Darlena Burnett has been active in Chicago’s local government for over thirty years Burnett was elected State Central Committeewoman of the 7th Congressional District in 2002. In 2002 she was appointed Delegate to the Democratic National Committee and has represented. Her community at several National Conventions.
Burnett currently serves as the Senior Director for the Chicago Housing Authority and is responsible for
Facilities, Fleet and Commercial Lease oversight. Burnett directs a staff of fifteen employees. Burnett interacts with vendors and Not-for-Profit organizations, doing business with the agency, or seeking to establish a business relationship.
Prior to her role with CHA, Burnett served as Chief Deputy Recorder for the Cook County Recorder of Deeds Office. From 1998 to 2012 Burnett was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the nation’s second largest Recorder’s Offices, in the nation. While there she administered a $12 million budget, for an office that generated revenues, in excess of $75 million. She provided oversight for a staff of 300 plus employees, that included four satellite locations. Burnett’s tenure spearheaded several technology upgrades, including Cashiering, Accounting, Internet (website) Security and database advancements.
In her prior role as Cook County Commissioner of the first District, Burnett chaired several committees including Vice-Chair of the committee that oversaw construction for the new Cook County Hospital. She
Also served simultaneously as a Commissioner of the Cook County Forest Preserve District.
Burnett extensive background in State and County Government includes working as a Chief of Staff to an Illinois State Representative, Executive Assistant to Cook County Recorder, Administrative Assistant to County Commissioner, and Director of Public Relations for a city alderman. In these roles, Burnett was responsible for constituent services, union contract negotiations, labor relations, human resources, as well as serving as liaison for city, county and state agencies.
As an employee of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Burnett was appointed Union Contract Negotiator. Later she was elected, by co-workers as a union steward- a role that took her to Washington D.C. where she lobbied members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation.
As a volunteer, Burnett served as Treasurer for Friends of Jesse White and Deputy Campaign Manager during his first run for Secretary of State. (1999). Burnett was appointed Treasurer for First Baptist Congregational Church- a Historic Landmark. She served on the Advisory Board for Deborah’s Place, Union Park and as a member of the 13th District Domestic Violence Sub Committee, she was honored.
Burnett also served five years on the board of Aids Care. She currently serves on the Board for Partners in Community Building & recently joined the Board of Hockey on your Block.
Burnett, a former teenage mom, and single head of household earned a Masters of Art Degree in Psychology from National Louis University, (2004) and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications from Illinois State University (1985). She graduated from John Marshall High School with honors.
Burnett is the spouse of Alderman Walter Burnett Jr. They have two sons, Jawaharial “Omar” & Walter Redmond. Proud grandmother of three. They reside on Chicago’s west sides.