The meeting was called by Aldermen Anthony Beale, Ray Lopez and others to discuss and vote on a non-binding referendum to add to next spring’s ballot that would decide Chicago’s sanctuary city designation. But already, some alderman encouraged others not to show up.
“All I’m asking is to give people a voice on this issue,” Ald. Beale said.
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“That is what is frustrating about the ‘debate,’ because people who are attacking the Sanctuary City Ordinance don’t know what they are talking about,” said Ald. Carlos Ramirez Rosa. “It has nothing to do with the refugee resettlement or the current crisis.”
Ald. Ramirez Rosa said the Sanctuary City Ordinance only refers to law enforcement and government officials not cooperating with ICE. He said providing resources to migrants is about the city’s values; it’s not written in the ordinance.
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Ramirez Rosa claimed the meeting violated state law as well, and tried to stop it by sending out a group text telling alders not to show up so there wouldn’t be enough for a quorum.
Alderman William Hall and many of the mayor’s strongest supporters did not show up.
“I’m leaving now because I have potholes, trees to get trimmed and I have other things the residents of the 6th Ward want me to deal with,” he said.
But after two tries there was quorum, and the meeting started. It never came to a vote, though, because of confusion and debate over the rules, Ramirez Rosa claiming one thing and Beatle and Lopez claiming another.
“They were so worried about losing and putting this question before the voters that they were willing to bend every rule in the book to get out here as quickly as possible,” Ald. Lopez said.
And how the meeting legally ended is up for debate as well. The lights went out while some city council members claimed the meeting wasn’t officially over.
Ramirez Rosa said it was admitted and the sanctuary city referendum will not be taken up. Beatle and Lopez aid the meeting is in recess and will continue Tuesday morning.