Anthony Beale began representing Chicago’s 9th Ward as alderman in 1999 and Democratic ward committeeman in 2000. He continues to serve his constituents with the same passion and eye for creative solutions as when his first election made him the youngest member of the City Council as well as of its Finance and Budget Committees. Formerly chair of Police & Fire and Landmarks, he currently chairs Transportation & Public Way.
A life-long resident of the ward and 2nd Congressional District, Beale remembers industrial powerhouses and neighborhoods vibrant with local businesses, positive options for young people, and one of the highest home ownership rates in the city. The now historic Pullman buildings stood as a testament to what diverse people could accomplish with planning, hard work, bold ideas and the willingness to listen to each other. Decades later, a high number of liquor stores had sprung up, stifling business and promoting violence. The former Allstate Insurance IT technician joined religious leaders in shutting down the stores, a victory that inspired him to seek further change through public office.
While sitting on the Finance Committee, Beale learned how to leverage information to bring resources to the 9th Ward. He created two TIF districts and was the first alderman on the South Side to implement two Special Service Areas at the same time to enhance business corridors. His ability to identify a mix of resources has facilitated several achievements in economic revitalization, education, housing, public safety and transportation, including:
- Development of the 170-acre mixed-use Pullman Park, anchored by Walmart, on the old Ryerson Steel site at the Bishop Ford Expressway.
- Creation or retention of several hundred jobs through TIF, SSA, construction related to new projects and helping make it viable for long-time employers like Sherwin-Williams, Keebler, Comcast, NACME Steel Processing, and Dutch Farms to stay or expand.
- Advocacy for police reallocation as a proven approach to curtailing crime and gang violence.
- Such benefits targeting young people as the $32 million upgrade to Gwendolyn Brooks Preparatory Academy high school, ranked 6th in the city in student achievement; completion of the South Side’s first water park; and four state-of-the-art baseball fields, home to some 400 Little Leaguers 4-16 years old.
- Agreements with both public and private employers to hire residents for local projects – which, for phase 1 of Pullman Park construction, means at least 40 percent of the associated jobs going to African Americans.
The 9th Ward shares borders with municipalities similarly affected by the loss of manufacturing, often struggling with how to balance environmental issues with economic needs. Thus, like the majority of south suburbanites, Beale strongly supports continuing to make progress toward a South Suburban Airport as an economic engine for good paying jobs and development—not just for the area but to re-establish the Illinois region as an aviation leader. Beyond that, he counts on his ability to bring private, public, labor and community interests to the table to hash out priorities in each of the municipalities that make up the 2nd Congressional District.
Beale and wife Dana have three children. He is a long-time member or supporter of Rosemoor Community Association, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, the NAACP, Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy and Salem Baptist Church. He volunteers his time as a baseball coach of Roseland Little League and Gwendolyn Brooks.