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It's not just our Mayor who's progressive?

Let's face it, Mayor Johnson's initiatives are passing with 20-30 vote majorities. Our City council leans Left.


That means we'll be seeing more folks rolling in through America's border, more cops thrown under the bus, more taxation, more anti business regulation or as I like to say "more fun".


More independent alders

Data: Axios survey of Chicago alders; Chart: Axios Visuals



The rubber-stamp city councils of Chicago's past are long gone.

Driving the news: Most of today's alders surveyed by Axios say they consider legislation case by case, regardless of Mayor Brandon Johnson's wishes.


Why it matters: This marks a sea change in City Council behavior and helps explain some current strife, including a recent tie vote to censure the floor leader that had to be decided by the mayor.


State of play: A recent UIC study suggests the City Council's new independence streak started under Mayor Lori Lightfoot, when only about half of Chicago's 50 alders voted with her 90% of the time.


By contrast, Mayors Rahm Emanuel and both Daleys ruled over City Councils where a strong majority — often 40 — voted with them more than 90% of the time, according to the study.


The latest: Fewer than 40% of the alders say they're likely to vote with Johnson on legislation, per Axios' survey.


The mayor's office didn't respond to requests for comment on the survey results.

By the numbers: When asked to identify their political leanings on a spectrum, the largest share — 19 alders — say they consider themselves moderate, followed by:

12 progressive

8 very progressive

4 moderate progressive


Meanwhile, just three alders consider themselves conservative: Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) responded as moderate conservative, Ald. Nicholas Sposato (38th) as very conservative, and Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41st) in the middle.


Of note: Three alders didn't answer the question about political leaning.

Ald. James Gardiner (45th) was the only alderperson not to participate in the survey.

What they're saying: Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20th), who identifies as very progressive, recently criticized Johnson and her progressive bloc, saying they need to be better organized.


"Shame on us. We look like damn fools," she said on a recent "The Ben Joravsky Show" podcast. "You all wonder why the city is in chaos — because the City Council is in chaos."

Yes, but: UIC professor emeritus and former 44th Ward Ald. Dick Simpson points out that, even with the recent turmoil, Johnson's policies thus far "are carrying the vote with no less than 30-to-20 majorities."


"The coalitions have changed a little depending on the issues, but the only close vote was the one about censuring his floor leader."

The intrigue: Simpson notes that "aldermen are now introducing much more of their own legislation."

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