Meet Matt Martin
Matt is a lifelong progressive. Before being elected to City Council, he served as a civil rights lawyer in the Illinois Attorney General's Office, where he focused on issues including police reform, workers' rights, healthcare, LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights, and immigration. Through his work, he helped draft the consent decree to hold the city accountable in reforming our police department, and worked on the front lines fighting back against Trump’s disatrous immigration policies.
Matt also served on the local school council at McPherson Elementary, which his son Isaac attends, co-founded the Heart of Lincoln Square Neighbors Association, and served on Alderman Pawar’s Zoning Advisory Council. He lives in Lincoln Square with his wife Katelyn, their four-year-old son Isaac, and their newborn daughter Ameena.
While Chicago is now his home, Matt grew up in Tucson, Arizona, raised by a single mother. His father, an immigrant, came to the United States from West Africa to get a quality education. He met Matt’s mother while studying at the University of Arizona, and returned to Niger following graduation to build a better future for his fellow citizens. While Matt and his mother had hoped to follow him, they ultimately stayed in Arizona.
Matt and his mother didn’t have a lot when he was growing up, and she sometimes worked two jobs to make sure Matt never worried about having a place to sleep or having to skip a meal. Matt found a job down the street scooping ice cream, and he used the money he earned to buy a saxophone. He used that saxophone to get a scholarship to Northwestern University, where he studied music and political science. He later attended Harvard, where he earned his law degree.
Matt’s life experiences drive him every day. There are too many people in our city who work hard and still struggle. He ran for alderman because everyone deserves a life of dignity and respect, and is grateful for the opportunity to be working for the poeple of Chicago and the 47th Ward making sure that happens.
As Alderman, Matt talks to people every day who share this simple but bold vision. We can take on big challenges like affordable housing, fully funding our schools, and reforming our police department. Matt's proud to serve as an independent, progressive leader standing together with neighbors to fight for all of our interests, not just the wealthy and well-connected.