Chicago, IL

Chicago Mayor's Floor Leader Resigns After Physical/Verbal Abuse of Other Alder to Prevent Her Vote

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

Chicago City Council Leader Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa steps down following accusations of misconduct and tensions within the council
Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa forced to resign from Chicago City Council Monday for altercation with alderwomanPhoto byWikipedia [CC BY-SA 4.0]

Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, the Chairman of the City Council’s Zoning Committee and the Council floor leader for Mayor Brandon Johnson, tendered his resignation on Monday. This decision comes in the wake of allegations that he engaged in a physical altercation with the Council's most senior Black woman, Ald. Emma Mitts.

In his statement, Ramirez-Rosa acknowledged the loss of trust and confidence among his colleagues as a result of his actions, prompting his resignation from both leadership positions. Additionally, he announced his resignation as Chair of the Committee on Zoning, Landmarks, and Building Standards, effective December 1st, to facilitate a smooth transition.

The incident has ignited tensions within the Chicago City Council, as it occurred during a special meeting intended to address the issue of Chicago's sanctuary city status. This controversy arises amid historical political tensions between the Black and Hispanic communities, exacerbated by the ongoing migrant crisis.

Ramirez-Rosa's resignation follows a weekend of intense negotiations in an attempt to salvage his political career. While Mayor Johnson initially attempted to contact Ald. Mitts to discuss the situation, conflicting accounts emerged, with Mitts ultimately aligning with the Black Caucus in their call for Ramirez-Rosa's resignation.

The incident has sparked a debate on racial lines, with some questioning whether the mayor should protect Ramirez-Rosa, a Hispanic council member, in light of allegations made by a Black colleague.

Different versions of the events on that fateful Thursday have emerged. Ramirez-Rosa's account suggests he engaged Mitts in conversation in an effort to dissuade her from entering the special meeting. Meanwhile, Ald. Ray Lopez, who supported the sanctuary city resolution, was allegedly involved in a confrontation with Mitts for a brief moment.

Irrespective of the differing narratives, Mayor Johnson made the decision to accept Ramirez-Rosa's resignation, as the city grapples with crucial issues such as the budget and the ongoing migrant crisis. In addition to the physical altercation with Mitts, Ramirez-Rosa also faced accusations of threatening committee chairs. However, he maintained that he had merely sought unity among committee members against the sanctuary city resolution.

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