Alderman Gilbert Villegas is in his second term as Alderman of Chicago’s 36th Ward, a community of ethnically diverse neighborhoods on Chicago’s Northwest Side. In addition to serving residents of the 36th Ward, Ald. Villegas holds a leadership position in City government as the Chairman of the Committee on Economic, Capital, and Technology Development.
Alderman Villegas has been named to three national boards: the Democratic Municipal Officials (DMO), the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), the National League of Cities (NLC), and serves as the Vice Chair of the National League of Cities 2021 Large Cities Council.
His policy priorities include a focus on economic and workforce development, with a special emphasis on expanding business and employment opportunities in public projects for minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses. Other priorities include more equitable provision of city services for underserved communities, easing the tax burden on low-and middle-income families through progressive tax policy and by operating government more efficiently, while strengthening democracy in Chicago with greater government accountability and transparency, and greater public participation in policymaking.
Ask the Alderman what drives his commitment to public service, and he’ll likely say it’s the ability to correct injustices large and small.
“What motivates me to act – whether it’s using my platform to speak out on an issue or change policy – is when people, organizations, or systems try to prevent others from pursuing opportunities, shut them out, or take advantage of them.”
Immediately prior to his election to the City Council, Alderman Villegas was Chief of Staff at the Illinois Capital Development Board, the state government’s construction management agency. He oversaw a staff of 140, a $25 million operating budget, and a $3.9 million capital construction program. His state government service also included serving as Deputy Director of the Office of Business and Workforce Diversity at the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Alderman Villegas’s experience in infrastructure development also includes serving as Associate Director of the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA). He oversaw government affairs for HACIA, leading efforts to pass legislation expanding opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses to participate in state-funded projects.
Alderman Villegas is a recognized leader in Chicago’s Latino community, serving as Chairman of the Chicago Latino Caucus Foundation and founding member of the Illinois Latino Leadership Council, a group of civic, business, and elected leaders working to increase Latino influence in the public and private sectors. A former U.S. Marine who served during the Gulf War in 1990-1991. Ald. Villegas created the first municipal Veteran Caucus in the United States during his first term.After being honorably discharged, he attended Northeastern Illinois University where he studied Political Science. He is the proud father of two sons, Gilbert and Aiden. Alderman Villegas currently resides in the Dunning Neighborhood with his fiancé Melissa and their Mini Goldendoodle Valentino.