Nov 6, 2023 - Politics

Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa resigns as floor leader after altercation

Photo of a man shouting at a city council meeting

Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) speaks at a meeting about the city's migrant response on Sept. 29, 2023, in Chicago. Photo: Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Chicago Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa has stepped down as City Council floor leader after an alleged physical confrontation with another alderperson during last week's debate over a sanctuary city referendum vote.

Driving the news: Ramirez-Rosa said in a statement the position of floor leader "requires the confidence of our colleagues, and because through my actions I lost that confidence, I have informed the mayor that I will be stepping down from that position."

Catch up fast: During last week's chaotic special meeting to consider putting a sanctuary city referendum on next year's ballot, a group of alders tried to get 26 members in the chamber to reach a quorum. Many progressive council members didn't show up for the vote.

  • Several alders accused Ramirez-Rosa of trying to physically block Ald. Emma Mitts from entering the chamber.

What he's saying: "I sincerely apologize to my colleague, Alderwoman Emma Mitts, for the disrespectful interaction outside of Council Chambers," Ramirez-Rosa said in a statement.

  • "I made mistakes, and I learned valuable lessons. I take full responsibility for what I've done."

Zoom in: Since that meeting, the council's Black Caucus called for the eight-year veteran and Democratic Socialist to resign from his leadership position, while other alders suggested he should be censured for his actions.

  • Mayor Brandon Johnson said in a statement that he agrees with Ramirez-Rosa's decision after speaking with him and Mitts over the weekend.
  • "Let us all recommit ourselves to the principles of respect and civility upon which our work and our democracy depend," Johnson said.

Of note: Ramirez-Rosa will also be resigning as chair of the Committee on Zoning, Landmarks, and Building Standards effective Dec. 1.

The bottom line: "I cannot take away the mistakes I made last week," said Ramirez-Rosa.

  • "But I hope to be able to rebuild the trust we have in each other as we move forward as a council that addresses the important issues impacting Chicago."

What's next: The council is expected to resume debate about the sanctuary city referendum on Tuesday.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Chicago.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Chicago stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Chicago.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more