WBEZ | Dick Simpson http://www.wbez.org/tags/dick-simpson Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Pregnancy tests? Pigeon poo? What Chicago aldermen really do http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/pregnancy-tests-pigeon-poo-what-chicago-aldermen-really-do-107648 <p><p><a name="Audio"></a>Chicagoan Andrea Lee had a problem.</p><p>When she looked across the street from her condo building in the city&rsquo;s Noble Square neighborhood, the 35-year-old noticed that her neighbors had something she didn&rsquo;t: recycling bins.</p><p>So Andrea did what many Chicagoans with neighborhood problems do: She called her local alderman, only to learn that aldermanic power (at least when it comes to refuse collection) <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/new-garbage-grid-mayor-emanuel-trashes-symbol-machine-power-106712">ain&rsquo;t what it used to be</a>.</p><p>After another dead end with her alderman&rsquo;s office (this time, about basement flooding), Andrea asked Curious City:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>&ldquo;If these are the city services that are supposed to be tackled by the aldermen, and this isn&rsquo;t what they&rsquo;re actually doing, then what are they doing?&rdquo;</em></p><p>&ldquo;I guess there are things that the mayor proposes that they vote on,&rdquo; Andrea said when Curious City first reached out to her last month. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know what those things are. I want a little more of a window into that black box of aldermanic duties.&rdquo;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><em><iframe align="middle" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" scrolling="no" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/k4jqqLi9Q6Q" width="560"></iframe></em></p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>(In the video above, we hear what Andrea learned during a visit to Ald. Walter Burnett&rsquo;s office.)</em></p><p>Chicago&rsquo;s 50 aldermen, it turns out, have a hodgepodge of legislative, administrative and downright strange responsibilities that fall into their laps. (Think: pigeon poop and pregnancy tests.) Some of those duties are codified in law, but some are passed down by tradition alone.</p><p>Here are the three broad categories of aldermanic duties &mdash; a list, as we learned, that is hardly exhaustive.</p><p><strong>Chicago alderman legislate</strong></p><p>At least on paper, Chicago aldermen comprise the legislative branch of city government.</p><p><a href="http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=803&amp;ChapterID=14">State law</a> puts them in charge of a host of the expected legislative duties: They introduce and pass laws, they approve <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-city-council-approves-new-budget-103866">budgets</a> and mayoral appointments, and they <a href="http://www.wbez.org/no-sidebar/approved-ward-map-95662">redraw </a>Chicago&rsquo;s political boundaries every decade.</p><p>But the vast majority of stuff that moves through the City Council lacks any headline-grabbing sex appeal. Think less about <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/news/local/foie-gras-ban-0">foie gras bans</a> and controversial city-wide <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/news/politics/city-council-approves-parking-meter-lease-deal">privatization deals</a>, and more about mundane city ephemera that happen to require approval by the entire City Council: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/why-are-chicago%E2%80%99s-sidewalk-cafes-all-north-side-part-1-107257">sidewalk cafe permits</a>, loading zones, and senior citizen sewer fee refunds.</p><p>Since Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office in May 2011, there have been 28,971 measures introduced to the City Council. Of those, only 2,030 (about seven percent) were flagged by the City Clerk&rsquo;s office as being pieces of &ldquo;key legislation&rdquo;; that is, they were proposals that could have a potential citywide impact, such as mayoral appointments, legal settlements, or tax and fee hikes.</p><p>If this strikes you as more administrative than legislative, that&rsquo;s because City Council isn&rsquo;t set up as a robust watchdog-like second branch of city government, at least according to Dick Simpson, a former North Side alderman who&#39;s now a political scientist at the University of Illinois at Chicago.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/al%20in%20alderman%20office.png" style="height: 202px; width: 320px; float: left;" title="Alderman Burnett helps a local business owner find partners in his City Hall office. (WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" />&ldquo;A big problem with aldermen in the city of Chicago is they don&rsquo;t legislate very well,&rdquo; Simpson said. &ldquo;They&rsquo;ll look at what comes across their desk, ask what the mayor wants, and vote &lsquo;<a href="http://www.uic.edu/depts/pols/ChicagoPolitics/City_Council_Report_April2013.pdf">yes</a>.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>Part of the problem is that aldermen don&rsquo;t have staff to exhaustively vet complicated ordinances, and the city has no equivalent to the <a href="http://www.cbo.gov/">Congressional Budget Office</a>, Simpson said. He points to the unpopular parking meter privatization deal that was passed in 2008, which former Mayor Richard M. Daley gave aldermen just three days to review.</p><p>But the lack of legislative muscle is also cultural, said 49th Ward Ald. Joe Moore, who has represented the city&rsquo;s Rogers Park neighborhood for more than two decades.</p><p>Somewhere between the Second Floor and the Fifth Floor of City Hall, there has developed a tacit understanding, Moore said: The mayor gets to drive the citywide agenda, and aldermen are left to control what goes on their wards.</p><p>&ldquo;I often liken the City of Chicago [to] a feudal system, where the mayor is sort of a de facto king,&rdquo; Moore said. &ldquo;And each alderman is the lord &mdash; I guess, lady, for female aldermen &mdash; of their individual fiefdom.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Chicago aldermen zone</strong></p><p>And one of the most important lordly duties, after all, is the building of castles.</p><p>In Chicago the method of approving applications for castles &mdash; or skyscrapers, home additions, and business expansions, for that matter &mdash; is the city&rsquo;s zoning process.</p><p>Zoning may sound tearfully boring, but it&rsquo;s incredibly important. Simply put, the City Council&rsquo;s zoning decisions determine where buildings are allowed to be built, how high they can be, and what you can do in them.</p><p>The City Council&rsquo;s zoning role explains why there are no 80-story high rises vaulting out of quiet residential blocks, and why you won&rsquo;t find a one-room log cabin on Michigan Avenue.</p><p>&ldquo;If you wanna know why a city looks the way it does, or why it works the way it does, all private behavior in this regard is regulated by the city,&rdquo; said David Schleicher, a George Mason University law professor who has studied municipal zoning.</p><p>&ldquo;More than the police, more than the schools, it is the most important thing cities do,&rdquo; Schleicher said.</p><p>And it is here that Chicago aldermen enjoy a nearly unchecked power, unmatched by their city council counterparts in other American cities. The unwritten rule of &ldquo;aldermanic privilege&rdquo; (also called &ldquo;aldermanic prerogative&rdquo;) gives aldermen de facto veto power over any development project in their ward.</p><p>&ldquo;You wouldn&rsquo;t find that in any city code or state statute,&rdquo; Ald. Moore said. &ldquo;It has just been the custom and practice of the City Council for generations.&rdquo;</p><p>Despite the minutiae of zoning, Moore and other aldermen defend their privilege by saying that they have an intimate knowledge of what goes on in their wards, and the extraordinary zoning power helps them shape the architectural and economic landscapes.</p><p>But Schleicher said Chicago&rsquo;s &ldquo;sacrosanct&rdquo; aldermanic privilege has its drawbacks. He points to homeless shelters, which most people agree serve a greater good but which often fall victim to &ldquo;not in my backyard&rdquo; opposition when it comes time to break ground.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/alderman%20art.png" style="float: right; height: 259px; width: 320px;" title="Question-asker Andrea Lee and WBEZ reporter Alex Keefe examine the artwork in Alderman Burnett's office. (WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" /></p><p>&ldquo;The cost of aldermanic privilege is not wasting city council people&rsquo;s time,&rdquo; Schleicher said. &ldquo;But rather, creating too parochial an attitude towards problems that are really citywide problems.&rdquo;</p><p>And UIC&rsquo;s Dick Simpson can point to another problem with concentrating so much power in the hands of one Chicago politician: Dozens of aldermen have found themselves on the wrong side of the law.</p><p>&ldquo;Ninety percent of &lsquo;em have gone to jail for either zoning or building bribes,&rdquo; Simpson said.</p><p><strong>Chicago aldermen deal with &lsquo;everything else&rsquo;</strong></p><p>Zoning and legislating may look good on paper, but woe to the alderman who doesn&rsquo;t make sure the ward&rsquo;s trash gets picked up.</p><p>During a recent hearing, veteran 33rd Ward Ald. Dick Mell &mdash; a self-described &ldquo;dinosaur&rdquo; of the City Council &mdash; excoriated some aldermen who questioned Mayor Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s proposed <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-aldermen-approve-free-sunday-parking-longer-meter-hours-107550">tweaks</a> to the city&rsquo;s much-reviled parking meter privatization.</p><p>&ldquo;If anybody thinks that a legislative vote is gonna cost you the election, you&rsquo;re gonna lose your election,&rdquo; Mell said on the City Council floor. &ldquo;What&rsquo;s gonna get you elected is when ... your guy comes in and says ... his next-door neighbor&rsquo;s throwing dog poop in his yard, and you go over and solve it.&rdquo;</p><p>Indeed, the pedestrian concerns that fall under the broad umbrella of &ldquo;ward issues&rdquo; range from neighborly disputes to public safety. Several elected officials said those problems occupy the bulk of an alderman&rsquo;s time.</p><p>&ldquo;I am so focused on potholes and sidewalks, and I just didn&rsquo;t think that would be the case,&rdquo; said 46th Ward Ald. James Cappleman, who was just elected to the City Council in 2011. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m obsessed with that, and I just didn&rsquo;t think that would be the case.&rdquo;</p><p>Cappleman says he&rsquo;s spent a lot of time dealing with a building in his ward that suffered roof damage due to excess pigeon poop. Alderman Mell, meanwhile, bought a chainsaw for his ward office in case constituents need a tree trimmed on short notice. Alderman Moore said he once had a staffer administer a pregnancy test to a worried young woman who visited his ward office.</p><p><strong>Why it works this way</strong></p><p>The structure of Chicago&rsquo;s curiously personal aldermanic duties has its genesis from the days of political patronage, Simpson said. Aldermen could trade city favors, such as pothole-filling and curb-cutting, for votes come election day.</p><p>While that sort of quid-pro-quo is now looked down upon, the scaffolding of the Machine ward system remains intact, allowing aldermen micro-manage their wards. Each of Chicago&rsquo;s 50 aldermen only has to deal with about 55,000 constituents. Compare that to about 162,000 constituents a piece for <a href="http://council.nyc.gov/html/members/members.shtml">New York</a>&rsquo;s 51 council members, and a whopping 255,000 constituents for the average <a href="http://www.lacity.org/government/AbouttheCityGovernment/index.htm?laCategory=1936">Los Angeles</a> council member.</p><p>While some newer council members are concerned with this sort of aldermanic co-dependence (&ldquo;Can&rsquo;t they just call 311?&rdquo;), Moore said it&rsquo;s one of the reasons he loves his job.</p><p>&ldquo;All of humanity comes walking into my office, with all sorts of problems from the very serious to the mundane, and everything in between,&rdquo; said. Ald. Moore. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re looking to us to help solve them.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Alex Keefe reports on Chicago politics for WBEZ. Follow him on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/akeefe">@akeefe</a></em></p><p><em>Correction: This story originally misstated Andrea Lee&#39;s age. She is 35 years of age.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Tue, 11 Jun 2013 17:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/pregnancy-tests-pigeon-poo-what-chicago-aldermen-really-do-107648 At midterm, Emanuel still cozy with City Council http://www.wbez.org/news/midterm-emanuel-still-cozy-city-council-107199 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS760_114218744-scr (1).jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">As Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel hits his midterm Thursday in office, the city&rsquo;s 50-member City Council is also marking a milestone: two years under a new mayor.</p><p dir="ltr">At his May 2011 inauguration, Emanuel promised a new dynamic between Chicago&rsquo;s famously powerful mayor and the city&rsquo;s famously compliant City Council.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We don&rsquo;t a rubber stamp City Council, we don&rsquo;t want (a) Council War,&rdquo; then-mayor-elect Emanuel said in <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/aldermen/rahm-emanuel-explains-why-hes-forming-new-political-action-committee">March 2011</a>. &ldquo;I want a council that will be part of the reform agenda and be a partner in that effort.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Emanuel has enjoyed near-unanimous support from aldermen on his key agenda issues. But some aldermen criticize his style of dealing with some especially controversial issues, such as a recent <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/legal-fight-settled-over-chicago-parking-meters-106877">amendment </a>to the oft-maligned parking meter privatization contract, and his plan to embark upon the largest round of public school <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-proposes-closing-53-elementary-schools-firing-staff-another-6-106202">closings </a>in U.S. history.</p><p dir="ltr">Still, a recent <a href="http://www.uic.edu/depts/pols/ChicagoPolitics/City_Council_Report_April2013.pdf">study </a>from the University of Illinois at Chicago shows the average alderman sided with Emanuel 93 percent of the time on divided roll call votes through February 2013. That&rsquo;s compared to 88 percent during former Mayor Richard Daley&rsquo;s last years in office.</p><p dir="ltr">And when you ask aldermen what they like about Emanuel&rsquo;s style, a lot of them point to his regular calls or text messages, whether to chat or discuss policy, as one marked departure from the Daley years that has made dialogue on hot-button issues easier.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;You know, he speaks strongly and carries a big stick,&rdquo; joked 12th Ward Ald. George Cardenas.</p><p dir="ltr">The face of Emanuel&rsquo;s agenda in the council chamber is longtime North Side Ald. Pat O&rsquo;Connor (40th). He is Emanuel&rsquo;s unofficial floor leader &ndash; that is, his aldermanic temperature-taker, nose-counter and - when need be - arm-twister.</p><p dir="ltr">O&rsquo;Connor held the same post under Daley, but says his job has been a lot busier since Emanuel took office two years ago.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We are more engaged with the City Council on a number of fronts than we were previously, in terms of my role,&rdquo; O&rsquo;Connor said.</p><p dir="ltr">Daley rarely called aldermen directly, but &nbsp;Emanuel&rsquo;s hands-on style makes rounding up votes easier, O&rsquo;Connor said.</p><p dir="ltr">Consider a recent City Council <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/churches-take-%E2%80%98leap-faith%E2%80%99-emanuel-water-deal-107089">meeting</a>, when aldermen took up a controversial plan to change the way the city charges nonprofits and churches for city water. When his proposal looked to be in danger, Emanuel himself huddled with aldermen and religious leaders near the City Council restrooms, seconds before the vote.</p><p dir="ltr">In the end, the churches got their reassurance, and every alderman voted yes &ndash; even O&rsquo;Connor, who vocally disagreed with the mayor&rsquo;s plan.</p><p dir="ltr">Still, O&rsquo;Connor bristles at the phrase &ldquo;rubber stamp.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s much better, in my opinion, to find areas where we can agree, and exploit them, and use those areas and try and limit the areas where we don&rsquo;t agree,&rdquo; he said.</p><p dir="ltr">But University of Illinois at Chicago political scientist Dick Simpson, a former independent alderman who now researches the city government, says the result is a City Council that is even more compliant than it was at the zenith of the Democratic Machine&rsquo;s power.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Well, what we ended up with is still a rubber stamp City Council,&rdquo; Simpson said.</p><p dir="ltr">But Simpson says that could change in the second half of Emanuel&rsquo;s term, as the city faces tough issues.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Aldermen are being caught between pressures of their communities, and going along with the mayor and having a nice chummy time at City Hall,&rdquo; Simpson said. &ldquo;At some point, over some issue, that may fracture the council.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Heading into his second term, the mayor is already facing several issues that could peel away some of his City Council support.</p><p dir="ltr">He&rsquo;s pushing an amendment to the wildly unpopular parking meter contract, trying to anticipate summer gun violence, and facing the Chicago Public Schools board vote on closing 54 schools next week.</p><p dir="ltr">Even some of the mayor&rsquo;s City Council allies, like 27th Ward Ald. Walter Burnett, say they sometimes don&rsquo;t feel listened to, especially over school closings.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Sometimes when you go toward that target, and you just focusing, you miss all of the things on the side and in the back of you,&rdquo; Burnett said, referring to Emanuel&rsquo;s pursuit of school closings despite community opposition.</p><p dir="ltr">Simpson says the mayor will tweak his agenda if aldermen make enough noise, as they did about his initial proposal to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-backs-some-unpopular-budget-ideas-93778">cut library hours</a> and his changes to protest ordinances leading up to last year&rsquo;s NATO summit.</p><p dir="ltr">But Emanuel rarely changes direction entirely on big issues. And when it comes to opposition from everyday Chicagoans, Simpson says don&rsquo;t expect a phone call.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;He&rsquo;s not very good at actual democracy,&rdquo; Simpson said. &ldquo;He&rsquo;s not good at asking people what should happen, and building a consensus. He&rsquo;s good at saying, &lsquo;This is what I did for you this week.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Alex Keefe is a political reporter for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/akeefe">@akeefe</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 16 May 2013 07:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/midterm-emanuel-still-cozy-city-council-107199 Looking back on community reactions to election of Mayor Emanuel http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-22/looking-back-community-reactions-election-mayor-emanuel-95108 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-December/2011-12-22/RS4132_848 Post Election2011_.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>As part of a special encore presentation of <em>Eight Forty-Eight,</em> producer Katie O'Brien revisited the milestones that marked 2011. Local sports teams and franchise players often become part of a city’s identity. When a team’s star leaves for—let’s say South Beach or to live out a childhood dream of becoming a Major League Baseball player—dynasties crumble. And yes, that’s the type of language most sports fans use. But they’re not the only ones who build dynasties around a star player.</p><p>For more than 20 years, the franchise player in Chicago politics was Mayor Richard M. Daley. So when he announced he would not seek re-election, the free-agency frenzy began. But before the city crowned its new king, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> bid a fond farewell to "Da’ Mayor."</p><p>In February, former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel won more than 50 percent of the vote—avoiding any chance of a runoff against any of the other five mayoral candidates. The morning after the election, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> hosted a live community forum in WBEZ's Jim and Kay Mabie Performance Studio to discuss the results. The show was joined by WBEZ listeners, community organizers, academics, pundits and personalities—the room was packed! Helping <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> field audience questions and concerns was the <em>Chicago Tribune’s</em> Rick Kogan, former alderman and political scientist Dick Simpson and local pundit Kyra Kyles. Before hearing from the panelists, <em>Eight Forty-Eight's</em> Alison Cuddy began by taking the temperature of the room.</p><p>WBEZ has been keeping tabs on the Emanuel administration with <em>Eight Forty-Eight's <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/first-100-rahm-emanuels-first-100-days-chicago-mayor" target="_blank">First 100</a></em> series and continued coverage from WBEZ's City Room.</p><p>Listeners can find that content and related coverage from WBEZ's stellar cast of bloggers at <a href="http://www.wbez.org" target="_blank">WBEZ.org</a>.</p></p> Thu, 22 Dec 2011 15:53:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-22/looking-back-community-reactions-election-mayor-emanuel-95108 Searching for political clout's positive pull http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-10/searching-political-clouts-positive-pull-93002 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-October/2011-10-10/4986150349_1bc98c9def_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Last week, the city of <a href="http://chicagoinspectorgeneral.org/" target="_blank">Chicago’s Inspector General</a> revealed that over $900,000 was given to <a href="http://www.afterschoolmatters.org/" target="_blank">After School Matters</a> or its <a href="http://www.youthreadychicago.org//" target="_blank">KidStart program</a> by entities that received tax increment financing funds. Eyebrows were raised because of the programs' close ties to Maggie Daley, the wife of former Mayor Richard Daley. The Inspector General did not claim that arms were twisted when it came to where or how these charitable donations were made: It was the lack of oversight and the potential for impropriety that concerned him. But does political pull ever translate to something positive--not just for the clouted but for the whole city? For answers, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> reached out to professor<a href="http://www.uic.edu/depts/pols/faculty/dicksimpson.html" target="_blank"> Dick Simpson</a>, head of the political science department at the University of Illinois at Chicago and former Chicago alderman.</p><p><br> &nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 10 Oct 2011 13:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-10/searching-political-clouts-positive-pull-93002 Study: No headaches for Daley from current Chicago City Council http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-city-council/study-no-headaches-daley-current-chicago-city-council <p><p>Chicago aldermen are giving Richard Daley a bit of an easier time as the longtime mayor makes his exit from politics. A new study finds that, in general, aldermen agreed with the mayor more often during the current term than the previous one.</p><p>The study from the University of Illinois at Chicago looked at 54 divided roll call votes in the past four years - the times the 50 aldermen don't all agree.<br /><br />In those divided votes, 31 aldermen went Daley's way almost every time - in 90 percent or more of those votes. That is up from seven aldermen who agreed with Daley that often in the previous term.<br /><br />Among the most loyal these last few years: Alderman John Pope, Frank Olivo, Ed Burke, Virginia Rugai, Ariel Reboyras, Dick Mell and Carrie Austin. They each voted with Daley 100 percent of the time. In the previous term, no alderman voted every time the mayor.<br /><br />The aldermen who disagreed with Daley the most were Joe Moore, Bob Fioretti and Sandi Jackson. Even they, though, agreed with the mayor more than half the time.</p><p><strong>How often did your alderman agree with Mayor Daley?</strong>&nbsp;</p><p><em>Note: In the seven instances where an alderman resigned amid-term, the study combined both aldermen's voting records.</em></p><p><style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;}</style></p><table class="tableizer-table"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>Ward</th><th>Alderman</th><th>% voted with Daley on divided votes</th></tr><tr><td>1</td><td>Manny Flores / Joe Moreno</td><td>90</td></tr><tr><td>2</td><td>Bob Fioretti</td><td>52</td></tr><tr><td>3</td><td>Pat Dowell</td><td>76</td></tr><tr><td>4</td><td>Toni Preckwinkle / Shirley Newsome</td><td>60</td></tr><tr><td>5</td><td>Leslie Hairston</td><td>73</td></tr><tr><td>6</td><td>Freddrenna Lyle</td><td>98</td></tr><tr><td>7</td><td>Sandi Jackson</td><td>53</td></tr><tr><td>8</td><td>Michelle Harris</td><td>98</td></tr><tr><td>9</td><td>Anthony Beale</td><td>96</td></tr><tr><td>10</td><td>John Pope</td><td>100</td></tr><tr><td>11</td><td>James Balcer</td><td>88</td></tr><tr><td>12</td><td>George Cardenas</td><td>96</td></tr><tr><td>13</td><td>Frank Olivo</td><td>100</td></tr><tr><td>14</td><td>Ed Burke</td><td>100</td></tr><tr><td>15</td><td>Toni Foulkes</td><td>86</td></tr><tr><td>16</td><td>Joann Thompson</td><td>92</td></tr><tr><td>17</td><td>Latasha Thomas</td><td>98</td></tr><tr><td>18</td><td>Lona Lane</td><td>96</td></tr><tr><td>19</td><td>Virginia Rugai</td><td>100</td></tr><tr><td>20</td><td>Willie Cochran</td><td>90</td></tr><tr><td>21</td><td>Howard Brookins</td><td>86</td></tr><tr><td>22</td><td>Ricardo Munoz</td><td>65</td></tr><tr><td>23</td><td>Mike Zalewski</td><td>96</td></tr><tr><td>24</td><td>Sharon Denise Dixon</td><td>83</td></tr><tr><td>25</td><td>Danny Solis</td><td>98</td></tr><tr><td>26</td><td>Billy Ocasio / Roberto Maldonado</td><td>79</td></tr><tr><td>27</td><td>Walter Burnett</td><td>96</td></tr><tr><td>28</td><td>Ed Smith / Jason Ervin</td><td>94</td></tr><tr><td>29</td><td>Ike Carothers/ Deborah Graham</td><td>98</td></tr><tr><td>30</td><td>Ariel Reboyras</td><td>100</td></tr><tr><td>31</td><td>Ray Suarez</td><td>88</td></tr><tr><td>32</td><td>Scott Waguespack</td><td>67</td></tr><tr><td>33</td><td>Dick Mell</td><td>100</td></tr><tr><td>34</td><td>Carrie Austin</td><td>100</td></tr><tr><td>35</td><td>Rey Colon</td><td>80</td></tr><tr><td>36</td><td>William Banks / John Rice</td><td>98</td></tr><tr><td>37</td><td>Emma Mitts</td><td>98</td></tr><tr><td>38</td><td>Tom Allen / Tim Cullerton</td><td>96</td></tr><tr><td>39</td><td>Margaret Laurino</td><td>96</td></tr><tr><td>40</td><td>Patrick O'Connor</td><td>96</td></tr><tr><td>41</td><td>Brian Doherty</td><td>70</td></tr><tr><td>42</td><td>Brendan Reilly</td><td>68</td></tr><tr><td>43</td><td>Vi Daley</td><td>88</td></tr><tr><td>44</td><td>Tom Tunney</td><td>90</td></tr><tr><td>45</td><td>Pat Levar</td><td>96</td></tr><tr><td>46</td><td>Helen Shiller</td><td>96</td></tr><tr><td>47</td><td>Gene Schulter</td><td>90</td></tr><tr><td>48</td><td>Mary Ann Smith</td><td>96</td></tr><tr><td>49</td><td>Joe Moore</td><td>51</td></tr><tr><td>50</td><td>Berny Stone</td><td>86</td></tr></tbody></table><p><em><a href="http://www.uic.edu/depts/pols/ChicagoPolitics/councilvoting.htm">Source</a>: &quot;The Last of the Daley Years,&quot; by Dick Simpson, James Nell, Missy Mouritsen Zmuda, Thomas J. Gradel, Cori Smith and Tom Kelly. University of Illinois at Chicago, March 2011.</em></p></p> Tue, 15 Mar 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-city-council/study-no-headaches-daley-current-chicago-city-council Race and the mayor’s race http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago/race-and-mayor%E2%80%99s-race <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-17/Rahm fan.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago goes to the polls Tuesday to elect a replacement for Mayor Richard M. Daley and new cadre of Aldermen.</p><p>We know that race has long been a factor in Chicago elections, even before Harold Washington&rsquo;s opponents rallied their supporters with the racially charged slogan &ldquo;Before it&rsquo;s too late.&rdquo;</p><p>Former 44th Ward Alderman Dick Simpson, who now heads the political science department at UIC, recently joined a panel of fellow historians for a conversation on Chicago&rsquo;s mayoral politics. In the audio excerpt posted above he explains why voting in Chicago still happens along racial lines (but not like it used to) and why candidate Rahm Emanuel may not have the race for mayor sewn up as tightly some polls and pundits have predicted.</p><p><em>Dynamic Range showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified&rsquo;s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Dick Simpson spoke to an audience assembled by </em><a href="http://www.midlandauthors.com/"><em>The Society of Midland Authors</em></a><em> in January. Click </em><a href="../../../../../../story/chicago-mayoral-race"><em>here</em></a><em> to hear the event in its entirety, and click </em><a target="_blank" href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/wbez/id364380278"><em>here</em></a><em> to subscribe to the Dynamic Range podcast.</em></p></p> Fri, 18 Feb 2011 21:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago/race-and-mayor%E2%80%99s-race Volunteers drum up support for mayoral candidates http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-18/volunteers-drum-support-mayoral-candidates-82514 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Emanuel with volunteers AP.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>There are four days left until Chicago&rsquo;s municipal election. The candidates have been out in full force - stumping hard for votes. But behind the scenes, it&rsquo;s the army of volunteers that have helped really make the difference. So who has recruited the most &quot;will work for free&quot; folks?</p><p>WBEZ Pritzker Journalism Fellow Icoi Johnson went out to discover whether volunteer turn-out might be a bellwether for overall interest in the race:</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>At a Rahm Emanuel campaign office in Hyde Park, volunteers put out calls to voters. The South Side office is small but busy with supporters. Armed with a list of names, staff used cell phones to reach out to voters.</p><p>&quot;My name is Clinton and I&rsquo;m a volunteer with Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s office and we were wondering if we could count on your support for the upcoming mayoral election,&quot; an Emanuel volunteer said.</p><p>The Emanuel campaign has roughly 6,000 Chicago residents signed up to volunteer. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.uic.edu/depts/pols/faculty/dicksimpson.html">Dick Simpson</a> thinks it's an impressive number. Simpson&rsquo;s head of the political science department at the University of Illinois at Chicago.</p><p>&quot;There are approximately 3,000 precincts in the city of Chicago. You need about 9,000 workers to be able to simply deliver messages door to door. Having the volunteers to do the phone banking and to do the other steps in the campaign is a major resource and will have an affect in voting,&quot; Simpson said.</p><p>One volunteer, Fred Thomas not only volunteers for Emanuel but also stumps for him in his personal life.</p><p>&quot;I always try to speak up for Mr. Rahm Emanuel. Everybody that I meet I try to convince to vote for Rahm,&quot; Thomas explained.</p><p>Over in Gery Chico's camp in the Loo, volunteers also reached out to voters.</p><p>&quot;Hi, Sylvania, my name is David. I&rsquo;m a volunteer for Gery Chico who&rsquo;s running for mayor&hellip;&quot; a Chico volunteer said.</p><p>Chico volunteers worked late into the night to show their support. Vanessa Allmon works of the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.americanbar.org/aba.html">American Bar Association</a> explained that while it&rsquo;s not easy to volunteer after a long day at work, she believes Chico is worth it.</p><p>&quot;It&rsquo;s tough but because I do believe in Chico and believe he&rsquo;s the best for Chicago I make the effort to come here after putting in about 8 &frac12; hours at my regular job. Usually I&rsquo;m here for about two-three hours in the evening but he&rsquo;s worth it,&quot; Allmon said.</p><p>The Chico campaign has over 1,000 volunteers citywide. That may be far less than what the Emanuel campaign but supporter dedication is still the same. John Franklin, a retired police officer said when he&rsquo;s not spending time with family and friends, he&rsquo;s out supporting Chico.</p><p>&quot;I&rsquo;ve supported him at press conferences, working the phones to drum up support, and just trying to get the vote out,&quot; Franklin said.</p><p>Acoording to Simpson, there&rsquo;s a reason why this upcoming election has resulted in more engaged voters.</p><p>&quot;I think the fact that it&rsquo;s a real contest and that we&rsquo;re in some ways beginning to choose the future of Chicago in the post Daley era is extraordinarily important,&quot; Simpson said. But in the end, Simpson went on, what will really matter for the candidates is who shows up on the big day.</p><p>&quot;The public opinion polls so far don&rsquo;t really matter. What matters is who shows up on Election Day. And if your campaign can get out all your potential supporters, even if it&rsquo;s not a majority, you will win because more people will have shown up on your side,&quot; said Simpson.<br />&nbsp;</p><p><em>Music Button performed live by The Opus: &quot;Eye of God&quot; (unreleased)</em><br />&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 18 Feb 2011 14:33:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-18/volunteers-drum-support-mayoral-candidates-82514 Does Chicago really need 50 aldermen? http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/does-chicago-really-need-50-aldermen <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/preckwinkle at board_2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Currently, there are 50 aldermen on city council&mdash;one for each ward. But according to one of &quot;Eight Forty-Eight's&quot; guests Monday, it could be smaller. Emily Miller is a policy and government affairs coordinator with watchdog organization the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bettergov.org/">Better Government Association</a>. A <a target="_blank" href="http://bgathinktank.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/cutting-size-of-chicago-city-council-bga-analysis-does-the-math/">new analysis</a> from the BGA says downsizing Chicago&rsquo;s city council and consolidating wards could streamline city government and save taxpayers millions. Not so fast, says former alderman <a target="_blank" href="http://www.uic.edu/depts/pols/faculty/dicksimpson.html">Dick Simpson</a>, who currently heads up the University of Illinois at Chicago&rsquo;s department of political science.</p></p> Mon, 24 Jan 2011 14:52:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/does-chicago-really-need-50-aldermen