CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago’s historic election brings change not only to the mayor’s office but also to the city council.
At least eight new members take office next month, including four democratic socialists.
Andre Vasquez’s neighbors made him the 40th Ward alderman. He’s one of the four Democratic socialists elected.
“I believe that government should be a counter balance that should provide for the social good,” Vasquez said. “So when we’re talking about meeting the basic needs for people, that government is there to provide that and should be reining in the influence of big money.”
“There is a move toward a more Democratic, more progressive politics that a lot of us are now in a position to usher in,” said Democratic socialist and 1st Ward alderman-elect Daniel La Spata.
Both Vasquez and La Spata oppose the long standing custom of aldermanic privilege, which gives members of the city council control over public and private projects in their wards.
“To me it means the neighborhood has the decision making power over the decisions facing the neighborhood,” La Spata said. “It means we are seeking public solutions to public problems.”
Altogether the city council will have at least eight new members. Political philosophies aside, all can’t lose sight of the basics: make sure potholes are filled and garbage is picked up.
“If you do that well, the neighborhood, your constituents, will abide a greater boldness and a greater courage in the policies you pursue for the whole city,” La Spata said.
Democratic socialists say they believe people have a right to affordable housing, education, including college and healthcare. Two prominent democratic socialists are Sen. Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.