John Arena, 45th Ward alderman
Although the city council still remains a bit of a rubber stamp, there are some aldermen who stand ready to oppose. In recent weeks, Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th) and George Cardenas (12th) have pitched a bill re-diverting some of Rahm’s precious TIF money in order to have it go to Chicago’s schools. Scott Waguespack (32nd) and the eighteen-member Black Caucus have also stood up to the mayor on many issues. John Arena is a notch above. He’s a supporter of the Chicago Teachers Union, debt transparency and a constant voice against the mayor’s pet projects, such as the Lucas museum. In fact, according to a study of council votes by University of Illinois political science professor Dick Simpson, “during his first term, Arena opposed the mayor’s initiatives more than any other alderman.” Simpson should know. During the 1960s, he and Alderman William Singer were the only voices against Mayor Richard J. Daley.
Best of Chicago 2016