Our Opinion

With her election on April 6 as mayor of Evergreen Park, Kelly Burke has again demonstrated her devotion to public service.

No matter the title—mayor, state representative, mom, friend—she is a great example of a leader, from her grasp of the issues facing her constituents to the years of service she’s provided.

Burke, a Democrat, has served in the Illinois House as representative of the 36th District since 2011. The 36th District includes portions of Beverly and Mt. Greenwood, as well as Evergreen Park and Oak Lawn.

This year, Burke already has her name on 47 bills, and of 19 bills, she is the primary sponsor. She also chairs five of the nine House committees on which she currently serves.

Burke will be the first woman mayor of Evergreen Park, and she was endorsed by outgoing Mayor Jim Sexton at the top of the United Homeowners/Good Government ticket.

She will continue to serve in the legislature. However, Burke does not take a pension from the state and said she won’t take one as mayor as well. On days the House is in session, she will not be paid for her role as mayor.

She sees the dual positions as an asset to the communities she serves, and she’s right.

Burke earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and her law degree from John Marshall, and she served on the Evergreen Library Board of Trustees for eight years, six as board president. As a member of the board’s budget committee, Burke helped craft recent budgets that are balanced and prioritize the health and safety of Evergreen Park residents.

Her knowledge of the community is extensive.

“The relationships I have fostered with our business community through my years of membership in the Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce,” she said to the Daily Southtown, “provide me with a good grasp of the needs and issues for local business owners.”

Burke attended a Black Lives Matter march organized by local students in June of last year. She said it was peaceful, and she sympathized with attendees.

“Like so many people, I was saddened and angered by the murder of George Floyd,” she said, “and understand the need of many people, especially young people in our village, to speak out and protest.”

Evergreen Park residents—and those living in the 19th Ward and the 36th District—are fortunate to have Burke on the job.