2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins
Putting 2nd Ward Residents First
Alderman Brian Hopkins has always been the go-to guy who effectively advocated for issues that improved the community. As a young college student, Brian worked for a public referendum campaign for more funding for Moraine Valley Community College – against the wishes of the then-mayor. On Election Day, he refused to be intimidated when opponents of the referendum tried to scare Brian away from his post as an authorized poll watcher. He was promptly arrested, but the charges were thrown out by a judge who declared that Brian was “arrested for exercising his constitutional rights.” It was the beginning a career characterized by public service, and a willingness to stand up for his beliefs and values.
In the twenty years since the bogus campaign charges were dropped, Hopkins has been true to his personal goal to improve his neighborhood, his city and our government.
After graduating as a Student Regent from the University of Illinois-Springfield (Sangamon State), Hopkins interned for the Illinois State Senate, and was assigned to the Appropriations Committee. This was the perfect training ground for someone who would help advise President Bill Clinton’s transition team on ways to address the national issue of homelessness, and led him to join Dawn Clark-Netsch’s campaign for Governor in 1994 where he served as the Downstate Campaign Manager. These life experiences in his 20’s led to Brian’s preparation for becoming the Alderman of Chicago’s 2nd Ward.
Hopkins 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 known theater company of homeless actors.
A life-long Chicagoan with generations of family here, Hopkins returned to Chicago, where he purchased his family home in McKinley Park – the home his grandparents first owned, and sold to his parents. He moved to Streeterville in 1999 in what is now the new 2nd Ward.
Since 1999, Hopkins was twice voted President of the respected community group, the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents (SOAR). He also served as Vice President, Treasurer. At the helm of SOAR, Hopkins solved complex issues from a community perspective. He also co-chaired the first-ever neighborhood music festival in SOAR’s history, StreeterFest.
Hopkins also served on the Lakeshore Planning Committee, a group of civil leaders advocating a bold plan to add more green space and public parkland to Chicago’s Lakefront. He fought to protect the community from health risks associated with environmental contamination at former industrial sites. He advocated for open space and parkland, and served on the committee to design the proposed DuSable Park, planned for a site near Navy Pier.
In conjunction with fighting to preserve open green space, Hopkins took an active role in transportation issues, serving on the Audit Committee for the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation (now the Active Transportation Alliance), and previously served on the Board of Working Bikes; an organization that recycles used and unwanted bikes.
Hopkins continues to live downtown in the Streeterville area with his wife, Colleen, and their son, Ryan. They can be found enjoying numerous dining, cultural, and entertainment options in the vibrant neighborhoods of the 2nd Ward, or cheering on their beloved Blackhawks as die-hard hockey fans.
Paid for by Friends of Tim Egan.
A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board's official website (www.elections.il.gov) or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois.