Meet Alderman Moore

Alderman Joe Moore’s aldermanic tenure is rooted in his progressive values.

Those values were nurtured by his father Max, who once was chairman of the Oak Lawn Human Relations Council — not exactly a sought-after post in a town that was a known white flight destination. As chairman, Joe’s Dad supported open housing in Oak Lawn and received several death threats as a result, including a visit from a “salesman” who told his Dad he heard he was in the market for a cemetery plot and offered to sell him one.

Fast forward to 2008, when The Nation magazine named Alderman Moore the Most Valuable Progressive Local Official in the country in 2008, alongside its most valuable Progressive Senator, Bernie Sanders.

The Nation lauded Alderman Moore as “an example of the sort of steadfast and effective grassroots progressive who has fought the power brokers again and again and frequently prevailed. … He has gotten the Chicago city council to oppose the [Iraq] war, defend civil liberties and take on chain-stores that batter local businesses.”

Moore was a pioneer in the effort to bring community policing to Chicago. Under his leadership, the 49th Ward was selected as one of the first areas of the city to host a community policing pilot project, which resulted in a 54% reduction in serious crime.

Moore also gained national renown as a leader in the fight for living wages and sponsored the landmark “Big Box Living Wage Ordinance,” which required large retail stores to pay their employees a wage sufficient to keep a family of four out of poverty. The ordinance was a precursor to Chicago’s minimum wage ordinance, which guarantees all workers in Chicago a wage of at least $13 an hour in 2019 indexed to inflation.

Alderman Moore also:

  • Sponsored a whistleblower ordinance to protect employees who blow the whistle on corruption.
  • Garnered nationwide attention by sponsoring a resolution opposing President Bush’s pre-emptive invasion of Iraq. As a result, Alderman Moore was elected chair of the the new organization of Cities for Peace, an organization of leaders from cities and towns that had passed similar resolutions.
  • Sponsored a resolution opposing the so-called Patriot Act.
  • Was the sponsor of the Accountability and Privatization Ordinance, which provided more oversight and accountability for the privatization of city services.
  • Also sponsored an ordinance calling for the closure of the City’s two coal-fired power plants that were poisoning our air and harming the health of the residents near the plants. Mayor Daley opposed shutting them down. They are now closed.
  • Co-sponsored an ordinance requiring affordable housing set asides. Mayor Daley opposed set asides for most of his tenure, only grudgingly supporting them after the real estate market crashed and no one was building any housing.

Alderman Moore is chairman of the City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate, which oversees City housing policy and all transactions involving City-owned real estate. Moore also serves on the following City Council committees: Budget and Government Operations; Education and Child Development; Finance; Health and Environmental Protection; Human Relations; Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation; and Rules and Ethics.