State Rep. LaShawn K. Ford (D-Chicago) has introduced a bill that would legalize the recall of Chicago's mayor.
The move comes as a result of the growing calls for the resignation of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as a result of his handling of the police shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald as well as allegations of a cover up between the offices of the mayor and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez.
Ford's bill (HB 4356), which has been co-sponsored by State Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago), calls for the following provisions:
- A recall petition for the mayor could be submitted if the number of signatures equals at least 15 percent of the total number of votes in the preceding mayoral election
- At least 50 signatures from residents in each of the city's 50 wards would be required on the recall petition
- A recall affidavit cannot be filed sooner than six months of the mayor's first day in office
- At least two aldermen would need to sign onto the recall affidavit
- If the recall petition is found to be valid, the Board of Election Commissioners must certify it within 100 days, and a recall special election date must be scheduled no more than 100 days from the petition's certification
- The mayor would be immediately removed from office after the results are certified by the Board of Election Commissioners if the majority of voters in the recall election opt for his or her ousting
In the event that a mayor is recalled, one of two scenarios would go into effect: "(i) the Vice Mayor shall serve until the Mayor elected at the special successor primary election or special runoff election is qualified and (ii) the candidate who receives a majority of votes in the special primary election or the candidate who receives the highest number of votes in the special runoff election is elected Mayor for the balance of the term," according to the bill.
Earlier today, Emanuel apologized to the City Council and a handful of city leaders for the shooting death of McDonald in front of the media, while city residents, who were not invited to the meeting, protested outside of council chambers. The apology, which included an admission of a code of silence among police officers, appears to be too little, too late for some city residents, hundreds of whom have continued to protest in the streets for the last several hours. Many of the protesters left school and work to take part in the rally cry for Emanuel -- and Alvarez -- to leave office.
Check back with Progress Illinois for more on today's breaking news.