Don't let his boyish good looks and immaculate quaff fool you. In Chicago's most exclusive club of rubber-stamp legislators, Alderman Joe Moore stands out as a SENIOR rubber-stamp legislator. Moore was elected in 1991. Moore has been an Alderman of the City of Chicago for 16 YEARS. Moore is running for re-election to a 5th TERM. You may be surprised to learn that only 14 of the 50 Aldermen have more seniority than Moore:
|48||Mary Ann Smith||Appointed||1989|
Just 19 of the 50 Aldermen have the same or more seniority than Moore. Moore is in the top 38% of the Chicago City Council in terms of seniority.
Moore loves to spin a recent re-awakening of independent voices in the Chicago City Council. But Moore's long tenure in the Chicago City Council adds a special burden of responsibility on him for the Council's utter failure as a legislative body.
Moore's City Council "Leadership"
One way to evaluate Moore's leadership role in the City Council is to ask him. A more principled approach would be to look at leadership posts. The City Council votes their own leadership, so this approach offers an assessment of Moore's leadership skills by his peers.
The City Council has 19 standing committees. Here is a list of the City Council committees, their leadership, and membership. A baroque array of committees, with a Chairman and at least one Vice Chairman for each, ensures an opportunity for anyone who is interested to assume a recognized leadership role. Well, just about anybody.
|14||Burke||Finance||Committees, Rules and Ethics|
|42||Natarus||Traffic Control and Safety|
|33||Mell||Committees, Rules and Ethics|
|47||Schulter||License and Consumer Protection|
|40||O'Connor||Education And Child Development||Finance|
|48||MA Smith||Parks and Recreation|
|19||Rugai||Energy, Environment and Utilities||Police and Fire|
|20||Troutman||Historical Landmark Preservation||Housing and Real Estate|
|16||Coleman||Energy, Environment and Utilities|
|31||Suarez||Housing and Real Estate|
|41||Doherty||Traffic Control and Safety|
Of the 19 Alderman who have the same or more seniority than Moore, only Moore, Preckwinkle, and Shiller are not the Chairman or Vice Chairman of a City Council committee.
Moore's Cohort: The Class of '91
Moore was elected in 1991, along with Aldermen Preckwinkle (4th), Coleman (16th), Suarez (31st), and Doherty (41st). Of these 5 aldermen, 3 (60%) are Chairman or Vice Chairman of SOMETHING, but Moore is not, never has been. Even a REPUBLICAN Alderman (Doherty), elected at the same time as Moore, has a leadership position in the Chicago City Council by now.
Leadership Among "Junior" Aldermen
Among the 31 Aldermen with LESS seniority than Moore, we find many (13) aldermen in leadership roles in the Chicago City Council.
|2||Haithcock||Appointed||1993||Special Events ||Education; Licensing|
|34||Austin||Appointed||1994||Ethics; Transportation |
|23||Zalewski||Elected||1995||Aviation; Economic Dev|
|11||Balcer||Appointed||1997||Parks and Recreation|
|29||Carothers||Elected||1999||Police and Fire|
|17||L. Thomas||Appointed||2000||Buildings; Human Relations|
In addition to these committee leadership posts, the Aldermen elected Danny Solis (25th; appointed 1996) as their as President Pro Tempore, chairing City Council meetings in Mayor Daley's absence.
Moore has been passed up for leadership roles in the Chicago City Council many, many times; in fact, at every opportunity. And who can blame the aldermen? Who would want to attend meetings chaired by Joe Moore, if they had a choice? Moore's peers know him well. They know that no matter what the written agenda says, Joe Moore's only agenda item is Joe Moore.
A Tribune editorial recently said of Ald. Troutman, "Since her appointment to the City Council in 1990, Troutman has distinguished herself mostly for her lack of good judgment." ("What do I get out of it?," January 9, 2007). Troutman's career in City Council is more distinguished than Moore's - Troutman is Chair of one committee (Landmarks) and Vice Chair of another (Housing & Real Estate).
Moore's leadership in the Chicago City Council is mainly in his own mind. Every month for 16 years, Moore has shown up at City Council meetings, and has been counted on by his peers only to mindlessly vote in rubber-stamp lockstep with the majority 99.999% of the time, irresponsibly throwing away his precious vote, his most solemn duty. Moore is the ultimate back-bench legislator.
When US Representative Dan Rostenkowski, chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, was indicted, there was much talk about the impact the loss of so senior a legislator would have on Illinois and the Chicago area. The good news for residents of Rogers Park is that we need have no such worries over the end of the Moore administration.