Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, Alderman of the 35th Ward, is our guest this week. He was, until the recent election, the only Democratic Socialist in the City Council, but he will soon be joined by five others, thereby creating a six-member Progressive Caucus. Ramirez-Rosa discusses the Emmett Street Project, which, when built, will house 100 affordable units, many of them 3-bedroom. It's a dramatic departure from other large rental projects in his ward, which are generally small apartments renting for the highest possible market price. He tells us that, although he thinks Alderman Scott Waguespack would make an excellent Finance Committee Chairman (Replacing the disgraced Ed Burke), he believes that Tom Tunney (44) has the votes and will probably become Chair.
Despite having introduced the proposal for CPAC, a reorganization plan for oversight of the Chicago Police Department, he indicates that Lori Lightfoot's plan, the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, might be more acceptable to the majority. He describes it as something like the Affordable Care Act - a compromise plan that can garner the votes needed to pass. Speaking of the plan to build a nearly 100-million dollar police academy on the west side, against which he cast the Council's only dissenting vote, he observed that it's fascinating to see how many major projects in Chicago boil down to big real estate deals.
This program was produced by Chicago Access Network.