WBEZ | Alderman Ed Burke http://www.wbez.org/tags/alderman-ed-burke Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Shadowy lobbyists influence rideshare debate http://www.wbez.org/news/shadowy-lobbyists-influence-rideshare-debate-109770 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Rideshare lawsuit_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The fight over the future of ridesharing in Chicago is increasingly being waged through shadowy lobbyists. This has some aldermen concerned about how that could influence the current regulatory debate.</p><p>At a hearing at City Council&rsquo;s Joint Committee on Transportation and Finance on Monday, some noted that the lobbying activity on the issue appeared different from the usual at City Hall. They said they were disturbed by the apparent emergence of advocates for ride-sharing companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, who have not identified their interests upfront.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m concerned with the amount of lobbyists on this that we won&rsquo;t hear from today,&rdquo; said Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd), after noting that he had been handed an unmarked packet of information on his way into the hearing, with no information about its source. &ldquo;I&rsquo;d like to see all the lobbyists come up and forward on who we&rsquo;re dealing with and what&rsquo;s happening in this controversy here.&rdquo;</p><p>Ridesharing services offer smartphone apps to connect people with cars to people who need rides. Drivers do not have public chauffeur licenses, and they use their personal vehicles. Lately, several cities in the country, including Chicago, have been considering whether, and how, to regulate these services to ensure public safety.</p><p>Earlier this month, city officials offered <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/city-moves-regulate-rideshare-companies-109639" target="_blank">competing proposals</a> on rules for ridesharing. Almost immediately, media outlets (including WBEZ) began receiving phone calls and emails about the issue from a public relations firm that did not immediately identify its ties to the ridesharing industry.</p><p>A Chicago-based communications firm called Resolute Consulting has offered to connect reporters with community-based organizations in neighborhoods such as Little Village, Belmont-Cragin and Pilsen, who support ridesharing services. It did not initially disclose that its client is Uber, one of the technology companies behind a ridesharing app.</p><p>The consulting firm similarly publicized a press conference led by Alderman Joe Moreno (1st) just minutes before Monday&rsquo;s committee hearing on ridesharing rules. Moreno was joined by drivers and passengers of ridesharing services to voice support of &ldquo;reasonable regulations&rdquo; for the technologies.</p><p>&ldquo;Today is, I think, the difference between the Flintstones and the Jetsons,&rdquo; said Moreno. &ldquo;And we&rsquo;re here today to support the Jetsons.&rdquo;</p><p>Moreno said regulating ridesharing services under taxi rules, as proposed in a resolution by Aldermen Anthony Beale (9th) and Ed Burke (14th), would stifle innovation in Chicago. Other supporters at the press conference said they feel safe using ridesharing services, and that driving for these services helps them supplement low incomes.</p><p>They denied that a company had lobbied them to be at the press conference, with Moreno adding that riders, drivers and the industry are organizing on their own around the issue. But reporters were handed unlabeled, white folders containing reports about Uber, copies of letters written to the city on behalf of Uber, and other information highlighting troubles within the city&rsquo;s taxi industry. Resolute Consulting&rsquo;s name is nowhere cited in the packet, though a listed contact&rsquo;s name and number are associated with the company.</p><p>Additionally, all the riders and drivers present at the press conference disclosed, upon being asked, that they were only affiliated with Uber, rather than other ridesharing companies. Afterward, a consultant for Resolute told WBEZ that Uber had put out a request to its members to organize on behalf of limiting city regulations. Alderman Moreno admitted that he had met with an Uber lobbyist, whose name, he said, he could not recall. But he maintained that his advocacy on the issue was motivated by concerns he had heard from constituents who use the service.</p><p>&ldquo;There are lobbyists on both sides of this issue,&rdquo; Moreno offered at the committee hearing, in response to Fioretti&rsquo;s suggestion that ridesharing companies have been surreptitious in their lobbying effort. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not just lobbyists that are on the rideshare side,&rdquo; he added, &ldquo;There&rsquo;s lobbyists that we all know that are on the taxi side of this, as well.&rdquo;</p><p>Interests aligned with the taxi industry have also mounted their own public campaign. In recent weeks, public relations firm Edelman has reached out to the media on behalf of client Taxi Magic, which produces an alternative transportation app. Taxi Magic partners with nine metro area cab companies, including Yellow Cab and Checker. Yellow is among several plaintiffs who recently filed a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/cab-livery-companies-sue-city-over-rideshare-companies-109655" target="_blank">federal lawsuit</a> against the City of Chicago, demanding that the city regulate ridesharing apps as it does their industry.</p><p>The coalition of companies behind the lawsuit have also hired former Daley administration lawyer, and City Hall insider, Mara Georges to represent their interests to aldermen in this debate. At Monday&rsquo;s committee hearing, Georges started off testimony by offering evidence to bolster Aldermen Burke and Beale&rsquo;s resolution to treat ridesharing companies the same as taxis.</p><p>In 2014, city data show the industry has four registered lobbyists at City Hall. Among ridesharing companies, Uber has three and Lyft has one. A single lobbyist represents taxi drivers&rsquo; interests.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 17:04:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/shadowy-lobbyists-influence-rideshare-debate-109770 Churches take ‘leap of faith’ on Emanuel water deal http://www.wbez.org/news/churches-take-%E2%80%98leap-faith%E2%80%99-emanuel-water-deal-107089 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/burke.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Church leaders took a &ldquo;leap of faith&rdquo; Wednesday and got behind Mayor Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s compromise plan to charge non-profits for city water, after some last-second lobbying that ended with unanimous City Council approval.</p><p dir="ltr">The city will now charge non-profits based on a sliding scale, determined by their net assets. Groups and churches with less than $1 million in net assets will still get free water, while groups that are worth more than $250 million would pay full price.</p><p dir="ltr">Emanuel, aldermen and religious leaders whispered near the City Council bathrooms moments before the roll call vote - a rare scene for a legislative process where most votes are decided long before they hit the council floor.</p><p dir="ltr">A coalition of religious groups had objected to the plan, arguing that some old churches wouldn&rsquo;t get a break because they&rsquo;re situated on valuable land. Chicago&rsquo;s Catholic leaders were also worried that their 200 churches and 90 schools wouldn&rsquo;t qualify for any individual exemptions because they are all technically owned by one entity, the Archdiocese of Chicago.</p><p dir="ltr">Coalition leaders claim they had the City Council votes to block the mayor&rsquo;s plan, but withdrew their opposition after gaining assurances that administrative rules would later be written in their favor.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;In exchange for that commitment, we have - we have said we will support the passage of the ordinance today, and we will work it out,&rdquo; said Chancellor Jim Lago, with the Archdiocese of Chicago. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a leap of faith, and we&rsquo;re looking for the goodwill of those who will be in the room with us, and we expect that.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Lago would not say whether he trusted Emanuel to make sure nonprofits don&rsquo;t take a big hit when the rules for collecting water fees are written, but he said negotiations would continue in the coming weeks.</p><p dir="ltr">The mayor took heat from Chicago&rsquo;s non-profit community when he first proposed taking away free water as part of his plan to balance the city budget in 2011. He <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-backtracks-hiking-water-costs-nonprofits-106884">backed off</a> a bit with his compromise proposal last month, but church leaders were concerned about how the city would calculate net assets.</p><p dir="ltr">After Wednesday&rsquo;s City Council vote, Emanuel maintained he struck a fair balance.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think we&rsquo;ve done it in a thoughtful way, reflective of every one of the non-for profits&rsquo; and religious entities&rsquo; different roles in the community - meaning, their net value - but nonetheless ended the practice where the taxpayers were on the hook for everybody else,&rdquo; Emanuel said.</p><p dir="ltr">During his campaign, Emanuel vowed to stop giving away city water and sewer service to nonprofits - a freebie he estimates costs the city $20 million a year.</p><p><em>Alex Keefe is a WBEZ political reporter. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/akeefe">@akeefe</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 08 May 2013 18:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/churches-take-%E2%80%98leap-faith%E2%80%99-emanuel-water-deal-107089 New Chicago 'gun offender registry' to include all firearm crimes http://www.wbez.org/news/new-chicago-gun-offender-registry-include-all-firearm-crimes-105960 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F82268800&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Gun offenders in Chicago could soon be required to provide police with personal information including their photos and addresses as early as next month. A city council committee approved changes to the current law Thursday, proposed by Alderman Ed Burke (14th).</p><p>&ldquo;Shouldn&rsquo;t mom and dad, when they are arranging for a playdate with their child&rsquo;s classmate, and that child might be going over to the classmate&rsquo;s house, shouldn&rsquo;t mom and dad have the opportunity to check whether or not a gun offender might be registered at that address,&rdquo; Burke said.</p><p>&ldquo;Likewise, when a Chicago cop rolls up to an address... shouldn&rsquo;t that officer be able to check on his computer to see whether or not a gun offender is registered at that address... this is an attempt to take what has proven to work with sex offender registry laws and move it to a new level with gun offender registry laws.&rdquo;</p><p>Burke said the new proposed ordinance would serve to &ldquo;cast a wider net&rdquo; to encompass any violent crime with a firearm including, kidnapping, assault, robbery, vehicular-hijacking and a wide ranges of other violent crimes.</p><p>&ldquo;There is evidence that gun offender registry laws have a deterrent effect on people who might be tempted to commit gun crimes again,&rdquo; Burke said.</p><p>Offenders who live in Chicago would be required to register their name and any aliases used, birthdate, height, weight, eye color, driver&rsquo;s license number and provide a photo as well.</p><p>They would also be required to provide their place of employment and details about their conviction as well. All the information would be available to the public online. Offenders would also have to report to police every six months.</p><p>Burke said other states like New York and Baltimore have been successful using similar laws. Baltimore&rsquo;s criminal justice office reported that fewer than five percent of the 1,100 plus gun offenders whose names were on it&rsquo;s registry, have been rearrested on new gun charges.</p><p>&ldquo;That seems rather compelling,&rdquo; Burke said.</p><p>The current gun registry ordinance was finally implemented in July of 2010 after being passed over many times since Burke first introduced the idea in 2006. But since it&rsquo;s implementation, only 584 people have registered with the Chicago Police Department.</p><p>Tom Byrne, Chief of Detectives for the Chicago Police Department said he thinks this is because a lot of offenders are still in jail.</p><p>Burke said his proposed changes to the existing law would hopefully boost that number now that all gun offender&rsquo;s would be required to register with police. Under the current law, only those convicted of unlawful use or possession of a weapon are considered gun offenders.</p><p>But former Chicago police officer, Alderman Willie Cochran (20th) raised concerns over whether the police department have enough manpower to take on the surge of registrants.</p><p>&ldquo;What I fear here is this, there are a lot of offenses here and with the number of offenses we&rsquo;re talking about here, we haven&rsquo;t even done any calculations on how many more people we would be anticipating having to service as a result of this,&rdquo; Cochran said.</p><p>&ldquo;If we pass this and we have a situation where now we have pulled 10,000 more bodies, 15,000 more that are required for the police department to satisfy these needs, what kind of situation does that put us in... if we get to a point where we have too many and we can&rsquo;t address it, then it puts the city of Chicago and the police department in a quandary for an ordinance that we passed that we cannot accommodate.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Chief Byrne said that is an issue that his department will have to stay on top of. But he said he is still confident that the revised ordinance can be implemented.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;Having these registrants, knowing who there are helps policemen on the street, there&rsquo;s officer safety issues and I think we will get the needed resources to get the job done,&rdquo; Byrne said.</p><p>Any convicted offenders would now have up to five days, revised from the current 48 hours, after their release from prison to register with police.</p><p>Violators would face fines of up to $500 a day or six months in prison for failing to register.</p></p> Thu, 07 Mar 2013 14:52:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/new-chicago-gun-offender-registry-include-all-firearm-crimes-105960 Emanuel supports electrical aggregation in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/programs/eight-forty-eight/2012-06-21/emanuel-supports-electrical-aggregation-chicago-100289 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/6908700864_74fbe8e007_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he wants the city to vie for cheaper electricity rates from companies other than ComEd. The city council will look at a proposal Friday that would be the first step towards making those negotiations possible.</p><p>ComEd is the electricity giant in Chicago.&nbsp;If the city wants the authority to negotiate for more competitive rates with any other suppliers, state law says Chicago voters have to weigh in.&nbsp;Two powerful Chicago aldermen, Ald. Patrick O&#39;Connor (40th) and Ald. Ed Burke (14th), recently proposed a referendum that would put the issue. If their proposal passes through city council, then voters will decide in November.&nbsp;</p><p>The concept is known as &quot;municipal electricity aggregation.&quot; It allows cities to bundle all residential and small business electricity supplied together, and negotiate for volume discounts from smaller suppliers. The aggregation affects the cost for the supply of electricity, not the delivery of electricity.&nbsp;</p><p>According to the consumer watchdog organization Citizens Utility Board, ComEd electricity bills contain both those costs, but only the supply would change if Chicago goes forward with the plan. ComEd electricity rates from September to June cost 6.932 cents per kilowatt hour, and will jump to 8.32 per kwh from October to May of next year. Meanwhile, according to a CUB spokesman, some of these smaller suppliers are offering rates of under a nickle per kilowatt hour.&nbsp;</p><p>Mayor Emanuel told reporters at an unrelated event Wednesday he&#39;s for the referendum and cheaper electricity rates.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;I do believe, I&#39;ve looked at other cities, buying in bulk can save homeowners and residents money. Therefore I&#39;ll support putting it on the ballot and I will advocate for it,&quot; he said.</p><p>ComEd released a statement late Thursday night in response to the mayor&#39;s support, saying they support competition.</p><p>&quot;If the City of Chicago decides to pursue an aggregation program, we will work cooperatively with them and provide the same information we have provided to other municipalities and governments that elected to aggregate,&quot; the statement said.</p><p>According to CUB, 188 other ComEd territories in Illinois have already either signed off on the referendum, or negotiated new prices for customers.&nbsp;A spokesman for Alderman Ed Burke says some of those municipalites have reported savings of 15 to 30 percent lower than ComEd.&nbsp;</p><p>ComEd said its primary focus is on providing high quality delivery services.</p><p>If the referendum passes in Chicago, voters who don&#39;t want their electricity costs to be bundled can opt-out of the aggregation program.&nbsp;</p><p>The proposal will come before a city council committee Friday.&nbsp;</p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Thu, 21 Jun 2012 08:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/eight-forty-eight/2012-06-21/emanuel-supports-electrical-aggregation-chicago-100289 Chicago aldermen want crack down on City Hall gallery outbursts http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-aldermen-want-crack-down-city-hall-gallery-outbursts-96494 <p><p>Booing could soon be banned at Chicago City Council.</p><p>Under a new ordinance endorsed by four high-ranking Chicago aldermen, "no demonstration of approval or disapproval from members of the public shall be permitted within the City Council Chambers, including, but not limited to cheering, yelling, clapping, foot stomping, whistling, booing, or jeering."</p><p>The measure, which is signed by Ald. Ed Burke, Ald. Ray Suarez, Ald. Richard Mell and Ald. Carrie Austin, would also give city council the power to "clear" the chamber should that ordinance be violated.</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday the city's lawyers are looking into the proposal.</p><p>"People have a right to have their voices heard," Emanuel said. "Also, we have business to conduct, and we'll balance those two so people have the first amendment right."</p><p>The ordinance would also ban "signs, placards, banners, or posters" in the chamber except those approved prior to council meetings.</p><p>A spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois calls the proposed ordinance, "troubling."</p><p>In a statement, Burke said the proposal was "introduced as a courtesy in response to a suggestion by the Sergeant-at-Arms and should make for a lively discussion."</p></p> Fri, 17 Feb 2012 00:27:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-aldermen-want-crack-down-city-hall-gallery-outbursts-96494 Aldermen mixed on time needed for ward remap http://www.wbez.org/story/aldermen-mixed-time-needed-ward-remap-94751 <p><p>Chicago aldermen are still debating new boundaries for the city's 50 wards.</p><p>At issue is how many black- and Hispanic-dominated wards there should be, in light of new census data. The data show city has lost nearly 180,000 African Americans, while the Hispanic population has grown by about 25,000 over the last decade.</p><p>A map was supposed to be done by Dec. 1 according to state law, but aldermen say they don't have the votes yet. Forty-one out of 50 aldermen need to agree on a map for it to pass.</p><p>Alderman Walter Burnett, who used to head City Council's Black Caucus, said tempers have cooled after some racially-charged debates earlier this week, and he added that the council will have a map soon.</p><p>"Hopefully before the weekend is over," said Burnett, who added aldermen were planning to meet Thursday night to further discuss the issue.</p><p>As the longest-serving member of the Chicago City Council, Alderman Edward Burke said he's sat through five ward remaps. He wasn't as optimistic about that time line.</p><p>"I think we are moving. I wouldn't say we're moving in large leaps," said Burke.</p><p>The city remaps its wards every 10 years.</p></p> Fri, 09 Dec 2011 00:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/aldermen-mixed-time-needed-ward-remap-94751 Romney says GOP fight strengthens him for fall http://www.wbez.org/story/governor-quinn-denies-role-campaign-donations-jennifer-burke-hire-89794 <p><p>TAMPA, Fla. (AP) &mdash; Barreling out of Florida with money and momentum on his side, Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney said Wednesday that the bare-knuckled nomination fight thus far has toughened him up for contests to come. Chief rival Newt Gingrich is regrouping after a significant loss and faces serious disadvantages in the next states to vote.</p><p>Romney, who won big in Florida with a barrage of negative ads, predicted the tone of the GOP campaign was &quot;just a precursor to what you&#39;ll see&quot; from President Barack Obama in the general election. And he said voters paid more attention to what they heard in the campaign debates than whatever ads were flooding the airwaves.</p><p>&quot;Perhaps what we&#39;re getting now inoculates us, or at least prepares us, for what will come down the road,&quot; Romney said as he made the rounds of morning television shows.</p><p>House Speaker John Boehner dismissed any notion that the bitter tone of the GOP race and the prospect of a drawn-out battle for the nomination is worrisome for Republicans.</p><p>&quot;I understand that people are concerned about how long the primary process is dragging out,&quot; Boehner said. &quot;I would remind people that President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a fight that went through June of 2008. I think everybody just needs to realize that this will resolve itself.&quot;</p><p>Looking ahead, Romney said his campaign is focused squarely on middle-income Americans &mdash; to the exclusion of others at either end of the spectrum. But his comments Wednesday about the poor appeared certain to be fodder for critics.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;m not concerned about the very poor,&quot; he said on CNN. &quot;We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I&#39;ll fix it. I&#39;m not concerned about the very rich. They&#39;re doing just fine. I&#39;m concerned about the very heart of America, the 90-95 percent of Americans who are struggling.&quot;</p><p>Questioned about his comment on the poor, Romney reiterated that they have &quot;a very ample safety net&quot; but that &quot;we can talk about whether it needs to be strengthened.&quot;</p><p>Obama&#39;s campaign, looking to make some money off the GOP squabbling, issued a fundraising appeal Wednesday focused on the millions that Romney and his supporters had poured into negative ads.</p><p>&quot;That&#39;s ugly, and it tells us a lot about what to expect from Romney if he wins the Republican nomination,&quot; said campaign manager Jim Messina. &quot;They&#39;re going to try to spend and smear their way to the White House.&quot;</p><p>Romney said his path ahead &quot;is looking very good&quot; as he heads to Minnesota and Nevada for campaign stops Wednesday. Gingrich, meanwhile, worked to convince supporters that the primary is a two-person race.</p><p>Vowing to stay the course, Gingrich said Tuesday, &quot;We are going to contest everyplace.&quot; He planned one appearance in Reno, Nev., on Wednesday.</p><p>Nevada and Maine have caucuses on Saturday. Minnesota and Colorado hold contests on Tuesday. Michigan and Arizona hold primaries on Feb. 28.</p><p>Romney begins February with formidable advantages in fundraising and organization. His campaign raised $24 million in the final months of 2011, dwarfing his competitors and leaving him with $20 million to fight a primary battle that&#39;s increasingly spread across many states.</p><p>The former Massachusetts governor has had staff and volunteers on the ground in upcoming states for months as he&#39;s prepared for a drawn-out fight for delegates to the Republican National Convention in August. Gingrich, meanwhile, doesn&#39;t have a strong ground game as he looks to contests in states that could prove problematic for him. And in a nomination fight so far defined by debates &mdash; typically a strong point for the former House speaker &mdash; he faces a three-week stretch without one. The candidates will next debate in Arizona on Feb. 22.</p><p>Romney won Nevada&#39;s caucuses in 2008, and a substantial Mormon population there could propel him to victory. Still, Texas Rep. Ron Paul has been organizing in the state for months and could pose a strong challenge. Romney&#39;s campaign is working to paint the nomination fight as a four-candidate contest, with Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum still in the mix. Santorum was campaigning in Colorado on Wednesday, and Paul in Nevada.</p><p>Romney&#39;s Florida win was a smart rebound from an earlier defeat and represented a major step toward the nomination. He&#39;ll receive Secret Service protection, beginning Wednesday, requested by his campaign.</p><p>Romney had 46 percent of the Florida vote to Gingrich&#39;s 32 percent. Santorum had 13 percent and Paul 7 percent; neither mounted a substantial effort in the state.</p><p>The winner-take-all primary was worth 50 Republican convention delegates, the most of any primary state so far.</p><p>But the bigger prize was precious political momentum.</p><p>That momentum belonged to Romney when he captured the New Hampshire primary three weeks ago, then swung stunningly to Gingrich when he countered with a South Carolina upset 11 days later.</p><p>Now it is back with Romney, after a change to more aggressive tactics, coupled with an efficient use of an overwhelming financial advantage to batter Gingrich with television commercials.</p></p> Thu, 28 Jul 2011 21:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/governor-quinn-denies-role-campaign-donations-jennifer-burke-hire-89794 All praise for Mayor Daley in final council meeting http://www.wbez.org/story/all-praise-mayor-daley-final-council-meeting-86076 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-04/Daley Last Council Meeting_M Spencer Green.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago aldermen have said goodbye to their longtime leader. Retiring Mayor Richard Daley Wednesday presided over his final city council meeting.</p><p>Nearly all the aldermen gave speeches. And, as if they were signing Daley's high school yearbook, they remembered the good times and ignored the rough.</p><p>DALEY: Council, come to order. Clerk, call the roll, please.</p><p>When the meeting started Wednesday morning, some of the aldermen were certainly more stuffed that usual. They'd been hanging out in the back room of the chamber with Mayor Daley, and a long buffet of sausages, quiche, bagels and fruit.</p><p>The shout-outs to the mayor began quickly, with the invocation by Monsignor Daniel Mayall of Holy Name Cathedral.</p><p>MAYALL: In a special way, Great God in Heaven, bless Mayor Richard M. Daley. I'm certain he believes in you. And although he may have governed from that chair behind me longer than anyone else, he knows that never was he alone. You were with him.</p><p>The mayor crossed himself, and the council moved on, to honor police officers who shot a man who had a semiautomatic gun, and firefighters who saved a hundred-year-old woman from a burning building.</p><p>Then, a resolution.</p><p>MIGUEL DEL VALLE, CITY CLERK: Be it resolved, that we, the members of the city council of the city of Chicago, do hereby extend to Mayor Richard M. Daley, our deepest thanks and appreciation for his many years of exemplary service to the residents of Chicago.</p><p>BURKE: We were talking this morning, the mayor and I, about the fact that history reveals that very few occupants of the fifth floor of this century-old building leave voluntarily.<br> <br> Ald. Ed Burke, who's been in the council nearly twice as long as Daley's been mayor, noted that when past mayors left, their final meetings weren't so festive.</p><p>BURKE: As Jane Byrne sat through her last city council meeting, stoically and silently, it was the outgoing alderman, Richard Clewis, who summed things up when he said, 'This sounds like a wake to me.'</p><p>Crediting Daley with Millennium Park, education reform and even championships in recent years by the White Sox and the Blackhawks, Burke said Daley has made Chicago...</p><p>BURKE: ...the most livable city in the nation.</p><p>The two are not close - a political rivalry dating back decades. Daley walloped Burke in the 1980 Democratic primary for Cook County State's Attorney. But this was a day for a certain saccharine rhetoric, as alderman after alderman thanked Daley for his leadership, advice - and even for giving them a job.</p><p>AUSTIN: I'm not going to stay here long, because I can feel myself going to cry.</p><p>Ald. Carrie Austin was appointed by Daley to fill the seat left vacant by her deceased husband. The mayor later picked her to lead the budget committee.</p><p>AUSTIN: That will always be the greatest and the dearest thing to my heart.</p><p>Similar sentiments from recently appointed Ald. Joe Moreno:</p><p>MORENO: Your wisdom. Your fine wisdom when this seat opened. You appointed me. I thank you for that.<br> DALEY: Great decision. That one's one of the best.</p><p>Austin and Moreno are two of more than 20 sitting aldermen who were first appointed by Daley. It's the mayor's ability to fill vacancies that's furthered his grip on the council over the years. He got his way, with few exceptions, and few opponents.</p><p>But even those opponents, with the battles behind them, had mayoral praise at the ready. Daley once refused to let Ald. Joe Moore speak before a vote on repealing an ordinance he championed. On Wednesday, though, Moore called Daley a "transformational leader" who picked the hard fights and was "very fair."<br> <br> MOORE: Very fair, not only to the residents who live in or around downtown, but through the outer reaches of the city of Chicago, neighborhoods such as Rogers Park and Edgewater and West Ridge - the neighborhoods that I represent.</p><p>There were no snide comments about the botched parking meter lease deal. No talk of corruption or hiring fraud in city government. When aldermen did acknowledge Daley's more controversial moves, they did so in defense of the mayor. Like when Ald. Rey Colon made this reference the Daley's overnight destruction of Meigs Field.</p><p>COLON: There's a time to listen and to work things through the community, and there's a time to scrape those Xs on the runway. And you've managed to teach us when those times, when it's appropriate to do those times.</p><p>The aldermen chipped in and bought Daley a crystal bowl, engraved with the names of the more than 100 aldermen he's worked with. And Daley insists he has worked with them, rather than just ordering them around - a point he tried to drive home with reporters at a press conference later.</p><p>DALEY: You have to sit down, listen to them, and what they want and...how we can compromise. That's what you have to do. That's what leadership is all about. No one says, 'Go and do this.' They just pass it. It doesn't happen. It doesn't happen in life. I don't know how you figured this out. it doesn't.</p><p>The mayor was joined at the council meeting by two of his children, but not his wife. Maggie Daley is hospitalized. Recuperating, the mayor says, undergoing tests unrelated to her recent surgery.</p><p>Daley didn't want to talk about his future - what he'll do after he leaves office. He repeatedly reminded reporters he'll be a private citizen then. A private citizen who, Daley joked to the council, will soon have to get out of the habit of writing lots of notes to his staff.</p><p>DALEY: And all those blue notes I would send to you. I don't know what I'm going to do with all my blue notes when I - maybe I'll send them all to the alderman or something. But all my notes that I gather in my trips around the city or my trips around the world, and reading articles and magazines and everything else that I get a hold of. And just think, how can we adopt this to the city? And that was to me - this is the greatest job in America.</p><p>And with that, the aldermen stood and applauded. Daley thanked them a few times.<br> <br> DALEY: Thank you very much. Thank you.</p><p>And softly banged his gavel for a final time.</p><p>Wednesday's city council meeting was also the last for 13 aldermen. Their replacements - along with the new mayor, Rahm Emanuel - will be sworn in on May 16th.</p></p> Thu, 05 May 2011 14:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/all-praise-mayor-daley-final-council-meeting-86076 BGIT #27: Post-election roundup http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/2011-02-25/bgit-27-post-election-roundup-82997 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Rahm Emanuel Elex Night_Getty_Scott Olson.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center"><img title="(Getty/Scott Olson)" alt="" style="width: 494px; height: 324px" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-25/Rahm Emanuel Elex Night_Getty_Scott Olson.JPG" /></p><p>Chicagoans ended the first campaign for an open mayoral seat in 64 years this week by voting Rahm Emanuel into office with 55 percent of the vote. The news attracted international coverage, but now the big question is: what's ahead for America's third largest city?</p><p>To find out, we met up with Lee Bey, former Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Richard M. Daley, Cheryl Corley of NPR, and Dan Mihalopoulos of the Chicago News Cooperative for our post-election roundtable.</p><p>Over coffee at Petro's Restaurant across from Chicago's City Hall we covered such topics as the budget challenges ahead, who's in Emanuel's inner circle, his strategy for aldermanic runoffs and the prospects for a Burke v Emanuel smackdown.</p></p> Fri, 25 Feb 2011 21:44:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/2011-02-25/bgit-27-post-election-roundup-82997 What the numbers mean for Emanuel, Braun and Chico http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2011-02-25/what-numbers-mean-emanuel-braun-and-chico-82949 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Rahm Election Night_Getty_Scott Olson.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img title="" alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-25/rahm%26carol.jpg" style="width: 487px; height: 313px;" /></p><p>There&rsquo;s no disputing the numbers: Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel had an overwhelming victory in an election that &ndash; while not quite as big as had been anticipated &ndash; brought a higher percentage of registered voters to the polls than any other municipal campaign since 1995.</p><p><span style="font-family: Arial;">Emanuel won the heavily white, Jewish and gay lakefront by more than 60 percent of the vote, scoring nearly 75 percent in the 42<sup>nd</sup>, 43<sup>rd</sup> and 44<sup>th</sup>.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Rahm also won four of the ten Latino majority wards: the 26<sup>th</sup>, 30<sup>th</sup>, 31<sup>st</sup>, 33<sup>rd</sup> and 35<sup>th</sup> &ndash; all north side wards, each and every one far away from his good buddy Juan Rangel&rsquo;s sphere of influence (in other words, though Rahm may be giving him a shout out, there&rsquo;s no way Juan, based on the southwest side, had squat to do with those victories).</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">But most significantly &ndash; and perhaps most crucial to avoiding a run-off -- Emanuel won every single African-American majority ward in the city: the 3<sup>rd</sup>, 4<sup>th</sup>, 5<sup>th</sup>, 6<sup>th</sup>, 7<sup>th</sup>, 8<sup>th</sup>, 9<sup>th</sup>, 15<sup>th</sup>, 16th, 17<sup>th</sup>, 18<sup>th</sup>, 20<sup>th</sup>, 21<sup>st</sup>, 24<sup>th</sup>, 28<sup>th</sup>, 29<sup>th</sup>, 34<sup>th</sup> and 37<sup>th</sup>.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">And he won big -- often by breathtaking margins of 30 and even 40 points. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">No question the President&rsquo;s coattails were long in this case (again, in spite of Rahm&rsquo;s shout out, I don&rsquo;t buy that Jesse White&rsquo;s late endorsement had much to do with this win). And there seems little doubt that, in spite of a pre-election<a href="http://www.chicagodefender.com/article-10079-we-endorse-carol-moseley-braun-for-mayor-feb-22.html"> editorial</a> in <em>The Chicago Defender</em> that endorsed Carol Moseley Braun and claimed Emanuel &ldquo;has shown no affinity for (Chicago&rsquo;s) 1 million African-Americans,&rdquo; the vast majority of the city&rsquo;s black voters thought otherwise. Emanuel&rsquo;s victory margins in each African-American majority ward evidence support &ndash; frankly, very enthusiastic support.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">But in a contest with a &ldquo;consensus&rdquo; black candidate &ndash; with a campaign supported by some of the African-American community&rsquo;s best known and best loved figures and financed by black millionaires -- this kind of turnout for Rahm Emanuel is also irrefutable testimony of just how out of touch the old black leadership may well be with its own grassroots community. It is also startling proof of the utter lack of an on-the-ground organization to get the vote out, which means the &quot;consensus&quot; group's endorsement was ultimately meaningless.<br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">How badly did Braun, the &ldquo;consensus&rdquo; candidate, lose? Catastrophically. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">She came in fourth overall in the city, behind both Gery Chico and Miguel del Valle, and only better than the other two African-American candidates, both mavericks who were never expected to get more a few votes. </span><span style="font-family: Arial;">In her own 5th ward, Emanuel humiliated Braun 62 percent to 16.7 percent.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Carol didn&rsquo;t win a single ward &ndash; <em>not one</em> &ndash; in all of Chicago. And in the black majority wards, that was <em>her </em>Rahm Emanuel was trouncing by 30 to 40 points over and over. <br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">In the 18<sup>th</sup> ward, where African Americans make up nearly 68 percent of the population, Braun even came in <em>third</em> to Chico, 20.3 percent to 17.7 percent. Granted, the 18<sup>th</sup> ward has a maverick streak: Until Mayor Daley appointed Lola Lane to finish out Thomas Murphy&rsquo;s term once he got bumped up to judge, Murphy had been the only white alderman from a black majority ward. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">In fact, outside of the black majority wards, Braun was held to <em>single digits</em>. Only in the 27<sup>th</sup>, which is a black plurality ward, did she hit 10.5 percent of the vote.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">And in four wards &ndash; the 14<sup>th</sup>, 38<sup>th</sup>, 41<sup>st</sup>, and 45<sup>th</sup> (all white majority except the 14<sup>th</sup>, which has a Hispanic majority), she actually scored<em> less than one percent</em>.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">In spite of endorsing Braun days before election (in a twisted editorial that emphasized her resume way more than her achievements), <em>The Defender</em>&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.chicagodefender.com/article-10128-black-chicago-leadership-failed-in-this-election.html">editorial</a> late on election night may have bared the staff&rsquo;s real frustrations:</span></p> <blockquote><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Arial;">&ldquo;This election was lost over the last 22 years, because what constitutes Black leadership in Chicago seemed to be caught with its pants down when Daley decided he wasn&rsquo;t going to run for re-election. Since Harold Washington died in 1987, a whole generation of able and qualified aspirants to City Hall have been co-opted, bought out, or chased away, and when leaders went looking for mayoral candidates, they found the cupboards largely bare. So we got Cong. Danny Davis, at 69, running for mayor, a year older than Daley, who was retiring. We got Braun, who had not been active in politics for nearly 15 years, stepping into the fray. We had William &lsquo;Dock&rsquo; Walls running for this third different post in the last four years, and we had Patricia Van Pelt Watkins coming out of nowhere to seek the office of mayor in her first foray into politics. She obviously didn&rsquo;t read the book about paying political dues &hellip; This was a watershed election for Chicago, but especially for Black Chicago. Not only could we not come up with a &lsquo;consensus&rsquo; Black candidate (while the white community certainly did by sending Tom Dart and Lisa Madigan home to spend more time with family), we didn&rsquo;t really support any Black candidate.&rdquo;</span></p></blockquote><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Indeed, it might be time to make way, not for those who still have memories of Harold but for those for whom Harold fought for a better future long after he was gone.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">*<span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>*<span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>*</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">One other election note: Second place winner Gery Chico won ten wards, of which six were Latino majority wards. But the actual picture&rsquo;s a little bit more complicated. <br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Who supported Chico? Well, if you look at the wards he won, Chico's Machine ties are glaring. His victories came in:</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * the 10<sup>th</sup> ward, Ed Vrdolyak&rsquo;s old territory, where alderman and committeeman John Pope adheres to Machine tradition; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * the 11<sup>th</sup>, run by John Daley, the most &quot;old school&quot; of the Daleys; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * the 12<sup>th</sup>, coordinated by committeeman Tony Muñoz, the Machine ally who ousted progressive Jesus Garcia as state senator years ago;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * Michael Madigan&rsquo;s 13<sup>th</sup>;<span style="">&nbsp; </span></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * Ed Burke&rsquo;s 14<sup>th</sup>; <span style="">&nbsp;</span></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * the 19<sup>th</sup>, where Matt O&rsquo;Shea, the new alderman and heir to Machine stalwart Virginia Rugai, is also the committeeman;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * the 23<sup>rd</sup>, which is run by Daley&rsquo;s president <em>pro tempore</em> of the City Council, Michael Zalewski, also the old school ward committeeman; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * and finally, the 25<sup>th</sup>, where Ald. Danny Solis is also the committeeman, and when he&rsquo;s not Daley&rsquo;s best Latino ally in the council, he&rsquo;s allied with Cong. Luis Gutierrez, who put everything he had into getting Chico elected this time.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Chico also won the 41<sup>st</sup>, the city&rsquo;s most Republican ward (and the most bipartisan, if we&rsquo;re talking old style Dems), where he may have found his most natural constituency. It&rsquo;s fair to say that most GOPers would find Rahm Emanuel's politics unthinkable, except for the utterly unfathomable and even more liberal and progressive politics of Carol Moseley Braun and Miguel del Valle. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Chico also won the 22<sup>nd</sup>, the city&rsquo;s most Latino ward, where he challenged alderman and committeeman Rick Munoz, County Commissioner Jesus Garcia and state legislature aspirant Rudy Lozano, Jr., all del Valle supporters, on their home turf. This was a classic 22<sup>nd</sup> ward fight, where ethnicity doesn&rsquo;t matter and the very last remnants of the Machine refuse to die while the progressives continue to flail. It&rsquo;s also the ward which historically casts the fewest votes, as was the case again with 4,847.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">And in spite of the tough words Chico had for Rahm Emanuel during the campaign, be assured that Chico will be back, and probably sooner rather than later. David Mosena, the former Daley chief of staff who made Chico his deputy and launched his career as Daley&rsquo;s go-to guy, has just been named to Mayor-elect Emanuel&rsquo;s transition team. </span><span style="font-family: Arial;"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><br /></span></p></p> Fri, 25 Feb 2011 06:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2011-02-25/what-numbers-mean-emanuel-braun-and-chico-82949