Patrick Shine is Running for Alderman in the 44th Ward

Kyle Palmer
11 min readDec 16, 2018
Patrick Shine, Candidate for 44th Ward Alderman

Alderman may be a foreign concept to those moving to Chicago for the first time. This was not the case for Patrick Shine. Before moving to Chicago, he studied the 44th Ward while at the University of Central Florida. Specifically, he studied the 44th Ward’s former Alderman Dick Simpson who served two terms in the ’70s. Terms he wrote about explicitly in his book The Good Fight: Life Lessons from a Chicago Progressive. As Shine tells it, Simpson was, “One of the most incredible people that ever hit the City Council in Chicago.” Currently, Dick Simpson is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago

The knock on effect of Patrick’s research? To follow in Simpson’s footsteps in an attempt to recreate his vision to “turn the 44th ward into a pure democracy.” Shine uses examples such as the 44th Ward Assembly and his own iteration of a website for the 44th Ward. He promises to deliver this website, which sounds equal parts Reddit, Facebook, and Fantasy Democracy League for armchair politicians, 30-days after becoming Alderman. The primary goal of the website? Representation. Shine believes his website will help him communicate effectively with the residents of the 44th Ward. “They can vote, they can comment, they can do whatever they need to do so that we can keep that conversation going so I know what they’re thinking and that I don’t just guess and make my own determinations. We’ll have multiple town hall meetings a month. My job is to represent them.”

But the road to Shine’s Aldermanic candidacy didn’t just start in Florida. It started where more than a few political careers start: the bar. Shine’s origin story is not just limited to the exam to become a lawyer, which he passed. Rather, while waiting for the results of the exam, Shine took a part-time job as a bar supervisor at the tavern now known as Gallagher Way near Cubs Stadium. Shine, “Got to meet so many people in our neighborhood because it was a meeting place…listening to their gripes and concerns about the neighborhood and what they have not been talked to about with the government. And because I was an attorney, they felt that I was a venting ground for them,” while managing the bar. It was around this time that Shine began going to local meetings concerning the 44th Ward. To Shine’s surprise, “[Incumbent Tom] Tunney…