Alderman Bob Fioretti’s path to 2015 mayoral candidate is an interesting one to say the least. As a self-described “civil rights attorney,” Fioretti earned a living for himself in the private sector, representing individuals, corporations and government entities, before running a successful campaign to become the first non-Black alderman in Chicago’s 2nd Ward, a ward that had been served by an African American alderman for 90 years prior to that victory. With an increasingly diverse neighborhood that mirrored the redevelopment of the South Loop, Fioretti convinced voters that he was a man of the people who would continue his fight for the civil rights of all Chicagoans during his time at City Hall. And though he supported then-Mayor Daley in his successful effort to privatize the city’s parking meters, since that time, Fioretti has emerged as one of the leading progressive voices in City Council.
He is one of the handful of alderman that regularly vote against Rahm Emanuel’s policy initiatives, including the closing of 50 Chicago public schools. As an Italian native of the Roseland/Pullman community, he has long pushed for the area to be made into a national park which. Interestingly enough, as Election Day is less than a week away, President Barack Obama will return to the neighborhood with Emanuel by his side to make a declaration that does just that. And while he will get no credit for that move, there is no denying the impact of his advocacy in making the national park status a reality.
In an article written by Natasha Korecki of the Chicago Sun-Times, Fioretti is painted as a man who sometimes rubs his fellow aldermen the wrong way because of his willingness to be the anti-Emanuel quote machine. His chilling effect on his peers may have been a major factor in his own home being drawn out of the 2nd Ward he currently represents. The new 2nd Ward looks almost nothing like the one Fioretti won in 2007, which essentially has made him an alderman without a community to call home.
Still, Fioretti has the backing of a good number of young, multiethnic millennials in the city of Chicago. For those paying attention, the evolution of his public policy stances can be attributed to former mayoral candidate Amara Enyia being hired as his campaign’s policy expert. Over the last four years, Fioretti has done a decent job of personally rebuffing the wholesale transformation of the city. On Feb. 24, Chicago voters will determine whether or not his efforts translate into the public support necessary to name him the city’s next top dog. Visit www.bobfioretti.com for more info.