Ald. Sawyer to Chair City Council Black Caucus
CHICAGO (May 20, 2015)--The members of the Chicago City Council Black Caucus have elected Alderman Roderick T. Sawyer (6) as their new chairman at their first meeting of the new term. Ald. Sawyer succeeds Ald. Howard Brookins (21), who is the newly appointed Chair of the City Council Committee on Economic Capital and Technology Development.
Ald. Sawyer said he looks forward to working alongside Ald. Jason Ervin (28), who was elected Black Caucus Vice Chair.
Ald. Sawyer said he believes the city urgently needs a strong and engaged Black Caucus in the City Council. “The City faces serious financial challenges, and our communities are in need of economic investment, quality schools and safe streets,” said Sawyer. “The Black Caucus must be a strong voice in the discussions about Chicago’s fiscal future. We cannot simply balance the bottom line without protecting our seniors and providing real opportunity for our young people.”
Ald. Sawyer noted that high rates of gun violence, unemployment and school dropouts have disproportionately impacted Chicago’s African-American community. Given the high percentage of African-American support for Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the recent municipal election, Sawyer added, “the Black Caucus will play a crucial role in holding the Mayor to the promises he made to the African-American community” during the campaign.
Sawyer said his primary goals as Black Caucus Chair are to increase the percentages of African-American contractors doing business with City government, to improve community-police relations, and to ensure fair access to high-quality public schools in every neighborhood.
Ald. Sawyer thanked Ald. Brookins for his leadership. “Along with Black Caucus Vice Chair Ald. Ervin, I look forward to carrying forward the work of my friend and colleague Ald. Brookins as he transitions to his new chairmanship,” he said.
For more information about the Black Caucus or to request an interview with Ald. Sawyer, please contact Chief of Staff Brian Sleet at (773) 991-8334.