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Mayor Brandon Johnson’s First Regular City Council Meeting Is Wednesday. Here’s How To Watch

Alderpeople are expected to vote on Johnson's picks to lead City Council's committees and $51 million to help migrants.

Mayor Brandon Johnson signs his first executive orders at the Office of the Mayor at City Hall on May 15, 2023.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CITY HALL — Mayor Brandon Johnson will preside over his first regular City Council meeting Wednesday as he plans to install his handpicked committee chairs and set the tone for his next four years in office.

Johnson and all 50 alderpeople will convene 10 a.m. Wednesday at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St. The meeting is technically a continuation of last week’s inauguration, which was recessed after Johnson, the city clerk and treasurer and alderpeople were sworn into office.

Wednesday’s meeting will be livestreamed on the City Clerk’s website.

In the first official business for the new City Council, alderpeople will take up a measure to allocate $51 million in city funds to help migrants who have recently arrived in Chicago, as well as routine ordinances on zoning changes, parking and traffic regulations and other funding, according to the public agenda.

They are also expected to approve a new leadership structure supported by Johnson for the Council’s various committees.

That vote will follow months of political machinations between alderpeople and the Johnson administration over the balance of power in the city’s legislative branch.

Chicago’s mayor has historically picked the committee chairs to maintain control over legislation moving through the Council.

In March, alderpeople approved a controversial plan to increase the number of City Council committees and to choose leaders from their own ranks in a bid to declare independence from the Mayor’s Office.

But Johnson this month put his own plan in place to install many of his allies to lead council committees and increase the number of committees from 19 to 20.

Potential chairs include Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) to lead the influential finance committee and Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) to head the zoning committee. Dowell and Ramirez-Rosa backed Johnson in the Feb. 28 mayoral election and April 4 runoff against Paul Vallas.

Johnson’s picks also include several City Hall veterans who did not support him in the election, including Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th) and Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd).

The new City Council includes 13 new alderpeople after the last term saw a record number of retirements, with members leaning younger and more progressive. The body will also have the most LGBTQ+ officials out of any city council in the United States.

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