Chicago’s Mayor Brandon Johnson Stares in the Face of Recall

( – Chicagoans thought they were taking a positive step forward when they voted out Lori Lightfoot as mayor in an early April 2023 runoff election. However, her replacement, Brandon Johnson, has ruffled more than a few feathers since assuming office. Recent reports indicate he could be staring in the face of a recall in the future.

On April 17, local news organizations reported that a former technology salesperson named Daniel Boland recently took the first step toward removing a sitting Chicago mayor. Earlier in the month, the suburban Lake View resident filed paperwork to create a PAC with the Illinois State Board of Elections to “establish” the legal means of recalling the Windy City’s top governmental executive. Currently, Illinois statutes don’t have a mechanism for recalling mayors.

As expected, Johnson blasted the effort to create a legal solution allowing voters to remove Chicago’s top executive. He called the move “disingenuous” and accused his “extreme right-wing” opponents of backing the scheme.

Johnson explained that voters had an opportunity to remove politicians at the polling stations every two years. Turning his attention to Boland, Johnson characterized him as “some dude from the suburbs” who wasn’t happy with the diversity of his administration.

However, the Chicago Tribune reported that Boland shot down those claims, telling the city’s top newspaper that he casts his ballots “straight down the middle.” He said he didn’t decide to create the PAC because he disagreed with the mayor’s policies. He said he wanted to amend Illinois law because he “believes in democracy, direct democracy.

Boland also pointed out that Johnson ran for office on “transparency and accountability” and shouldn’t take the move personally. “This is about good government,” he said, adding that it wasn’t about “left-wing or right-wing” politics.

Getting the referendum on the ballot will take some work. Boland must collect at least 56,464 valid signatures by the first week of August. If voters approve the initiative, Chicagoans would be able to recall any current or future mayor.

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