Chicago-based In These Times offers a look at a political struggle taking place in Chicago’s city government.
Chicagoâ€™s labor unions decided to send Mayor Richard M. Daley a message: The â€œcity that worksâ€ doesnâ€™t work for working families. In the February and April elections, the labor movement broke with the cityâ€™s fabled but feeble Democratic machine, and helped oust key Daley allies and elect seven new members to the 50-seat city council.
Unions spent roughly $3 million and fielded a political operation stronger than Daleyâ€™s that backed challengers to the mayorâ€™s council allies.
University of Illinois at Chicago political science professor Dick Simpson says, the new council bloc will be pushing a â€œworking-class, middle-class agenda, as opposed to the global economy tilt of the Daley administration.â€
According to Chicago Tribune, Chicago is governed under a “weak mayor, strong council” system. But that hasn’t been the case for much of Daley’s 18 years in power, with critics contending the council has all-too-humbly served as a rubber stamp for the popular mayor.