The Chicago City Council has an interesting history. Since at least the days of King Richard I, a.k.a. Mayor Richard J. Daley, most often Chicago’s mayor, whoever the mayor is, exercises more authority than the city’s charter might suggest. In theory, the 50-member city council has the upper political hand, and the authority to direct city policy. In truth, the council rarely actually leads the way on important issues of local governance. In the discussion of Chicago’s public safety and the vaccine mandate ordered by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, as of this posting 13 members of the Chicago City Council have suggested they have voice. Here is another “Cops Ask Questions” question. Will 13 more council members sign on to an interesting city ordinance proposal?
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
The Power of 13 – A Ordinance Proposal
Secure 1776 takes note that it was the 13 original colonies that banded together and made a statement opposing tyranny that changed the course of history. Currently, there are 13 Chicago aldermen that have signed on to an important city ordinance proposal. Perhaps 13 will prove lucky for the direction of public safety in Chicago.
Originally introduced by Aldermen Silvana Tabares (23rd Ward), Anthony Napolitano (41st Ward), and James Gardiner (45th Ward), the ordinance calls a halt to unilateral decision-making on the mayor’s employment-threatening vaccine mandate seeking to control the personal health choices of city workers.
If approved, the new ordinance would be 2-74-155 of the Municipal Code of Chicago, “City Council Approval of Discipline and No-Pay Status.”
The core exercise of city council authority would be under Section 1, and reads: “Notwithstanding any other provision of the City Code to the contrary, and subject to the terms of any applicable collective bargaining agreement approved by City Council, any new policy, rule, or regulation that provides for placing City employees on non-disciplinary, no-pay status requires City Council approval.”
Section 2, takes specific action against the mayor’s vaccine mandate: “The City of Chicago COVID-19 Vaccination Policy that became effective October 8, 2021 is hereby rendered null and void and shall have no further force and effect.”
Section 3, then clarifies that the ordinance would take effect immediately upon its passage, and it would be retroactive to 1 October 2021.
13 Plus 13 Equals a Council Majority
Below is a screenshot of the current listing of sponsors for the proposed ordinance. The 13 council voices that have been heard from thus far are the following. Aldermen Silvana Tabares, Anthony Napolitano, James Gardiner, Marty Quinn, Matthew O’Shea, Brendan Reilly, Felix Cardona, Jr., Nicholas Sposato, Anthony Beale, Edward Burke, Raymond Lopez, Derrick Curtis, and Gilbert Villegas. These aldermen have expressed concern that implementation of a vaccine mandate policy which removes police officers, firefighters, and other key city workers from their duties harms public safety. Particularly at a time when Chicago is struggling against lawlessness and violence, such is an unwise public policy.
So the question remains, will 13 more council members come forward to do a rare thing in Chicago? It would be remarkable.
As we have seen across the nation, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact. Not the least of which has been the vast and extended rise of unilateral restrictions and mandates that run counter to constitutional government. As a nation, we are long past “15 days to flatten the curve.” It is beyond time to move past simply acquiescing to unchecked executive power.
A Public Safety Reminder
Secure 1776 founder, Thomas Lemmer has instructed that constitutional policing is among the core elements essential to advancing public safety. Constitutional policing cannot exist in the absence of overall constitutional government. Secure 1776 applauds the 13 members of the Chicago City Council who have raised their voices on this issue. We encourage the remaining 37 members of the council to find their voices.
Our “Cops Asks Questions” Series
To learn more about the vaccine mandate clash in Chicago impacting public safety, Secure 1776 recommends our two recent posts. First, “Cops Ask Questions, Pandemic Politics.” Second, “Constitutional Reminder, Cops Ask Questions.”
UPDATE: Court Temporary Restraining Order Issued
On 1 November 2021, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Raymond Mitchell issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) relating to Mayor Lightfoot’s vaccine mandate policy. The most relevant portion of the judge’s ruling is captured below.
Judge Mitchell left in place the requirement for CPD members to declare to the department their Covid-19 vaccination status. However, as indicated above, the judge barred the city from mandating the taking of the vaccine as a condition of continued employment without collective bargaining with the member unions. As such, the 31 December 2021 deadline for vaccination is blocked, until the matter is resolved by the collective bargaining process. The TRO is a significant victory, if only a temporary one, for those CPD members resistant to being forced to take the disputed Covid-19 vaccines.
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