City Cast

Local Civics: City Council Committees

Sidney Madden
Sidney Madden
Posted on May 24   |   Updated on June 5
Brandon Johnson speaks in front of microphones

Mayor Brandon Johnson outside City Hall Jan. 24. (Scott Olson / Getty)

Mayor Brandon Johnson will preside over his first City Council meeting today.

What’s on the agenda? Johnson’s picks for committee chairs are expected to be ratified today.

What about the council’s plan to pick their own chairs in an effort to become more independent? Johnson convinced alders to forgo the plan they had hatched during the lame-duck period.

Who are the prominent committee chairs he picked?

  • Ald. Pat Dowell, 3rd Ward, will chair the powerful finance committee. She switched her support from former Mayor Lori Lightfoot to Johnson ahead of the February election.
  • Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, 35th Ward, will chair the zoning committee and be floor leader. Nominating the longest-sitting Democratic Socialist and Johnson ally to the position is a vote of confidence in the council, WTTW’s Heather Cherone told the City Cast Chicago podcast.

What do committees even do? The legislative bodies oversee aviation, immigration, public safety, and more. But some go several months without even meeting.

Today’s meeting will likely be less spicy than Lightfoot’s council debut when she reprimanded indicted and now-retired Ald. Ed Burke.

+ Livestream the meeting at 10 a.m.

+ Wondering how City Council meetings go generally? Check out Better Government Association’s guide, or learn IRL at City Bureau next week.

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