Will the 2023 municipal elections push the Chicago Aldermanic Black Caucus further to the left? • The TRiBE

Although the term dates back to the 1900s, according to NRP, the 2016 presidential campaign of US Senator Bernie Sanders gave him a new lease of life. “Progressivism is now a way for politicians to appeal to far-left Americans, without alienating moderates and independents who reject the ‘liberal’ label,” NPR reported.

In 2019, a list of progressive candidates joined the city council. Ald, longtime South Side organizer. Jeanette Taylor (20th Ward) won a run-off race, succeeding former Willie Cochran, city councilor for the 20th arrondissement. In 2016, a federal grand jury Cochran charged on charges of allegedly taking money from a charity fund to help families and children in his neighborhood, according to the Justice Department.

Prior to becoming a councilman, Taylor served as an organizer with the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization and was one of the main organizers of the Coalition for Obama’s Community Benefits Agreement (CBA).

There’s also BYP100 board member Maria Hadden, who’s longtime beat 49th Ward incumbent Joe Moore, ending his 28-year career on city council. Moore identified as a progressive, but according to a Chicago Block Club Articlehe voted more than 98% of the time with Emanuel.

Not only did Hadden become the first openly queer black woman elected to the Chicago City Council, but she also became the first black alderman to be elected from a North Side ward.

And there’s Matt Martin, who was elected to the 47th Ward in 2019. Before joining the City Council, he served as a civil rights attorney in the Illinois Attorney General’s office. He has focused on issues such as police reform, workers’ rights, health care, LGBTQ+ rights, and reproductive rights. He also helped write the decree of consent.

Along with Taylor, Hadden and Martin serve on the CABC and the Chicago City Council Progressive Reform Caucus (CCCPRC).

Then there is Ald. Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez (33rd Ward), a former community organizer who defeated incumbent Deb Mell in the 2019 runoff. Mell was named to city council in 2013 to replace her father, who had served on city council since 1975. Rodriguez -Sanchez is a member of the CCCPRC and the Chicago City Council Latino Caucus.

The activist roots of Taylor, Rodriguez-Sanchez and Hadden have kept them in touch with the needs of their constituents.

Recent progressive policies that have been passed by City Council include the campaign to fight for the $15 minimum wage in November 2019, the Community Empowerment for Public Safety (ECPS) Ordinance in July 2021, and the Woodlawn Housing Preservation Ordinance in September 2020, and Community Empowerment for Public Safety (ECPS) in July 2021.

As of 2016, members of the ABC coalition – including Ald. Taylor had been part of — came together to protect residents of Woodlawn and surrounding communities from displacement due to the development of the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. These efforts paid off in 2020, when the city council approved the Woodlawn Housing Preservation Ordinance, which Taylor co-sponsored. One of the key features of the ordinance is the requirement that for every redevelopment of 52 vacant city-owned lots, at least 30% of new apartments must be made affordable to “very low-income households.”

“It’s about representation that goes beyond Blackness identity and represents the class interests and social interests of black people in the city,” Bartley said. “I think it’s about bringing the organizers into power.”

With these new voices in power, Bartley said we can find ways to meaningfully challenge the alders who have been in power for years.

“We know black voters are loyal voters,” she said. “How do we provide material alternatives to members of our communities and neighborhoods and then organize them to believe in bolder representation? »

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