April Runoffs Could Make City Council More Independent
By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 16, 2011 1:00PM
City Council (via City of Chicago Website)
UIC Political Science professor and former alderman Dick Simpson released a study today that predicts next month's ward runoff elections have the probability of shaping a City Council more independent from the agenda of Mayor-elect Emanuel. Early voting for the ward runoffs starts Monday and 10 incumbent aldermen are fighting for their jobs.
Simpson and his co-authors charted votes of the current and retiring aldermen from 2007 to present and found them to be more in lockstep with Mayor Daley during the run-up to the ultimately failed 2016 Summer Olympics bid. Prior to that and after, City Council members were less likely to vote with Daley. The Sun-Times has put together a list from the UIC study of how often aldermen voted with Daley.
Simpson predicts that three to four more aldermen will be elected next month with a more independent streak, joining the seven current independently-minded aldermen like 22nd Ward Ald. Ricardo Munoz and 49th Ward Ald. Joe Moore. Simpson also said City Council will still be dominated by longtime machine Democrats like 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke and 33rd Ward Ald. Dick Mell.