Ald. Nicole Lee excited to represent Asian American community in Chicago City Council

History was made in Chicago when the first two Asian American women were elected to the City Council.

The newly elected alderwoman of the 11th Ward is eager to represent her diverse ward. 

Ald. Nicole Lee explored one of the ward’s treasures, the Heritage Museum of Asian Art. It is in the heart of Bridgeport, 3500 S. Morgan St. The museum features Asian antiquities dating back 5,000 years.

Lee is the first Chinese American in City Council and first female ever to represent the ward. She is a second generation Chicagoan.

"Just like my father, born in Chinatown and stayed in Chinatown," Lee said.


Lee is a mother of two, a former United Airlines executive and attended Whitney Young Magnet High School.

She is as homegrown as the five Chicago mayors who came from the 11th Ward, which includes Armour Square, Bridgeport, and the home of the White Sox. 

She wants to improve public safety and bring in a new high school. 

"I look at the opportunity that I have to inspire young people to frankly just care a little more about what's going on in their community," Lee said.

Lee was appointed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot a year ago, won a runoff election, and starts a four-year term with more seniority than many of her City Council colleagues.

She opened the door for residents who historically did not trust government, 

"The community really made that possible. All of this, my name was on the ballot but it was an incredible win for the broader Asian-American community citywide not just here in the 11th Ward," Lee said.

The Lee name made history as the political voice for Chicago’s first Asian-American majority ward.