Ald. John Arena (45th) says his effort to get a citywide referendum involving an elected Chicago school board is facing another potential setback.
introduced a resolution for an elected school board referendum in
September, hoping to get it on the March ballot, but it's been stuck in the Rules Committee. Arena
and other members of the council's Progressive Reform Caucus tried to move the measure out of the committee last month, but that attempt was
The issue now is that three other aldermen
introduced three separate, unrelated referendum measures last week.
That's problematic, Arena said, because up to three referendums can be
on the ballot at a time.
reports that the three ballot referendum proposals that were introduced
last week seek voter opinion on issues involving concealed firearms in
restaurants, a ban on high-capacity gun ammunition magazines and increased taxi cab rates. Alds. Edward Burke (14th), James Balcer (11th) and Anthony Beale (9th) sponsored the measures, respectively.
Arena argues that these questions aren't that contentious in the city, adding that, "We already know that people don't want guns in restaurants in Chicago."
the fact that it's being fought from being put on the ballot is
telling," he told the news site. "The fact that they're being so
adamant and so transparent — if you will — about slighting this ...
they're trying to protect control."
Nonetheless, Arena says he will continue the push to get his measure out of
committee and up for a referendum vote. The goal is to try and do that before the
other three proposals clear the full city council and land on the
"Nobody's ready to lay down,
that's for sure," Arena stressed. "We'd love to get all of
Chicago weighing in on (an elected school board). It's not something I'm gonna let sit in