I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone an insightful and enriching Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. Chicago has a long history as the home to countless Asian American and Pacific Islander residents, and I strongly believe in the importance of expanding education and cultural understanding between all of Chicago’s diverse communities.

I myself have been trying to better immerse myself in the many rich and varied Asian American cultures. For example, last November I was proud to host the first Diwali celebration in City Hall to honor this traditional Indian holiday, complete with the ceremonial lighting of candles and festive conversation with members of the Chicago Indian community, including the Honorable Amit Kumar, Consul General of India.

City Council has also recently welcomed its first-ever Chinese-American Alderman, and first Asian-American woman, with the appointment of Nicole Lee as the new Alderman of the neighboring 11th Ward, which includes to Chicago’s world-famous Chinatown.

The 3rd Ward itself is home to many important Asian American institutions and honorarium as well, like Soka Gakkai International (SGI) at 1455 S. Wabash Ave. SGI is a community center and educational space for practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism, a branch of Mahayana Buddhism rooted in Japanese Buddhist teachings. Lin Park at 1735 S. State St. was named in honor of Margaret Hie Ding Lin, one of Chicago’s first Chinese physicians, who played an active role in providing medical services to the residents of Chinatown. And the South Asian Institute at 1925 S. Michigan Ave. is a non-for-profit organization that cultivates the arts and culture of South Asia and its diaspora through a beautiful gallery and educational center.

And of course numerous Asian American and Pacific Islander residents call the 3rd Ward home.

Today’s fractured and divided society needs more understanding and tolerance. Simply meeting and talking with someone from another culture or demographic background can be a life-changing experience and completely dispel some of the more unfortunate and untruthful perceptions spread by intolerant individuals. So this Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, join me in reaching out to the AAPI community right here at home and together let’s promote a Chicago of love and inclusion. 

As always, the 3rd Ward Public Service Office staff and I are available to assist you by phone 773-373-9273 or via email at Thank you for reading this newsletter. Please share it with a neighbor or friend.


Pat Dowell
Alderman, 3rd Ward