There are few topics more polarizing than local politics or astrology.
With newly elected Council members taking their oaths soon, it’s time for a change in Chicago politics.
It’s time for political analysis based wholly on astrology.
The new alderpeople being sworn in for this session are younger, queerer, more Socialist, and a far more diverse group than the aldermen they’re replacing (and since none of them have blackmailed Burger King, for now we can assume they’re also less corrupt).
These new alderpeople are moving quickly — with the stars in alignment or not.
Like any good astrological source, this guide includes “Oh, that makes sense” facts you can use to validate either the legitimacy of astrology or the relevance of local politics (depending upon your audience).
Before their inauguration into City Council next Monday, use this star based guide to better understand each one’s stance on police union contract negotiations, their definitions of a “community driven” process, or to over-analyze all of their Instagram posts (just like you would with any of your crushes).
Maria Hadden, 49th Ward
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Neighborhoods: Rogers Park, Edgewater, West Ridge.
Their whole deal: Maria Hadden, Chicago’s first black, queer alderwoman, ran on a platform of community voice and transparency from development to policing.
“Oh, that makes sense”: Maria Hadden used to work for the Participatory Budgeting Project, and is, like any nerdy justice minded air sign, diving deep into the nuts and bolts of adequate progressive revenue, and what it will really look like to have meaningful community power over neighborhood development.
Jeanette Taylor, 20th Ward
Sun Sign: Taurus
Neighborhoods: Woodlawn, New City (Back of the Yards and Canaryville), Washington Park and Englewood.
Their whole deal: Jeanette Taylor is a community organizer, mother, and who played a major role in the Dyett Hunger Strike. She was elected to an LSC at 19, organized as a part of KOCO, and is a lifelong South Sider. She has pledged to fight for a CBA for the Obama Library and to fight the displacement of black people from Chicago overall.
“Oh, that makes sense”: Like any Taurus, she is tenacious and unwilling to back down: “I love Chicago. I’m gonna fight to stay here. That’s one of the reasons why I got in the race.” Happy Taurus Season, Jeanette Taylor.
Daniel La Spata, 1st Ward
Sun Sign: Pisces
Neighborhoods: Logan Square, Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village, Humboldt Park and West Town.
Their whole deal: Daniel La Spata is a former housing activist with Logan Square Neighborhood Association, and organizer at Jane Addams Senior Caucus. His platform prioritizes affordable housing and fighting the corruption in City Council from “unchecked developer money and aldermanic power.”
“Oh, that makes sense”: Characterized as the “nerd alderman” in a new progressive bloc full of nerds, Daniel La Spata pledges to “lead by listening” in his campaign. I started this section thinking “it’s too bad he hasn’t done any goofy community forum styles with butcher block paper, that would be a real Pisces move.”
THEN, AT HIS FIRST COMMUNITY FORUM: “After a brief gathering in the auditorium, residents broke out into the classroom discussion of their choosing. Facilitators — representatives from neighborhood associations within the ward — moderated the discussions and jotted down notes on large white pieces of paper. In the public safety classroom, residents pitched ideas for combating gun violence in the ward. Offering more free and affordable summer camps for kids was a popular idea, etched into the paper.”
Rossana Rodriguez, 33rd Ward
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Neighborhoods: Albany Park, Irving Park, Avondale and Ravenswood Manor.
Their whole deal: Rossana Rodriguez’s campaign website says she attended her first demonstration at the age of six, in her hometown of Mariana as part of a fight for public access to drinking water. In Chicago, she is an advocate for public education, fighting against privatization and school closings in Puerto Rico and in Chicago.
“Oh, that makes sense”: Scorpios have a bad reputation in astrology. Known as the sign of death and cutting, out of nowhere insults, Rossana’s vibe seems antithetical to her sun sign. However, Scorpios are also the sign of transformation — what Rossana could represent for Albany Park after over 44 years of representation from a single family.
Andre Vasquez, 40th Ward
Sun Sign: Gemini
Their whole deal: The son of immigrant parents and a former organizer with Reclaim Chicago, Andre ran on a platform of “better schools, city services, and the right allocation of resources in our city government.”
“Oh, that makes sense”: Andre’s hip hop career was brought up repeatedly during his campaign as a racist dog whistle attack from his opponent. He overcame the racist attacks and beat out a 36 year incumbent. But also, like any Gemini, he is good with words. Also, like any good Gemini, his campaign website has the most capitalized letters.
Matt Martin, 47th Ward
Sun Sign: Pisces
Neighborhoods: Lincoln Square, Lakeview, Ravenswood, Roscoe Village.
Their whole deal: Before running for alderman, Matt Martin was a civil rights attorney at the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, where he helped draft the police accountability consent decree.
“Oh, that makes sense”: Matt Martin, in spite of his policy heavy campaign messaging around progressive revenue, is also a Pisces. Pisces have a lot of feelings, but they also know how to relax, esp with a Nintendo Switch.
Byron Sigcho-Lopez, 22nd Ward
Sun Sign: Cancer
Neighborhoods: Pilsen, West Loop, Tri-Taylor, and Chinatown.
Their whole deal: Former director of Pilsen Alliance, Byron is a former teacher and organizer who got involved with politics after the school closings of 2013. He fought against the 78, and is dedicated to building meaningful community zoning processes that address displacement.
“Oh, that makes sense”: First of all, Cancers are primarily motivated by the HOME, a unique disposition for housing + community organizers. Cancers are loyal skeptics, which explains Byron’s critical take on building real community driven processes that stop displacement: “ People want diversity, we want inclusion, we want progress. We all believe in that. But what does that look like? I think we hear the alderman talking about inclusion and progress, but when 10,000 residents leave the neighborhood, how can we talk about inclusion?”
Finally, in spite of his active social media + community presence, I was only able to find his date of birth in a legal affidavit. Makes sense: Cancers are extremely private.