Walter Burnett, Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois and his family lived in the former Cabrini Green Housing Complex. His father was the local precinct captain in the area and often took Walter with him to work the precinct; planting the seeds that would ultimately sprout into a successful political career.
Burnett first ran for office in 1995 and he is presently serving his sixth term as Alderman of the 27th Ward. As Alderman, his objective to serving constituents and representing a diverse community has been about balance. He has an outstanding reputation of treating everyone fair.
Burnett, after earning a Certificate in Mechanical Drafting, a Certificate in Tool and Die Design, and an Associate Degree from Southeastern Illinois College, he attended both Harold Washington College and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He went on to earn his Bachelor Degree from Northeastern Illinois University.
Burnett is the Chairman of Pedestrian and Traffic Safety and a sitting member of eight committees; Budget and Government Operations; Rules and Ethics; Education and Child Development; Finance; Health and Environmental Protection; Public Safety; Special Events, Cultural Affairs & Recreation; and the Zoning Committee.
Burnett was appointed Committeeman of the 27th Ward Organization by his mentor, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, (and former Committeeman of the 27th Ward) on July 6, 2013.
Burnett also serves on the Board of the following organizations: John Howard Association of IL., Neighbor Space, Financial Straight Talk, Choose Chicago, Northwestern University Settlement House Board, Harold Washington advisory board, CHA Alumni Association, St. Leonard’s Ministries advisory board, Family Guidance Center board, Haymarket Center advisory board, the YMCA Youth and Government advisory board, and the Ferrer Foundation. 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. He has developed a strong reputation as an advocate for affordable housing and continues to be a leader on this issue.
Burnett is a member of First Baptist Congregational Church, where he serves as a Deacon; he is married to Darlena Williams-Burnett. They have two sons; Jawaharial “Omar” Williams and Walter Redmond, and three grandchildren.