PI Original Josh Kalven Tuesday May 13th, 2008, 4:42pm

Dick Simpson: "Three Cheers For The Independent Caucus"

In Adam's recent piece on the emergence of the Chicago City Council's so-called Independent Caucus, he quoted former alderman and political science professor Dick Simpson stressing the "question of how large and effective they are in pressing their programs."

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In Adam's recent piece on the emergence of the Chicago City Council's so-called Independent Caucus, he quoted former alderman and political science professor Dick Simpson stressing the "question of how large and effective they are in pressing their programs."

Today, Simpson devoted his Sun-Times column to the Independent Caucus and the need for "aldermen to represent us in key concerns of our day-to-day life, our neighborhoods and our future":

The closest vote in the Council thus far has been on the increase in the property tax, which the Council approved in November by a narrow 29-21 vote. A number of Daley loyalists joined the independent aldermen in opposing the tax increase. [22nd Ward Alderman Ricardo] Munoz argued that higher taxes were due to a city administration "that got caught with its hand in the cookie jar." According to [49th Ward Alderman] Moore, "Nothing has made the public more cynical than the endless string of broken promises to end business as usual in city government." One of the clearest dividing lines in the new council is opposition to spiraling taxes to pay for patronage and corruption. [...]

Chicagoans may support Daley in elections and public opinion polls. They may believe they have "a city that works." But what about supporting aldermen who genuinely represent their communities? Aldermen provide a check and balance on an administration that has been shown in court to promote patronage and corruption.

It is fine to "make no little plans." It is good to become a global city and host to the Olympics. But we need vocal aldermen to represent us in key concerns of our day-to-day life, our neighborhoods and our future. I, for one, say three cheers for the Independent Caucus.

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