Caucus Ruckus

By Irish America Staff
October / November 2001

Chicago alderman Thomas Murphy’s attempt to bridge cultural gaps seems to have gone unappreciated. Murphy represents the 18th Ward on the city’s Southwest Side, with an 85 percent black population. For this reason Murphy asked to join the City Council’s black caucus even though he is white. But caucus members said that membership in the caucus was not based on the racial makeup of the councilman’s constituency, but on his own “status as an African American.” Mayor Richard M. Daley requested that the caucus accept Murphy, saying he’d be perfectly able to represent his district. The caucus said it would decide after re-mapping the wards according to the 2000 census results. Mr. Murphy felt the opportunity had been missed. In July he withdrew his request for admittance. It seems that race relations in Chicago will remain unchanged for a while. ♦

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