Bring Chicago Home looks ahead to March 2020

Bring Chicago Home is looking ahead to a city referendum in March 2020, after efforts to slate it in February were thwarted by a few aldermanic opponents.

Two attempts to hold a Rules Committee meeting on Nov. 5 and Nov. 9 were thwarted by several aldermen who called for quorum, which stopped the meetings from moving forward – a rarely-used procedural maneuver in the Chicago City Council.

But Bring Chicago Home secured a quorum for the next Rules Committee meeting on Nov. 13. Our ordinance was successfully referred back to the Rules Committee, just as we wanted.

This is a testament to aldermanic support built by our coalition. More than 30 aldermen have sponsored an ordinance to schedule an advisory referendum asking voters to endorse an increase in the real estate transfer tax on properties sold for over $1 million. This would raise $150 million a year for housing and support services.

Thank you to Bring Chicago Home supporters for the calls and emails you sent to your aldermen!

The sticking point was that a Rules Committee referral must be approved by the full City Council. A day later, at the Nov. 14 City Council meeting, Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd Ward) and Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) used another procedural tactic, called “delay and publish.”

That delayed a vote until the next City Council meeting on Dec. 12. That move bars us from getting our question approved by a Dec. 10 deadline for the February city ballot.

Therefore, we will not be on the February ballot and will aim for March 2020 instead.

This is just the beginning for our campaign. Bring Chicago Home partners have built an enormous amount of support over the past month. We knew that shifting gears to February 2019 would be tremendously challenging – but this effort has made our coalition more powerful and better prepared for the 2020 referendum.

For more information on Bring Chicago Home, visit its website.

– Mary Tarullo, Associate Director of Policy and Strategy