WBEZ | John Pope http://www.wbez.org/tags/john-pope Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago remap vote could come this week as Hispanic Caucus OKs compromise http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-remap-vote-could-come-week-hispanic-caucus-oks-compromise-95605 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-January/2012-01-17/IMG_1138.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago aldermen will sit for a final public meeting Wednesday before moving ahead with plans to re-draw the city's ward boundaries - perhaps as soon as Thursday. This comes after the City Council's Hispanic Caucus took a private vote in support a compromise plan.</p><p>At a City Hall hearing Tuesday afternoon, Rules Committee Chair Dick Mell (33rd) - the leader of the redistricting process - told a crowd of concerned residents that no one will be happy with the final map, not even the aldermen.</p><p>"We'll have to make new friends in a lot of cases, and make new constituents," Mell said. "And we'll lose a lot of old constituents, and a lot of old friends."</p><p>Mell has been working behind the scenes to craft a compromise that would win support from 41 aldermen, enough to avoid sending the issue to voters in a referendum. He said Tuesday afternoon that he'd reach that number if the council's Latino Caucus signed on.</p><p>And in a meeting that evening, the eight Hispanic aldermen came to an agreement, according to the caucus' chair, 25th Ward Ald. Danny Solis.</p><p>"They said they would support it," Solis said in an interview following the meeting. "The only issue that was a little bit still in question [was] timing."</p><p>Solis said some members of the caucus wanted to delay a vote on the map until next week, but he said that would not be a dealbreaker.</p><p>The full City Council is scheduled to vote on the map in a special meeting on Thursday, immediately following a Rules Committee meeting. But if two or more aldermen use a parliamentary maneuver to "defer and publish," the vote could be delayed a week or longer.</p><p>The compromise now under discussion is based largely on a proposal originally put forward by the council's Black Caucus, but there has been tinkering to some boundaries. It would include 13 wards where Hispanics make up a comfortable majority of the voting age population, and 18 for black Chicagoans.</p><p>Solis also said he believes a "majority" of the eight white aldermen who signed on to his caucus' original proposal - including Alds. John Pope, James Balcer (11th) and Michele Smith (43rd) - would support the compromise, making Mell's quest for 41 votes all the easier.</p><p>That new map has not been made public or filed with the city clerk's office. But, according to Solis, the Hispanic aldermen want to make details of it available during Wednesday night's hearing at North-Grand High School on the city's West Side.</p></p> Tue, 17 Jan 2012 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-remap-vote-could-come-week-hispanic-caucus-oks-compromise-95605 Congressman Danny Davis must pay up or be booted from March ballot http://www.wbez.org/story/congressman-danny-davis-must-pay-or-be-booted-march-ballot-94743 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-December/2011-12-08/RS3661_Cong Danny K. Davis.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Politicians in Illinois risk being booted from the March election ballot if they don't pay off overdue fines. Among them: Congressman Danny Davis.</p><p>Davis is running for re-election to Congress, and also to be Chicago's 29th Ward Democratic committeeman. But before he can get on the ballot, Davis must clear up about $1,887 in fines owed to the Illinois State Election Board.</p><p>The fines, imposed on two of his committees - Citizens for Davis and Davis for Mayor-- were levied because campaign money disclosure reports were filed late or not at all. They are all at least two months overdue.</p><p>Davis knew about them, but explained in an interview Thursday that the congressional schedule has kept him too busy.</p><p>"I'm here [in Chicago] for two days, and - damn - I can't find time to go get a haircut," Davis said.</p><p>He will find the time to pay the fines on Friday, Davis said, using money from his campaign account.</p><p>"I think people should pay anything they owe," Davis said. "Hey, I've gotten a few traffic tickets in my lifetime. Not many, but if I got one, I'll pay it."</p><p>The election board last week sent a letter to local election authorities citing an Illinois law that was clarified at the beginning of this year.</p><p>"[E]lection authorities are barred from placing on the ballot the name of any candidate whose political committee has an unpaid civil penalty owed to the State Board of Elections," the letter said.</p><p>The board attached a spread sheet to the letter, listing about 150 candidate committees owing overdue fines totaling about $600,000 dollars. (A <a href="http://www.elections.il.gov/CampaignDisclosure/UnpaidFines.aspx">list</a> on the board's website also includes fines owed by political action committees, which are not subject to the "ballot forfeiture" law.)</p><p>In the past two weeks, at least two Chicago aldermen, the 10th Ward's John Pope and the 28th Ward's Jason Ervin, paid off overdue fines. Like Davis, both have filed to run in the March election for Democratic ward committeeman.</p><p>Candidates are allowed to stay on the ballot if they appeal their fines. That happened in the case of state Sen. Kimberly Lightford of Maywood, who owed about $8,000. An election board official said Lightford was removed from the list because she filed a petition for review in the appellate court.</p></p> Fri, 09 Dec 2011 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/congressman-danny-davis-must-pay-or-be-booted-march-ballot-94743 No more trash superpowers for Chicago aldermen? http://www.wbez.org/story/no-more-trash-superpowers-chicago-aldermen-93430 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-25/garbage truck - Flickr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago aldermen are very protective of their trash pick-up powers. And so, a plan to take some of those powers away was greeted a bit coldly at a city council hearing on Monday evening.</p><p>Trash pickup is now done ward-by-ward, allowing individual aldermen control over the politically important service. That goes away under Rahm Emanuel's proposed budget, which his administration tried to sell to aldermen. A handful of them weren't buying it - at least not yet.</p><p>"I don't feel at this point that I have enough information," Ald. Pat Dowell (3) said.</p><p>"I think a lot of us need to get some more information," said Ald. Debra Silverstein (50).</p><p>Alderman John Pope (10) said, "I would really like to have a briefing so we know what's in play, what's the general concept."</p><p>Alderman Latasha Thomas (17) insisted the briefing take place before the council votes on the budget.</p><p>Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Tom Byrne couldn't answer a lot of aldermen's questions about how the new trash pickup would work - and most importantly, how their special trash requests would be granted. He said a consultant is still drafting the plan.</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said grid garbage pickup is more efficient, and would save $20 million a year. But aldermen were even skeptical of that number.</p></p> Tue, 25 Oct 2011 00:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/no-more-trash-superpowers-chicago-aldermen-93430 Aldermen not on board with Emanuel's library cuts http://www.wbez.org/story/aldermen-not-board-emanuels-library-cuts-93370 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-21/CPL books.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated at 4:05 p.m. </em></p><p>Chicago aldermen appear ready to revolt on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's budget over dramatic layoffs slated for city libraries.</p><p>Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey told the council the roughly $10 million city funding reduction would mean 284 job cuts and, consequently, hours and service cuts. She watched her words carefully, but was clearly not on board with Emanuel's proposal.</p><p>"Our mission is to provide library services in every neighborhood, and we'll do the best we can," Dempsey said Friday morning.</p><p>Dempsey also warned the reduction could jeopardize library funding from the state. The cuts were not popular with aldermen, including the influential budget committee chair, Carrie Austin, who called it "ridiculous" that Emanuel hit libraries with so many layoffs.</p><p>"I think all of our hearts bleed for the libraries, because they are more than just the library, they’re an intricate part of all of our communities," Austin said. "It’s just very disheartening."</p><p>Alderman after alderman promised to try to reverse the cuts. John Pope suggested raising taxes. Tim Cullerton wondered if Oprah Winfrey could kick in $10 million.</p><p>"I'm appealing to her on behalf of the libraries in Chicago," Cullerton said, as Dempsey laughed.</p><p>Later in the day, Austin said about 10 aldermen are currently working on an alternative to the library reduction.</p><p>"If your goal is the $10 million...I think we can find that in another aspect," Austin said. "It's going to be hard on the citizens of Chicago no matter what we do, because ultimately the citizens are the ones that pay the price."</p><p>Mayor Emanuel has defended the reduction, noting some cities have closed library branches. The cuts are part of the mayor's 2012 budget proposal, which sought to close a $636 million budget deficit.</p></p> Fri, 21 Oct 2011 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/aldermen-not-board-emanuels-library-cuts-93370 Pope, Martinez battle for 10th Ward http://www.wbez.org/story/10th-ward/pope-martinez-battle-10th-ward <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/pope.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">On Chicago's southeast side, you'll find the 10th ward - a gritty neighborhood with working class homes and tracts of empty industrial space. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">It hasn't made big political news for a while, but there's an interesting development this election season.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">The ward's aldermen have always been Caucasian, despite the fact that the diverse neighborhood was home to Chicago's first Mexican immigrants.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">For a long time, if you saw the face of an alderman from the 10th ward, you'd see the face of a white man. </span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">One of the highest profile was Eddie Vrdolyak. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">In the eighties, he had public spats with alderman from minority neighborhoods &hellip; and he sparred with the city's first black mayor, Harold Washington. </span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">WASHINGTON</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">: Anyone who has a grain of sense in his head would say there is something amiss here. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">VRDOLYAK:: Well, the mayor says a lot of things and unfortunately right now what he sounds like right now is a loser. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">WASHINGTON</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">: Ed Vrdolyak systematically has discriminated against Hispanics in this city. He is responsible for Hispanics being denied the opportunity to vote for people of their own choice over the past three years.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">The city, and the 10th ward, have changed a lot since the eighties, but there's a sense that ethnicity is still on the radar. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">At least it is at Richard Martinez Jr's campaign.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">Martinez</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;"> has numbers pinned on his wall. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">They read:</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">120.</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">170.</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">55. </span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">And so on. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">These are the number of Hispanic voters he's counted in each 10th ward precinct. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">Martinez</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;"> sees each one as a potential asset for his attempt to become the ward's first Latino alderman.</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">MARTINEZ</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">: We've been a part of the culture. We've been a part of this community. The one part that we have been a part but we haven't really had any leadership in is in the political side. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">The racial mix in the 10th ward is complex. </span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">African Americans and Hispanics make up the majority but there's still a sizeable Anglo population. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">Martinez</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;"> happens to be half Polish, but he feels his Latino heritage will resonate.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">MARTINEZ</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">: There is a historical component to this race. I think there are a lot of people that have a lot of pride in that and obviously I think that creates a lot of excitement.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">POPE: This is the year 2011. I think people generally are smarter than that. They want someone who is going to lead them, someone who is going to work closely with them.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">That's John Pope, the incumbent in this aldermanic race. </span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">He doesn't think ethnicity will be much of a factor. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">POPE: I'm not female but hopefully I represent females just as well as I represent males. I've been around a long time. I've been working closely with people. I reach out to every end of the community. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">Pope's represented the ward since 1999, and he's usually hit economic issues pretty hard: things like jobs, new housing and, just spiffing up acres of old industrial sites. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">He thinks ethnicity should be a sideshow; the economy will take center stage.&nbsp; </span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">POPE: We've had new success with everything from a new Aldi's, to Walgreens to Bubbleland. Green buildings in terms of retail shopping stores. And I guess we're really focusing on the industrial jobs because that's what this area is really known for.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">On the other side, Martinez's campaign is not solely based on race. </span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">He talks about the economy, too, but he has a different vision. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">Pope hopes to lure heavy industrial factories back. Martinez isn't so sure that will work. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">MARTINEZ</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">: If you take a ride through the ward you'll see coal piles and smoke stacks. All kinds of dirty industry that's still very prominent in this community. It's my job to bring in investment that will contribute to the health, the welfare, the safety and the environment of our ward.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">I catch up with potential voters at C&amp;G restaurant on Torrance Avenue during the breakfast rush. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">I'm there for breakfast &hellip; and to ask some open questions about the aldermanic race. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">A lot of people were like Lucy Alvarez. </span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">They just didn't bring up ethnicity. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">ALVAREZ: The neighborhood has come down ever since the mills have left. We need to sort of pick this up in order for anything more to happen to the people on this side of town. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">Of course, no one can really say how much ethnicity will count in the 10th Ward's aldermanic contest, at least not until the returns come in Tuesday.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">Two other candidates are also on the ballot: Jose Leon and Joseph Nasella.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">However, neither of those men could be reached for comment. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">(Audio clip of Washington-</span><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">Vrdolyak from WBBM Channel 2 Chicago.)<br /></span></p><p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p><p class="MsoNormal"><span player="null" class="filefield_audio_insert_player" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-88610" href="/sites/default/files/John Pope (extended interview).mp3">John Pope (extended interview).mp3</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p class="MsoNormal">Extended interview with 10th Ward Alderman John Pope. Our conversation includes talk about economic development, improving schools and working with Chicago's new mayor.</p><p class="MsoNormal"><span player="null" class="filefield_audio_insert_player" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-88611" href="/sites/default/files/Richard Martinez (extended interview).mp3">Richard Martinez (extended interview).mp3</span></p><p class="MsoNormal">Extended interview with Richard Martinez Jr., who is running for alderman of the 10th Ward. Our conversation includes talk about improving schools, economic development and fighting crime.</p><p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p><p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 18 Feb 2011 22:10:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/10th-ward/pope-martinez-battle-10th-ward