The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

How Often Does Your Alderman Vote With Emanuel?

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 9, 2014 3:15PM

Photo credit: Milosh Kosanovich

When Rahm Emanuel was elected mayor in 2011, this is what he said about wanting to work with City Council to fix the issues plaguing Chicago:

“They cannot be a rubber stamp. That’s unacceptable. The challenges are too big. They can’t be what they were in the last few years. They don’t want it. The city doesn’t want it. ... I was a former legislator. I don’t want it."

During Emanuel's first two years in office, City Council voted in lockstep with the mayor 93 percent of the time. But a new study released by UIC political science professor Dick Simpson shows that rubber stamp support has slipped slightly.

Simpson and UIC graduate researchers Beyza Buyuker and Melissa Mouritsen analyzed 37 divided roll call votes in City Council since April 10, 2013 and determined aldermen voted in favor of Emanuel-backed ordinances 89 percent of the time. (Keep in mind a "divided roll call vote" means at least one alderman voted against the mayor's wishes.) Clearly Emanuel isn't worried about swaying aldermen who oppose his policies over to his side since he still maintains overwhelming support in City Council.

The aldermen who voted the least for Emanuel-backed ordinances are John Arena (43 percent of the time), Bob Fioretti (45 percent), Waguespack (54 percent) and Nicholas Sposato (66 percent). All four are members of the City Council Progressive Caucus.

Eight aldermen have voted 100 percent in lockstep with Emanuel. We've included a screengrab to show how your alderman is voting.


"With the upcoming city elections fast approaching, our report today on Mayor Emanuel's Rubber Stamp City Council is especially timely," Simpson said. "Chicago voters will be able to see how their alderman voted on specific issues and will be able to determine their alderman's overall support for the Mayor's positions."

It also gives voters a sense of which aldermen will be targeted by Chicago Forward, the pro-Emanuel Super PAC headed by Emanuel ally and longtime political insider Becky Carroll. Carroll has said she'll use money from Chicago Forward to target aldermen she believes "are interested in moving the city backwards." Fioretti, who's running against Emanuel for mayor, believes Chicago Forward is targeting the members of the Progressive Caucus.

The full report is below.

UIC Report On Chicago Aldermanic Votes by Chicagoist