The aldermen of Logan Square entered 2020 after about seven months with a more-progressive city council. We wanted to check in with the three aldermen serving the majority of the neighborhood and get an update on what they accomplished in 2019 and what they hope to get done this year and beyond.
Alderman Scott Waguespack, long-serving representative of the 32nd Ward, has aimed to reform the Chicago City Council’s Finance Committee, with a legislative focus on environmental protections this year. Please read on for an update on the alderman’s work with the new city council. Alderman Waguespack was not available for an interview.
A long-serving alderman
Alderman Waguespack has represented the 32nd Ward since May of 2007; he was reelected, running unopposed, in the 2019 election. The longstanding alderman has been a member of numerous committees, such as the Environmental Protection and Energy, Budget and Government Operations, and Housing and Real Estate committees, as well as serving as chair of the City Council Committee on Finance starting last year.
Waguespack became chair of the City Council Committee on Finance on May 29, 2019, after being appointed to the position by incoming Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The former alderman to hold the position was Ed Burke, of the 14th Ward, who was the chair of the committee for over 30 years. Burke resigned from the position in January, 2019, after being charged with attempted extortion.
First and foremost, Waguespack has many new policies planned for the Finance Committee. Among his biggest goals are lowering the committee’s budget from $1.8 million to $675,000, instating a new document-management system and putting a larger focus on environmental issues for the committee to address.
Being an active proponent of the environment, Waguespack has proposed to ban single-use plastics in Chicago by the year 2021. The next phase in that process will be public comments on the proposal.
Advising Mayor Lightfoot, Waguespack has had a difference in opinion over the mayor’s plan to take away aldermanic prerogative over zoning. “Aldermanic prerogative” refers to the long-standing, non-legislated tradition in Chicago of deferring to individual alderman regarding city actions within their wards.
“You should still have aldermanic prerogative until you have a Planning Department that works proactively for the residents and the businesses that are out there now — and it doesn’t,” Waguespack said in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times.
Featured photo: Steve Weishampel