Bernie Hansen

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Bernie Hansen (born November 26, 1944) was a longtime Chicago alderman, serving on the Chicago Board of Aldermen from 1983 to 2002, when he retired as alderman of the 44th Ward citing health reasons. He is a Democrat.

Hansen was appointed to the Council when the incumbent alderman unexpectedly resigned. In 1987 he defeated Dr. Ron Sable, a liberal gay activist, by a 52% to 47% margin in the race for 44th Ward alderman. It was a hard-fought campaign in the city's 44th Ward, which at the time was the heart of the city's gay community. Sable ran against Hansen again in 1991, but Hansen prevailed again, 65% to 35%.

From 1994 to 2000, he served as one of four U.S. commissioners to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, a presidential appointment to a bilateral treaty organization with Canada responsible for fisheries management research and recommendations and for sea lamprey control for the Great Lakes fisheries. For part of that time, he chaired the commission.

He sponsored or co-sponsored several human rights ordinance, including the Human Rights Ordinance expanding protection against discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations, and credit to gay males, lesbians, and persons with disabilities, an ordinance to assist victims of hate crimes, and a 1997 ordinance Hansen introduced to extend health-care benefits to the domestic partners of gay and lesbian city employees. Thomas M.......
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