Effort to remove Ald. Sigcho-Lopez from leadership position fails

Effort to remove Ald. Sigcho-Lopez from leadership position fails
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CHICAGO — On Monday afternoon, Chicago’s City Council convened with just one item on the agenda: Byron Sigcho-Lopez.

A group of Sigcho-Lopez’s colleagues called the meeting to stip the two-term alderman of his chairmanship of the Housing Committee.

Johnson defends Sigcho-Lopez, deflects calls for him to remove alderman from leadership position

They wanted the Democratic Socialist punished because he spoke at a rally where a veteran burned a U.S. flag to protest America’s support for Israel.

Chris Taliaferro, who spoke out against Sigcho-Lopez, said he’s had several meetings with him and accepts his apology.

“It’s our responsibility when we take on certain positions within this city to understand yes, we do have a right, we have a First Amendment to do a lot of things, but there are times when we have to realize that to exercise that right might not be best for the people,” Taliaferro said.

Mayor Brandon Johnson, who appointed Sigcho-Lopez to his leadership post, has stood by him through the controversy.

In a fiery speech, Sigcho-Lopez defended himself.

“If in any way shape or form my actions have offended anyone, especially veterans, I’ll take full accountability but not once by no means am I going to condemn a veteran for using his First Amendment right,” Sigcho-Lopez said.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker was asked about Sigcho-Lopez appearance at the event where organizers accused President Joe Biden of backing genocide and said the DNC should not be held in Chicago.

“I think are all things that I disagree with but I will defend to the death his right to say those things,” Pritzker said. “I wouldn’t have done it, and I wouldn’t have encouraged anybody to do it, but it’s his right to do it.”

In earlier business Monday morning, the police and fire committee advanced an ordinance concerning ShotSpotter.

Ad. David Moore introduced a measure that would allow individual members to decide whether to keep the controversial technology on a ward-by-ward basis.

“It’s the responsibility of the duly elected aldermen to secure as many resources as possible to uplift and protect the community,” Moore said.

The ordinance doesn’t specify how ShotSpotter would be funded after the city’s contract with the company behind the service expires on Sept. 22.

But supporters talked about how they believe the technology helps police.

“Look, we’re down thousands of officers that we’re not getting back,” Ald. Peter Chico said. “We have to look at other ways to save lives, we have to look at other ways to develop intelligence and this is a key component in that.”

Although the mayor’s office argues public safety is a citywide issue and this move would undercut them.

The full council will take up the issue at its April 17th meeting.

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