressing homelessness as a national issue.
In 1994, Brian joined Dawn Clark-Netsch's campaign for Governor, serving as Downstate Campaign Manager. While unsuccessful, Clark-Netsch's values and ethics made a lasting impact on his efforts that helped shape his philosophy towards governance through honesty and fairness.
Brian moved to Streeterville in 1999 and took a job working for Cook County in the Office of Finance Committee Chairman John P. Daley, where he worked his way to become Chief of Staff. The position afforded Brian the opportunity to learn the intricacies of complex government budget & finance procedures.
While serving the residents of Cook County, he sought to serve the residents of his neighborhood, Streeterville, and joined the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents (SOAR). In fact, by the end of the first meeting he attended, he was selected to serve as Treasurer of the organization and went on to serve as Vice President for one term, and as President for two terms. Under his leadership, Brian tackled and solved complex community and development issues and co-chaired the first-ever neighborhood music festival in SOAR’s history, StreeterFest.
Hopkins serves on the Lakeshore Planning Committee, which is an organization of civic leaders advocating a bold plan to add additional green space and public parkland to Chicago's Lakefront. He fought to protect the community from health risks associated with environmental contamination from former industrial facilities throughout Streeterville and has been a strong advocate for open space and parkland in the downtown area. He has also served on the committee that helped design DuSable Park, planned for a site near Navy Pier.
As a long-time cyclist, Brian has been active with alternative transit issues and served on the Audit Committee for the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation (now the Active Transportation Alliance). He currently serves as a Board Member with Working Bike, an organization whose mission is to provide bicycles to communities with underserved transportation issues in Chicago, and around the world.
Brian lives in Lincoln Park with his wife Colleen, and their son Ryan. They can be found at the playgrounds and parks, or enjoying the wide variety of dining, cultural, and entertainment options in the neighborhoods that make up Chicago's 2nd Ward. If it's hockey season, you're sure to find them cheering on the Blackhawks wherever they are.