(CBS) — Also onstage Monday and taking the oath of office were 50 Chicago aldermen.
Here’s the breakdown: 37 incumbents and 13 newcomers; 38 men and 12 women. They range in age from 26 up to 71 (Ward 14 Ald. Ed Burke).
CBS 2’s Jim Williams introduces us to some of them, including the youngster.
Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), said he’s eager to start his first term, and move past Monday’s pomp to take on budget woes and crime.
“This is beautiful when we get together, we celebrate our democracy. Tomorrow the real difficult work begins,” he said.
Ald. Millie Santiago (31st) plans to address the tasks at hand with experience she drew as a journalist for 20 years.
“I’m not going to stop asking questions in the city council and asking questions to the mayor,” Santiago said.
The mayor, critics insist, has a “rubber stamp” city council. Three-term Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) said he hopes some rookie colleagues will join his progressive caucus.
“We really need a council that’s going to embark on looking at things in more detail,” he said.
The veterans vow to mentor the new aldermen.
“We all can learn from each other. I’m still learning today,” Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) said.
Ramirez-Rosa, the youngest council member, plans to sidestep any youthful arrogance.
“My grandmother says experience talks, and so I’m really making sure that I’m speaking with experienced folks, so I can do the best job possible,” he said.
There’s no hiding when you’re the alderman. They’re on the front line. Each has a salary of $107,000; though committee chairman are paid more. Each alderman can hire three staffers.
Total budget for the city council: $26 million.