All in favor? Aye! | Bleader

All in favor? Aye!



How about a game of Chicago City Council Mad Libs? It would go something like this:

The City Council's ________ [NOUN] committee met ________ [ADVERB / DAY] to discuss a seemingly well-intended ordinance on ________ [IMPRESSIVE, AWE-INSPIRING ADJECTIVE + NOUN] pushed by the Daley administration but disliked by just about everybody else affected, including _______ [NOUN], _______ [NOUN], and ______ [NOUN]. Even aldermen typically loyal to the mayor _______ [ANGRY SOUNDING VERB] the measure, but because committee members had previously agreed to sign off on it, the proposal ______ [VERB THAT MEANS "PASSED"] unanimously.

A big supporter of the measure, _________ [NAME], commissioner of the city's ______ [NAME] department, predicted that it would make communities safer. Several aldermen asked questions of the commissioner before stating for the record that they agreed with his/her assessments. "Commissioner, I'm not going to subject you to any questions. However, let me just ask you one question," said ________ [NAME], alderman of the _____ [ORDINAL NUMBER] ward. "I understand that __________ [UNIVERSAL TRUTH]. Isn't that in some way dangerous?" 

"We don't see it as an inherent danger," said the commissioner. The alderman appeared satisfied.

Alderman __________ [NAME] of the _____ [ORDINAL NUMBER] Ward had another critical point to make. "What I'm concerned about is the real city of Chicago," he/she said. "In the real neighborhoods of Chicago, we're facing a problem with _______ [ADJECTIVE] _________ [NOUN]. We have all these groups lobbying for A, B, and C, but I'm concerned with safety. What I'm concerned with can cause _____ [SPECIFIC TYPE OF DISASTER], correct?"

The commissioner tried to agree. But not every alderman was as easily placated. Occasional independent ________ [NAME], alderman of the ___ [ORDINAL NUMBER] Ward, offered his/her own suggestion. "In reality, we need something that actually works and something people can actually do," he/she said.

Others delved deep into the human psyche for answers. "What if people don't do what they should?" wondered alderman ______ [NAME] of the ___ [ORDINAL NUMBER] Ward. 

A parade of _______ [URBAN PROBLEM] advocates and representatives from the ________ [HIGHLY PROFITABLE BUSINESS] industry expressed their own concerns about the ordinance, arguing that it would both hurt the poor and stifle development.

Perhaps the bluntest assessment came from ___ [ORDINAL NUMBER] Ward alderman _____ [NAME], who often challenges Daley administration initiatives in committee meetings but rarely votes against them. "The issue we're dealing with here has been around a long time," he/she noted. "We often wonder when sometimes we pass something, 'How did we get that on the books?' after we read it. . . . We have a crisis and then we as legislators, we overreact. We go to extremes."

The ordinance was subsequently passed without any opposing votes and will ______ [ADVERB THAT MEANS "CERTAINLY"] be passed by the full council at next week's meeting.

(For help filling in your blanks, you can read how exactly this worked Monday afternoon.)

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