WBEZ | Ed Burke http://www.wbez.org/tags/ed-burke Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago aldermen agree to water down tough gun law http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-aldermen-agree-water-down-tough-gun-law-108636 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS3683_Chicago City Hall_Flickr_Mason.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A Chicago City Council committee Monday passed changes to the city&rsquo;s handgun laws to make way for concealed carry in Illinois.</p><p>There wasn&rsquo;t much debating the pages of changes to the long-standing, strict gun laws -- just a bit of grumbling from some members of the Public Safety Committee over giving up some legislative powers to Springfield.</p><p>State lawmakers passed a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-lawmakers-override-quinn-enact-concealed-carry-law-107994">concealed carry law this summer</a>, making Illinois the last state in the nation to allow public possession of concealed guns. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn attempted an amendatory veto of the bill, adding provisions that kept guns out of businesses that serve alcohol, and that required places that allowed guns to post signs saying so, among others. Both chambers voted in July to override his changes.</p><p>If the revised gun laws pass the full city council, licensed owners won&rsquo;t have to register their guns with the city anymore, and they won&rsquo;t be required to obtain city permits. Aldermen also signed off on additional penalties for anyone who violates gun laws within 100 feet of any Chicago Transit Authority bus stop or train station.</p><p>National Rifle Association lobbyist Todd Vandermyde said he&rsquo;s pleased with the changes, for the most part.</p><p>&ldquo;What they did was - Mayor Daley&rsquo;s pinnacle handgun ordinance after the loss of the McDonald decision is now for all intents and purposes gutted,&rdquo; Vandermyde said. &ldquo;And I think that&rsquo;s a great day for gun owners in the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois.</p><p>In 2010, Mayor Richard M Daley pushed strict gun restrictions through the City Council, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the city&rsquo;s ban on handgun ownership through <a href="http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/mcdonald-v-city-of-chicago/">McDonald v City of Chicago.</a></p><p>Vandermyde said he has a few hangups with the law. For example, the revised city ordinance would still require households with minors to lock up their guns, with a trigger lock or otherwise. Vandermyde said decisions on appropriate gun-safety measures should be left up to family members.</p><p>The city council has picked up a number of concealed carry-related issues since returning from their summer break. The Finance Committee Friday passed a measure sponsored by Ald. Ed Burke (14) that would ban guns in businesses that serve alcohol. The NRA says the measure could bring on some legal challenges. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has thrown his support behind the proposal, and his office says they&rsquo;d support aldermen with any &ldquo;legal or implementation issues&rdquo; that arise.</p><p>The City Council is expected to vote on both measures Wednesday.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is a WBEZ producer/reporter. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 09 Sep 2013 15:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-aldermen-agree-water-down-tough-gun-law-108636 Analysis: Rubber Stamp? City Council's unanimous vote for Emanuel's budget http://www.wbez.org/story/analysis-rubber-stamp-city-councils-unanimous-vote-emanuels-budget-94118 <p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel passed his first big test before the city council on Wednesday. Aldermen signed off on his budget in a unanimous vote, while heaping praise on Emanuel for his plan to close a $636 million deficit.</p><p>WBEZ's Melba Lara talked with reporter Sam Hudzik about the budget and its easy passage.</p></p> Wed, 16 Nov 2011 23:09:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/analysis-rubber-stamp-city-councils-unanimous-vote-emanuels-budget-94118 Strong hint that Chicago cab fares will rise http://www.wbez.org/story/strong-hint-chicago-cab-fares-will-rise-93415 <p><p>The Emanuel administration is looking seriously at changing the rates for taxi cab rides in Chicago.</p><p>Cab drivers in Chicago have long argued for a raise, and Rosemary Krimbel is giving them reason to be optimistic. Krimbel is commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Services, which oversees taxicabs.</p><p>She said she has a team looking at the economics of the taxi industry, which she described as "out of whack." At a city council budget hearing on Monday morning, Kimbrel told Ald. Ed Burke that review is looking at the different rates calculated by meters.</p><p>"They click faster when you're moving then when you're standing, which means it's much more academically profitable for a cab driver to go like this and change lanes constantly, rather than sit there at the light or wait for the light," Krimbel said.</p><p>"I just thought it was in their DNA that they had to drive like that," Burke said, as Krimbel laughed.</p><p>Krimbel said Chicago's cab fares are 4th lowest among major cities even when an existing gas surcharge is included, hinting strongly the administration was moving toward changes that'd mean more money for cab drivers. She said no decisions have been made.</p><p>Burke has proposed an additional dollar surcharge, but it wouldn't go to the drivers. It'd go to the city.</p><p>Krimbel said she hopes her department's review is finished by the end of the year or early 2012.</p></p> Mon, 24 Oct 2011 18:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/strong-hint-chicago-cab-fares-will-rise-93415 Emanuel quizzed via Facebook, but not pressed http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-quizzed-facebook-not-pressed-88599 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-30/screen.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" src="file:///C:/Users/shudzik/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot.png">Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel held no press conference Thursday, even as the clock runs out on a deal with city labor unions. But he did answer questions - including about budget problems - during a live interview on Facebook.</p><p>Questions were submitted online, and covered a lot of topics reporters have also been asking Emanuel about: such as his standoff with union leaders over work rules and threatened layoffs.</p><p>"We don't have to do this," Emanuel said. "We can balance the budget, and keep those 625 people employed."</p><p>Emanuel was also asked again whether four police officers should be kept on Ald. Ed Burke's security detail, and he did not give a direct answer.</p><p>"That's an issue. And I have the police superintendent, counsel's office looking at it," Emaniel said."</p><p>The <a href="http://www.facebook.com/ChicagoMayorsOffice?sk=app_142371818162">Facebook interview</a> was Emanuel's only scheduled appearance Thursday. It was moderated by a pair of radio hosts who sometimes responded "great" and "well said" after Emanuel's answers, and didn't press him for specifics.</p></p> Thu, 30 Jun 2011 21:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-quizzed-facebook-not-pressed-88599 Chicago Democrats clash over Illinois House seat http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-democrats-clash-over-illinois-house-seat-87408 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-03/MendozaCityHallcrop.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A top Chicago official is criticizing the way her party is filling her former Illinois House seat.<br> <br> Susana Mendoza resigned as District 1 representative last month to become city clerk. To replace her, the district’s Democratic ward committeemen chose Chicago police Sgt. Dena Carli.<br> <br> Party insiders say the plan is for Carli to exit the seat this summer, once a long-term replacement establishes residency in the district, which spans parts of several Southwest Side neighborhoods, including Little Village, Brighton Park and Gage Park.<br> <br> The sources say Carli’s replacement will be Silvana Tabares, a former editor of the bilingual weekly newspaper Extra. Tabares graduated last year from the leadership academy of the United Neighborhood Organization, a clout-heavy Latino group.<br> <br> UNO chief Juan Rangel says he doesn’t know anything about the plan but praises Tabares. “She would be, by far, the best candidate to fill the seat,” Rangel says.<br> <br> Mendoza doesn’t think so. She pushed for her replacement to be Evelyn Rodríguez, an aide to U.S. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, D-Illinois.<br> <br> “Neither Carli nor Tabares is qualified,” Mendoza says. “The citizens and the residents of the First District were completely shortchanged in this process.”<br> <br> The Illinois constitution requires state lawmakers to live in their district for two years before their election or appointment.<br> <br> Tabares, listed at 4335 S. Spaulding Ave., says she’s lived in the district for “about two years” but claims she can’t remember the month she moved in.<br> <br> Tabares says she’s eager to serve in the seat but says she knows nothing about the plan for her to take it. She referred WBEZ questions about the plan to two of the committeemen: Chicago Ald. Ed Burke, Ward 14, and State Sen. Tony Muñoz, District 1.<br> <br> Burke and Muñoz didn’t return the station’s calls about the seat. Neither did Carli.</p></p> Fri, 03 Jun 2011 21:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-democrats-clash-over-illinois-house-seat-87408 Without debate, Emanuel's aldermanic leaders get the nod http://www.wbez.org/story/without-debate-emanuels-aldermanic-leaders-get-nod-86733 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/AP11020317600.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>There was some pomp but little substance as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel presided over his first city council meeting Wednesday.</p><p>Around 10 a.m., Rahm Emanuel took his place at the podium and called the meeting to order. Unlike Mayor Richard M. Daley, Emanuel stood through the entire meeting, listening as aldermen give speeches.</p><p>The council, which includes 13 new aldermen, gave him a gavel as a gift, and - without debate - approved Emanuel's picks to lead committees. Most key panels will be chaired by aldermen who were also leaders during the Daley years.</p><p>"It's not who sits on what committee [that matters]," Emanuel said in defense of his proposal. "It's what we do."</p><p>Emanuel's council reorganization plan reduced the number of committees from 19 down to 16. He recommended one of his early supporters, 40th Ward Ald. Pat O'Connor, to chair a new committee with oversight of some hot button issues: including pensions and labor contracts.</p><p>"I think everybody kind of got over the nervousness," O'Connor said of the new mayor's first council meeting. "And as we get deeper into the issues, they'll be a little bit more tense days, but this was a good day."</p><p>Those tense days will include debate on the new mayor's attempts to close a 2012 budget deficit estimated at more than a half-billion dollars. Emanuel said Wednesday he is looking to union leaders for help balancing the books.</p><p>"Now, I would like to deal with it and my starting point will be one of cooperation to bring the changes necessary," Emanuel told reporters after the meeting. "But we will get it done."</p><p>Emanuel also must address dozens of promises that he made on the campaign and during his transition - many of which will not be free. He wants to hire new police officers, extend Chicago's school day and add miles of bike lanes around the city.</p><p>Also Wednesday, the council passed a rule barring any former alderman convicted of a felony - and there are quite a few of them - from hanging out on the council floor.</p><p>"I think we all recognize that there's something unseemly about having a former member who was convicted of a crime being permitted within the bar of the chamber, as is the tradition in our rules," explained 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke.</p></p> Wed, 18 May 2011 21:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/without-debate-emanuels-aldermanic-leaders-get-nod-86733 How long will Emanuel's City Council honeymoon last? http://www.wbez.org/story/how-long-will-emanuels-city-council-honeymoon-last-86538 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-16/Chicago City Hall_Flickr_Mason.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>On Monday, Rahm Emanuel - Chicago's next mayor - will be sworn-in.&nbsp;So will the 50 members of the city council. It's the official first date in a relationship that's bound to be tested, especially as the city deals with major budget problems.</p><p>Retiring Mayor Richard Daley hated when reporters referred to the city council as a "rubber stamp" for his proposals.</p><p>"None of them are a rubber stamp, regardless of what you say," Daley said at a news conference earlier this month. "I worked each and every one of [the aldermen] continually, whether they agreed or disagreed with me on many, many issues."</p><p>The "rubber stamp" label is also dismissed by aldermen - even some of Daley's most frequent critics.&nbsp;Sure, they knock him as autocratic and, at times, undemocratic.&nbsp;But they point out the administration did a lot of work behind the scenes to find compromises.</p><p>Alderman Leslie Hairston of the 5th Ward thinks the media missed this part of the story.</p><p>"Unfortunately, all we see is the day at the council after all the work has been done and there's no acknowledgement to the other work that has been going on before we get to the council floor," Hairston said.</p><p>Still, Hairston said Daley came up short on some issues important to her, such as economic development in her South Side ward. And she says she likes some things she's hearing from Emanuel.</p><p>In fact, the mayor-elect is coming off a transition that's been nearly free of aldermanic criticism.</p><p>He waded into some city council runoffs, spending close to $300,000. Seven of the 10 candidates he endorsed won. Emanuel denied he was just trying to buy a friendly council.</p><p>"We don't want a rubber stamp city council, and we don't want council war," Emanuel said in March, shortly after his campaign announced he was forming a political action committee. "I want a council that will part of the reform agenda, and be a partner in that effort."</p><p>So, a middle ground between a go along get-along city council like what's existed under Daley, and a council at war with itself, like what happened during the first term of Mayor Harold Washington. But where is that middle ground? Some disagreement, just not angry disagreement?</p><p>If you hear Ald. Bob Fioretti of the 2nd Ward explain it, it sounds a touch Kumbaya-ish.</p><p>"Working together doesn't mean that you're against each other," Fioretti said. "It's how we all lock arms with all of our citizens to move the city forward."</p><p>That all sounds great. But is it actually going to happen?</p><p>"I think it will," he said. "I think we're going to see differences disappear, because I think every one of the 50 aldermen that're coming in and the new mayor realize what a financial problem that we have."</p><p>But don't expect aldermen to instantly lock arms with the new mayor, and agree on cuts to erase a $587 million budget deficit.</p><p>Jason Ervin was appointed in January to represent Chicago's 28th Ward on the far West Side, an area of the city he says has been short-changed in the past.</p><p>"I understand you've got to balance the budget, but because so much has gone on and has not happened in the ward that balancing the budget on the backs of the residents of the 28th Ward is not a good thing," Ervin said.</p><p>Ervin said he relayed that message directly to the mayor-elect. And how did Emanuel respond?</p><p>"Well, I won't way it was overly negative or positive," Ervin recalled. "You know, I understand his position, and I want him to understand mine."</p><p>The first responsibility of the new council will be to pick its leaders.&nbsp;Technically, Emanuel has no say in this, but he says he came up with a plan after talking with every alderman.&nbsp;It would shrink the number of council committees.</p><p>Alderman Ed Burke of the 14th Ward, who supported an opponent of Emanuel's in the mayoral campaign, keeps his committee but would lose some power, while an Emanuel ally, 40th Ward Ald. Patrick O'Connor, gains influence.</p><p>Emanuel's plan also includes a bone for a longtime foe of Mayor Daley's.&nbsp;Alderman Joe Moore, 49th Ward, would chair the Human Relations Committee. Moore never got a committee chairmanship while Daley was in charge, despite serving in the council for 20 years.</p><p>"The only committees I chaired were ad-hoc committees that I named myself chairman of," Moore said with a laugh. "But, no. This is the first time I've been a chairman in a city council committee."</p><p>Moore sounds excited - giddy, even - about post-Daley politics at City Hall. He said he has chatted with Emanuel four or five times since the election, and said he feels like he's being listened to.</p><p>"I think we're dealing with a new paradigm here," Moore said. "The old divisions between...independent aldermen...and machine aldermen...I don't think those divisions really have as much meaning now that we're facing these very difficult issues that don't fall neatly along ideological lines."</p><p>This does not mean there won't still be disagreements in the council, still be divisions. Moore just said he thinks the alliances will shift, depending on the issue.</p></p> Mon, 16 May 2011 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/how-long-will-emanuels-city-council-honeymoon-last-86538 Analysis: Rahm Emanuel's inauguration day http://www.wbez.org/story/analysis-rahm-emanuels-inauguration-day-86616 <p><p>Rahm Emanuel is now Chicago's mayor. Emanuel was sworn-in late Monday morning in Millennium Park downtown. WBEZ's political reporter Sam Hudzik was there, and he joined host Melba Lara to break down inauguration day and what's ahead for Mayor Emanuel.</p></p> Mon, 16 May 2011 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/analysis-rahm-emanuels-inauguration-day-86616 Burke keeps Finance and loses anyway http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2011-05-11/burke-keeps-finance-and-loses-anyway-86430 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-12/burke and rahm.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-11/b%26r.jpg" title="" width="259" height="350"></p><p>In letting word out that Chicago Ald. Edward Burke (14<sup>th</sup>) gets to keep the chairmanship of a somewhat diminished Finance Committee in the new City Council, there’s a suggestion of civility in both Burke and Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel that papers over what actually happened.</p><p>I’ve loved hearing Burke talk about how he’d love to keep the committee but it’s up to the City Council – as if he hasn’t been molding that legislative body into his own design for decades. If we’re willing to suspend disbelief, Burke’s narrative now is that he’s an elder statesman, committed to the civic cause, happy to do his part – which is whatever the new mayor and new council determine for him.</p><p>And Emanuel’s posture as forgiving, as above the petty politics of the campaign (Burke’s not-so-hidden attempt to knock him off the ballot, or the anti-Rahm campaign of his puppet Gery Chico), gives him another opportunity to keep cleaning up his ruthless tough guy image. I mean, look, he’s letting Burke keep the Finance Committee, and if he’s taken away some of its powers, well, hey, that’s not personal – it’s in the interest of legislative efficiency and cost-cutting.</p><p>But the pow-wow at 40<sup>th</sup> ward Ald. Patrick O’Connor’s house aside, this is a lot less about two titans choosing to put their swords down than about the aftermath of a battle that’s already been won – and lost.</p><p>And have no doubt about it, Burke lost. And it was epic. That he gets to stay on as chair of the Finance Committee is not a sign of enduring power. What Emanuel is doing is letting him keep the crown while looting his kingdom.</p><p>We already know that there will be a new committee, the Workforce Development and Audit Committee, headed by O’Connor, the new mayor’s floor leader. The new committee will take over the most important thing the Finance Committee did under Burke: It will shepherd every single piece of proposed legislation to the City Council.</p><p>So it will now be Emanuel’s man, O’Connor, not Burke, who will have the power to move or kill legislation without even taking a council vote. (Yes, it has been an <em>awesome</em> power.)</p><p>And that’s just one of many authorities that Burke’s Finance Committee has been slowly usurping since the City Council was re-configured when Harold Washington became mayor in 1983 and the white aldermen – with Burke as one of two princes – pulled a legislative coup d’état to keep Washington’s policies from taking effect.</p><p>Though we’ve had two mayors since Washington -- Eugene Sawyer and Richard M. Daley -- the City Council has not had an overhaul of any significance in 20+ years. Some committees have altered their names, some have been dropped, a few have been added. But the core of the council – the power bloc created to run the city with Finance as the axis – has remained essentially the same.</p><p>Why? Because Sawyer didn’t have the clout to change it, and Daley didn’t need to: He and Burke managed to co-exist by respecting each other’s spheres of influence.</p><p>We don’t yet know what else, if anything, Emanuel will move from the Finance Committee. But under Burke, the Finance Committee has had approval on all expenditures and revenues in the city. Which means Burke has been the absolute bottom line.&nbsp;</p><p>Under Burke, almost all of the council’s legal work has run through Finance – and there are already rumblings about Emanuel's displeasure over possible conflicts of interest, not just Burke’s, of course, but including Burke’s.</p><p>Finance has also administered Workmen’s Comp claims, which should probably have been handled by Human Resources, not a City Council committee, in the first place. And it has also jurisdiction over simple personnel matters, like extended sick leave and military leave – which can make all the difference to city employees – that are traditionally administered by, and more rightly belong to, HR.</p><p>Some aldermen may have been publicly saying they wouldn’t stand for Emanuel taking away Burke’s committee, but I suspect no one will balk too terribly much over this or any other change.</p><p>Emanuel’s keeping veterans Carrie Austin (34<sup>th</sup>) on Budget and Dick Mell (33<sup>rd</sup>) on Rules, which offsets any ruffled feathers. He’s also letting Danny Solis (25<sup>th</sup>) keep Zoning, which has absorbed Building and Landmarks (if you thought Solis was a suck-up to power before…).</p><p>It’s not that Burke won’t continue to be a player and exert influence. He will. His campaign chest, while not as rich as Emanuel’s, will still be useful. And he is a parliamentarian master, known to even go back and <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/5166930-418/ald.-ed-burkes-law-firm-adds-clients-with-ties-to-local-government">legally rewrite history</a>.</p><p>But Burke is 67, and maybe good for another 10 years, and unless you’re an alderman with aspirations to be a local judge and need Burke to slate you, you would do well to consider playing on Emanuel’s team.</p><p>No, Emanuel’s not going to be mayor-for-life. But he’s gonna enjoy his victory for a while. And while Burke is keeping his title, the new mayor’s already having fun.</p></p> Thu, 12 May 2011 01:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2011-05-11/burke-keeps-finance-and-loses-anyway-86430 No pow-wow yet for Emanuel and powerful alderman http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-city-council/no-pow-wow-yet-emanuel-and-powerful-alderman-85158 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-March/2011-03-16/Ald. Ed Burke AP.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Since his election, Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel has yet to meet or talk to one of the most powerful aldermen in the city council.</p><p>Emanuel said last week he'd met with about 40 current or incoming members of the council. That does not include, though, Finance Committee Chairman Ed Burke.<br> <br> "I've sent him a letter that says congratulations and good luck," Burke said Wednesday, describing the extent of his communication with the mayor-elect.</p><p>The 14th Ward alderman supported another candidate - Gery Chico - in the race for mayor.</p><p>"I think [Emanuel has] been busy with a lot of planning meetings. I know he's been out of town for a while," Burke said. "So, no, that's not surprising [that we have not talked]."</p><p>Told that it seems like Emanuel has met with most of the other aldermen, Burke replied, "Maybe he's saving the best for the last."<br> <br> A spokesperson for Emanuel declined to comment, as did the current mayor, Richard Daley.<br> <br> "I don't know about that," Daley said. "That's their problem, not mine."<br> <br> Emanuel gets sworn-in on May 16th, as does Burke and the rest of the city council.</p></p> Wed, 13 Apr 2011 22:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-city-council/no-pow-wow-yet-emanuel-and-powerful-alderman-85158