Chicago alderman Walter Burnett (27th) raised eyebrows this week after comparing his job to that of a priest's. Burnett made the comments to students in city council chambers during a talk with the youths.
“Sometimes, it’s hard. People may be mad because
they’ve been trying to get something done and they couldn’t do it and
they’ve been calling the wrong places and when they get you on the
phone, they’re taking it all out on you. You don’t even know what
they’re talking about and they’re just beating you up,” said Burnett according to the Sun-Times. “You can’t just have a natural response and go back
off on ‘em. You have to be patient and let ‘em vent, then try to deal
with the issue and see what the real problem is and try to resolve it.
You almost have to be a priest to be in public service.”
Burnett went on to tell the students that constituents oftentimes reach out to aldermen on issues that they could handle themselves, warning the students that they must have "a lot of tolerance and a lot of patience" if they choose to pursue a career in politics and hope to be successful in doing so.