Martin J. Oberman served as an alderman in Chicago's 43rd Ward from 1975-83. During his time as an elected official he created the Planning Manufacturing District concept, which was the first of its kind in the nation, to protect heavy industrial areas. From 1987 to 1988, he was chairman of the Shoreline Protection Commission, which produced a detailed report to rehabilitate Chicago's shoreline while ensuring environmental protection. In 2013, he served as a member of the Midway Advisory Panel, a committee established to oversee the potential privatization of Midway Airport. Also in 2013, Oberman was appointed to the Metra Board of Directors by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and from February 2014 to November 2016, he served as Chairman.
Oberman received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Yale University in 1966. He then attended the University of Wisconsin Law School, receiving his Juris Doctor in 1969. Since 1989, he has been in private practice handling complex litigation across a broad array of matters.
Oberman is married and the father of two adult children. He still lives in Lincoln Park, the Chicago community he represented in the City Council.