Residents took over and shut down a Chicago City Council meeting Tuesday held to discuss the city’s sanctuary status, WFLD reported.
Hundreds of protesters filled city hall to voice their opinions about some members’ efforts to block a referendum that would allow residents to vote on whether Chicago should remain a sanctuary city. Residents also expressed their frustrations regarding the city spending millions of taxpayer dollars to provide shelter and other services to migrants.
The City Council Rules Committee quickly lost control of the crowd as residents shouted over aldermen.
Alderman Anthony Beale stated, “We’re spending a lot of money every single day.”
Beale estimated that Chicago spends approximately $40 million per month addressing the migrant crisis.
Alderman Anthony Napolitano asked, “Do you, as a resident of the City of Chicago, believe that we should remain a sanctuary city?”
Many of the protesters responded to Napolitano by shouting, “No!”
Last week, a special meeting was held to discuss whether Chicago residents should be allowed to vote on the city’s sanctuary status.
Democratic Mayor Brandon Johnson’s former floor leader, 35th Ward Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, forced the meeting to end abruptly after he allegedly attempted to physically block an alderwoman from entering the chamber.
Alderman Raymond Lopez accused Ramirez-Rosa of lying to members.
“He assaulted members and he threatened members as zoning committee chairman, saying that if you participate or if you vote for this measure, I am going to withhold every zoning ordinance in your ward as long as I’m chairman. Those are threats. That’s extortion and to simply say he could walk away on his own terms is not enough. He needs to be gone from City Council,” Lopez said.
Ramirez-Rosa announced that he would step down from his position as council floor leader and zoning committee chair.
“Tensions were high at a chaotic meeting, and I let that get the best of me, leading me to act in a way unbecoming of a leader,” Ramirez-Rosa said. “I sincerely apologize to my colleague, Alderwoman Emma Mitts, for the disrespectful interaction outside of Council Chambers.”
Frustrated by Ramirez-Rosa’s attempts to prevent the sanctuary city referendum, residents attended Tuesday’s meeting to express their disapproval. The chaos from the crowd forced members to suspend the meeting. Members are expected to continue the debate on the sanctuary city referendum on Thursday.
“In all my years, I haven’t seen anything like this,” Lopez stated. “But I’ve also never seen such a concerted effort to ignore the will of the people.”
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