Chicago Sun-Times
Staff reports on all things politics - from City Hall to Springfield to Washington, D.C.

Recently in aldermen Category

Aldermen Jason Irving and Howard Brookins Jr. before the Chicago City Council voted on ordinances addressing security and protest permits for the upcoming NATO/G8 summits in Chicago at McCormick Place. Wednesday, January 18, 2012 | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times

The Democratic ward boss with the most to say about who will replace convicted County Board member William Beavers on Wednesday dismissed as a "minor infraction" charges that the leading candidate for that vacancy campaigned on state time.

Ald. Howard Brookins (21st) unwavering endorsement of Stanley Moore--and Brookins' decisions to dismiss the ethics controversy surrounding Moore--leaves Moore as the odds-on favorite to replace Beavers.

While serving as an $86,388-a-year deputy director of the Il. Department of Transportation, Moore was accused of fundraising for his failed 2008 legislative campaign on state time. After a state ethics investigation, he paid a $3,000 fine.

Controversy of anay kind is a sensitive subject considering Beavers conviction last month of converting campaign money and county expense account funds to personal use without paying taxes on that money.

Chicago Sun-Times Library File Photo by Rich Hein

This Sunday, November 25th, marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Harold Washington, who served as Chicago's mayor from April 1983 until his death in 1987, just months after winning a second term. Washington was a larger-than-life man with a big smile to boot. But he was also a fighter as his battles against then-aldermen Ed Vrdolyak and the "Vrdolyak 29" proved during the infamous Council Wars. He was a polarizing figure but the city came together to mourn his tragic and sudden passing over Thanksgiving week in 1987.

Over the next few days, we'll look back on the last days of Washington's life by digging up stories from our archives and posting them here with photos from the Sun-Times' archive.

We've also created a timeline tracking some of Washington's major accomplishments as a politician and implementing photos and videos.

Finally, at the end of the week, some of the Sun-Times' writers will also share their memories of Harold for us.

So keep checking this space all week for more on Washington as we remember him 25 years after his passing.


Ald. Walter Burnett in City Council. | Al Podgorski~Sun-Times file photo

It's hard to imagine anyone comparing Chicago aldermen to priests, considering the steady drumbeat of corruption that has sent 31 present and former aldermen to prison since the 1970's.

But, that's what Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) did this week during a candid discussion with students in the City Council chambers.

Despite the $73,280-a-year expense allowance and an annual salary of $114,913 for those who accept annual cost-of-living adjustments, Burnett candidly complained to the students about the abuse he has to take and the bile he has to swallow while dealing with angry constituents.

"I went to a block party Saturday [with] every next person I talked to asking me for something, complaining about something. You have to have a thick skull to deal with that," Burnett said, apparently intending to say skin--not skull.