Reilly dominates city council in ordinance quantity
Loop North News


Reilly dominates city council in ordinance quantity

11-Jun-13 – If you are a Chicago alderman, thinking about competing in the arena of ordinance sponsorship, you will have to take on Brendan Reilly.

Brendan Reilly In the past two years, the 42nd Ward alderman has sponsored 2,794 proposed ordinances, according to data compiled by the website Chicago Councilmatic. That is more than any other alderman and more than Mayor Rahm Emanuel. It is almost twice as many as the alderman in second place, the 14th ward’s Edward Burke, who could only muster a mere 1,484 ordinances.

In just the past month, Reilly has sponsored 124 ordinances. On May 8 alone, he sponsored 103. His submissions include numerous requests for sidewalk cafés, awnings, canopies, and signs – and one resolution on March 13, 2013, congratulating Jerome H. Stone, founder of the National Alzheimer’s Association, on his 100th birthday.

(Right) Burton Natarus, the alderman who preceded Reilly in Chicago’s 42nd Ward, presents Jerome H. Stone (right in photo) with an honorary street sign in 2001. Jerome H. Stone Way is on Randolph Street between Michigan Avenue and State Street.

Photo obtained from

Burton Natarus and Jerome Stone

Reached on Monday during a rare lull in ordinance sponsorship, Reilly said the vast majority of his proposals are for various permits, licenses, and right-of-way approvals.

“All that stuff flows through my constituent services office and I think you can imagine I represent roughly 23,000 businesses downtown and all of those businesses have various needs throughout the year. We have to introduce a lot of legislation to get that done.”

He does not keep a running total of ordinances he sponsors but acknowledges it is a large number.

“The good news is people are coming in for permits in record numbers and I think that shows the incredible growth we’re experiencing downtown right now. So when I’m introducing lots of ordinances for various city approvals, that’s usually a good sign for the city’s economy.”

The top five Chicago aldermen, ranked by number of ordinances sponsored since April 13, 2011...

  1. Brendan Reilly, 42nd Ward (2,794)
  2. Edward Burke, 14th Ward (1,484)
  3. Proco Joe Moreno, 1st Ward (1,442)
  4. Tom Tunney, 44th Ward (1,352)
  5. Bob Fioretti, 2nd Ward (1,285)

Susana Mendoza

To be fair, City Clerk Susana Mendoza (left) has sponsored the most ordinances of anyone, 3,588 as of June 10, 2013. But Reilly represents only a part of the City of Chicago.

Every piece of legislation submitted to the City Council must have at least one sponsor. Sponsors have included all 50 Chicago aldermen, Mendoza, and Emanuel. The mayor has sponsored 1,263 ordinances in the past two years.

 Website: Chicago Councilmatic

By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News |

Published 11-Jun-13 4:25 AM

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