State lawmakers may starting feeling pressure from groups wanting a bill passed to allow Chicago's mayor to be recalled.
No such recall mechanism exists, so State Res. LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago) and Mary Flowers (D-Chicago) have introduced a bill creating one.
In support of the legislation, activists plan on collecting 1 million signatures to be delivered to the state Capitol on Jan. 13, the next scheduled session day for the General Assembly. Gregory Livingston, president of the Coalition for a New Chicago, says the scandal surrounding Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's handling of Laquan McDonald's shooting calls for this sort of response.
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"We know that Rahm Emanuel, from our vantage point and many of the protesters in the street, is the Nixon of Chicago, so we have to do something," Livingston said.
Livingston believes that sort of response will motivate House Speaker Michael Madigan to allow the bill to move forward and Gov. Bruce Rauner, a friend of Emanuel's, to sign it.
"You need a historical context. JFK was not the civil rights president when he started," Livingston said. "People can change. Things can happen."
If the bill is passed, a recall election would be initiated if signatures are collected totaling at least 15 percent of the total votes cast in the last mayoral election--in this case, the requirement would be more than 86,000 signatures. Proponents would also need at least 50 signatures from all of Chicago's 50 wards, and two Chicago aldermen would have to sign off on the recall.
For someone to run to replace Emanuel in the special successor election, they would need 12,500 signatures from city voters. Unlike some other recall mechanisms, the recall question and the election for a successor would not be placed on the same ballot, but rather in separate votes 60 days apart.