Big Changes In Store For City Council

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicagoans will also go to the polls Tuesday to elect an alderman.

Of the city’s 50 wards, 43 of them have contested races.

In the 24th ward on the West Side, it’s hard to imagine all of the names will fit on the ballot.

CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports we expect a lot of new faces at City Hall, not to mention new power struggles over tax dollars and negotiations with a new mayor.

The 24th Ward on the city’s West Side has enormous problems. Residents there demand an alderman who can solve them.

“Somebody who’s going to do something about all these abandoned lots around this neighborhood,” Carl Sawyer explains.

“Jobs, jobs, jobs — the people are crying for jobs,” one woman said.

High unemployment. High poverty. It’s enough to give any politician headaches. Yet look at all the candidates running for alderman in this ward alone: 18 altogether, including the incumbent.

This year, in other communities as well, a lot of people want to go to the city council.

“There are going to be battles in every part of the city,” says Dick Simpson, chairman of UIC’s political science department.

He predicts Chicago will ultimately have 20 new aldermen, the biggest turnover since the 1970s, when he was in the city council.

“I expect to see what I call council struggles, or council battles — not Council Wars,” Simpson said.

In other words, there will be no racial divide as in the days of Mayor Harold Washington, but disputes over the budget.

“Does some of this money go to schools? Does some of this money go for other city services? That’s a big pool of money over which there will be a fight,” Simpson said.

In the 24th Ward, residents like Renaldo Chapman doubt anything will change.

“Every alderman comes here and says they’re going to do this. Look at these vacant lots,” he said. “Homeless people. No jobs. And they keep saying vote. Vote for you for what? So you can just make a paycheck?”

Well, no matter what their motivation, the next group of aldermen will also have to negotiate a relationship with the new mayor.

The current city council is often accused of being Mayor Daley’s rubber stamp, but members have gone along with Daley because he’s largely given them what they want.

  • phillmarines

    Daley is leaving…take the self serving aldermen with him… all of them !

  • unknown

    what about term limits??

  • Brian

    25 alderman is more than enough

  • Real Chicago Change

    This city dosen`t need 50 aldermen time to trim them too.Twenty five keeping the same amount of staff would do just fine,everybody knows an alderman dosen`t do a whole heck of a lot anyway!
    It`s time for real change and savings to the city`s taxpayers!The trouble is finding a politician with the backbone to introduce and back this necessity!!!!

  • Many New Faces To Be Elected To City Council « CBS Chicago

    […] This has set up battles for several open seats. Only a handful of aldermen are running unopposed, and there are some strong challenges scattered throughout the city. […]

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