Amid Controversy, Ald. Ramirez-Rosa Resigns as City Council Floor Leader

Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward), a key ally of Mayor Brandon Johnson, has stepped down as City Council floor leader after a “disrespectful interaction” with a fellow council member who happens to be the most senior Black woman member of the governing body.

He apologized for his actions, which stemmed from an altercation with Ald. Emma Mitts (37th Ward) during last week’s special City Council meeting, which primarily focused on Chicago’s response to the influx of migrants to the city.

In a statement, Ramirez-Rosa admitted that he allowed the heightened tensions during the meeting, organized by those opposed to Johnson’s support for migrant care, to affect his behavior in a manner inconsistent with his role as a leader.

Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward), dean of the City Council’s Democratic Socialist Caucus and a member of the Latino Caucus, not only resigned from his post as floor leader, but he also stepped down from his position as Zoning committee chair.

“Over the weekend, I spoke with Alderwoman Emma Mitts and Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa. Yesterday, Alderman Ramirez-Rosa and I agreed he should step down from his positions as Chicago City Council Floor Leader and Chair of the Committee on Zoning, Landmarks, and Building Standards,” said Mayor Johnson in a statement. 

The Mayor added, “Alderwoman Mitts is a venerable leader and woman of abiding faith who is committed to public service and the principles of accountability and mercy. Alderman Ramirez-Rosa has acknowledged his transgressions, apologized to his colleagues and committed himself to rebuilding trust.” 

In recent days, Ramirez-Rosa’s fellow council members and prominent persons from the community condemned his actions and also urged him to resign his post. 

The Chicago Aldermanic Black Caucus issued a statement, calling his bullying of Ald. Mitts “unprofessional and unbecoming of his role.”

Prominent pastor Rev. Ira Acree joined the growing chorus calling for Ramirez-Rosa’s ouster.

“It is deeply disheartening to witness such bullying tactics in our city council. Alderman Ramirez-Rosa’s actions are not only disrespectful to Alderman Mitts but also an insult to every senior citizen, every woman, and every black person in Chicago,” said Pastor Acree. 

“In the face of Ramirez-Rosa’s egregious behavior, I urge him to step down immediately. Chicago cannot afford to have individuals in positions of power who resort to such divisive and disrespectful tactics,” Pastor Acree stated.

Mitts is expected to issue a public statement about the incident that took place at the entrance of the City Council chambers when Ramirez-Rosa attempted to block 26 alderpeople from attending a special meeting. The aim was to block a vote on a nonbinding question about Chicago’s sanctuary city status.

What’s clear is that Ramirez-Rosa will no longer occupy the roles that made him one of the most influential members of the City Council.

WTTW contributed to this report. 

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