Aldermen proclaim principles in divided city budget votes

In an interview with Dave Glowacz on the Chicago Reader's Ben Joravsky Show, Ben and Dave discussed the City Council's divided approval on Nov. 26, 2019 of Mayor Lori Lightfoot's 2020 budget.

Inevitably, they talked tax-increment financing (TIF): Dave speculated that an Irving Park/Elston TIF district dust-up means planning department uncertainty about an executive order. And Ben observed that some aldermen voted against the budget's higher property taxes—but voted last April for big TIF deals that could raise those taxes just the same.

Dave played audio clips of aldermen takings stands for and against the mayor's budget—including the “debate” over ambulance rides paid for by Medicaid. Ben praised the resistance of Alds. Ray Lopez (15th) and Anthony Beale (9th): “Nobody remembers the go-alongs, the cogs in the machine, who do whatever the mayor tells them, no matter how dumb it is. But people remember those who had the guts to stand up to a mayor when the mayor was wrong.”

Hearing a response to Ald. James Cappelman (46th) by Ald. Matt Martin (47th), Ben said that Cappelman makes going along sound like legislative savvy—and declared that “corporate interests have so much clout with” Chicago mayors that the city will never adopt progressive revenue sources.

Finally, Dave and Ben pondered mayoral vengeance on naysaying aldermen: myth, or reality?

Length: 9.1 minutes standard, 53.2 minutes premium.

Outro music: "Bonbon" by Hicham Chahidi

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Article: Report on the Nov. 26, 2019 City Council meeting for City Bureau

Document: How alderman voted on the 2020 city budget