Sunday, February 19, 2006

Meet the Alderman and another assorted article...

Meet these following Aldermen courtesy of the Chicago Tribune...

Margaret Laurino (39th Ward)
Manny Flores (1st Ward)
Thomas Tunney (44th Ward)

I wonder why these aldermen get the fancy websites where most other alderman may not even have one aside from their page on the City of Chicago's section for city government.

In any case here's another column from Mr. Russ Stewart talking about the current city council. And how under the regimes of both Mayor Richard J. Daley (1955-1976) and Richard M. Daley the current mayor that the city council has been reduced to nothing more than a rubber stamp council. Recently it has be noted by political analysts that Chicago's City Council is becoming more of a legislative one with the city council passing bans on cigarette smoking in public places (such as bars and restaurants) and one on wearing a headset instead of talking on the phone while driving a car in the city limits.

However according to this article Chicago's City Council remains "under Daley's thumbs". Well this was discussed a little in Mayor Richard J. Daley's autobiography, American Pharaoh : Mayor Richard J. Daley - His Battle for Chicago and the Nation. This is Stewart's explanation...

When Richard J. Daley won the mayoralty in 1955, he understood how to consolidate his power: First, control the hiring process. Then, control those hired. Then dispatch and concentrate those city job holders in certain wards to ensure the election of compliant aldermen. Then order those aldermen to support the mayor's budget, which controlled spending on all ward projects. Then use those dollars to control all the aldermen.
Oh yeah new found City Council independence. He talks about a flawed study by UIC political science professor Dick Simpson himself a former alderman...
He has released a seriously flawed study that heralds a "newly found" council independence. Citing resolutions on such nongermane matters as the Iraq War, slave reparations and the Patriot Act, the Simpson study mixes the symbolic votes with the substantive. "We're the Chicago City Council, not the Council on Foreign Relations," said Alderman Tom Allen (38th). "It is not our job to make foreign policy."
I can agree with Stewart on one thing though, there has not been a revolt by Chicago's City Council. In any case he has written plenty of columns on the how the city government of Chicago really works and this is a good column.

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