It’s been a terrible year for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and a local politician has introduced a bill that could make it even worse, by potentially leading to his removal from office.
According to MSNBC, La Shawn Ford, a Democrat who represents Illinois in the House of Representatives, has proposed legislation that would provide a conceivable path for voters to recall the mayor.
Last week, the bill was co-sponsored by State Rep. Mary Flowers. As of 2015, there is no Illinois law that could lead to a mayor being recalled, but Ford’s legislation would create “a procedure for an election to recall the Mayor of Chicago” that would be “effective immediately.”
If passed, the legislation would amend a 1941 law that prohibits Illinois mayors from being recalled. While there have only been a total of 27 Constitutional amendments to date, legislative changes on the state level are much more common and easier to pass.
The proposed bill comes on the heels of intense criticism being directed towards the mayor for his response to the police shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014.
A dashcam video of the incident was released this year, sparking widespread protests that led to Emanuel firing his police superintendent. Last week, the U.S. Justice Department announced a federal investigation into the Chicago Police Department.
Unfortunately, the Laquan McDonald controversy is just one of many problems that has plagued Emanuel since his reelection in April. According to Mother Jones, the Chicago Teachers Union recently announced that 96% of its members have voted to strike.
The union is displeased with the limited resources they have compared to neighboring districts, as well as excessive standardized testing and other unnecessary paperwork that makes their jobs more difficult.
Emanuel has drawn the ire of the union for several years, and the potential strike is no surprise to the community. In 2013, the mayor closed 50 schools throughout Chicago, citing their poor performance on standardized tests.
Earlier this year, the Chicago public school district laid off 1,500 staffers, which gave the Chicago Teachers Union another reason to oppose Emanuel. In fact, the layoffs and school closings nearly caused Emanuel to be unseated in 2014 when he ran against Jesse “Chuy” Garcia, a candidate supported by the union.
In response to Rep. Ford’s proposal to recall him from office, Emanuel insisted that he will not be stepping down.
“I am the mayor. As I said the other day, I own it. I take responsibility for what happened, because it happened on my watch,” Emanuel said in a speech to the Chicago City Council.
There is no timetable for the legislation to be approved or rejected, but the court of public opinion seems to have already made a ruling on Emanuel’s fate in office.