Michael Rodriguez

b. - August 31, 1978

Chicago, 22nd Ward Alderman (2019-)
Cook County Democratic Party, 22nd Ward Democratic Committeeperson (2016-)

Little Village and Archer Heights
22nd Ward Map - City Ward Map

A lifelong resident of Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, Ald. Michael “Mike” Rodriguez came up working for community organizations like nonprofit Enlace Chicago, where he was the executive director. His profile steadily rose as a central actor in the Southwest Side political network cultivated by U.S. Rep. Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, which was ascendent in the late 2010s.

During his tenure as executive director of Enlace Chicago, the nonprofit organization’s budget doubled and the organization’s staff expanded to 200 people.

Running unopposed, Rodriguez was elected 22nd Ward Democratic Committeeman in 2016, replacing former Ald. Ricardo Muñoz. Rodriguez had previously served as Muñoz’ chief of staff. Rodriguez was reelected to his committeeman post in the 2020 election, in which he again did not face any challengers. Rodriguez is executive vice-chair of the Cook County Democratic Party, and was the youngest person to be in a leadership position with the county Democratic party.

Rodriguez’ predecessor, Muñoz, was arrested for a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. Muñoz checked himself into rehab in Indiana soon after. Rodriguez was among people who called for Muñoz to step down immediately from the City Council, which he rebuffed.

Also prior to being elected alderman, Rodriguez was the executive officer of the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office, where he was responsible for overseeing legislation, budget, and human resources.

The 2019 election competition to replace Muñoz was a four-way race among Rodriguez, Lisette “Liz” Lopez, Richard Juarez and Neftalie Gonzalez. Rodriguez emerged victorious in the February General Election with nearly 64 percent of the vote, avoiding a runoff election.

The 22nd Ward alderman was one of 11 aldermen to vote against Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s first budget in 2019, but supported Lightfoot’s 2021 "pandemic" budget.

Following Hilco Redevelopment Partners’ April 2020 botched demolition of the Crawford Coal Plant that blanketed the surrounding Little Village residential area in dust, Rodriguez introduced legislation to revoke property tax incentives the city awarded to so-called “bad actors” and developers whose projects have negative impacts on the health and safety of residents. The measure was unanimously approved by the City Council in October 2020.

Rodriguez was also an early supporter of Lightfoot's Industrial Air Quality and Zoning ordinance, which was designed to rein in industrial polluters. But Rodriguez ultimately voted against the ordinance in 2021, saying it had been watered down too hard during negotiations with industry.

Rodriguez is a member of both the Progressive Reform Caucus of the Chicago City Council and the Chicago City Council Latino Caucus. In May 2021, Rodriguez was elected to a two-year term as Chicago Latino Caucus Foundation Chairman.

Current Chicago City Council Committees:

Important Political Events

  • 2016, Elected 22nd Ward Democratic Committeeman
  • 2019, Elected 22nd Ward alderman
  • 2020, Reelected 22nd Ward Democratic Committeeman

Dick Simpson “Rubber Stamp” scores:

2019-20: 91 percent

Campaign committee(s):

Friends of Michael D Rodriguez

Sources

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