Chicago Aldermanic Black Caucus calls for council floor leader to step down after alleged bullying

Ald. Ramirez-Rosa allegedly tried to block Ald. Mitts from entering floor during vote on Chicago's sanctuary city status

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Monday, November 6, 2023
Alderpersons call for floor leader demotion amid bullying allegations
The Chicago Aldermanic Black Caucus has called for Ald. Ramirez-Rosa to step down as floor leader after he allegedly bullied Ald. Emma Mitts during a city council meeting.

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The Chicago Aldermanic Black Caucus has called for the Chicago City Council floor leader to step down after he allegedly bullied a colleague during a meeting on the city's migrant crisis.

City leaders say 35th Ward Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa allegedly "bullied and manhandled" 37th Ward Alderwoman Emma Mitts before a heated vote relating to Chicago's sanctuary city status.

The alleged incident happened during Thursday's city council meeting. The Chicago Aldermanic Black Caucus said Ramirez-Rosa physically tried to restrain Mitts, who is the longest serving woman in the council, from entering the voting floor.

RELATED | Chicago City Council meeting on sanctuary city referendum spirals into chaos

The group not only wants Ramirez-Rosa to step down as floor leader, but they want him to publicly apologize to Mitts.

In a statement, they wrote in part, "This matter is an unfortunate and direct reminder of the decades of challenges that African-American women serving in city council have had to overcome in our combined efforts to enhance the upward mobility of our collective communities."

Former city council floor leader and 36th Ward Alderman Gilbert Villegas also issued a statement on the matter.

"The overt bullying and threatening tactics used by Alderman Ramirez-Rosa do not represent our democratic process and is conduct unbecoming of a member of the Chicago City Council," Villegas wrote.

Democratic Illinois Senator Lakeshia Collins, whose district includes Mitts' West Side ward, issued statement as well.

"This repeated behavior by Alderman Ramirez-Rosa in city council is unacceptable and requires immediate action," Collins said. "No one should be prevented from fulfilling their elected responsibilities on behalf of their constituents."

SEE ALSO | Migrants in Chicago: City Council members debate city's 'sanctuary city' status

Ramirez-Rosa has not responded to ABC7's requests for comment. Mayor Brandon Johnson's office also has not responded to comment on the situation.

Meanwhile, Alderwoman Emma Mitts said she is encouraged by her colleagues support and will have more to say about the incident on Monday.