Aldermen want Trump stripped of his honorary Chicago plaza

Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd, introduced an ordinance Oct. 5, 2016, that would strip Donald Trump's name from the small plaza in front of his River North hotel on Wabash Avenue. Oct. 5, 2016. (CBS Chicago)

Chicago has long had a prominent downtown street named for Italian fascist Italo Balbo — but an honorary plaza named for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is an insult that goes too far, a group of aldermen say.

So at a City Council meeting Wednesday, Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd, introduced an ordinance that would strip Trump's name from the small plaza in front of his River North hotel on Wabash Avenue.


The move would punish Trump for "painting a distorted caricature of Chicago" on the campaign trail and for "comparing our great city to a decimated, war-torn country," said Reilly, in whose ward the Trump Tower stands.

He was backed by eight other aldermen who agreed with Reilly's statement that "honorary street signs are meant to honor special Chicagoans who've made a positive contribution to our city."

The proposed ordinance also states that Trump has run a "hateful, racist campaign against immigrants and minorities," and accuses him of a "complete disregard for civil liberties dating back to the 1970s."

It could take about a month to be enacted, Reilly said, adding that "there are millions of people who live and work here who are very proud of our city, and given his actions in recent months, he doesn't warrant an honorary street sign."

Trump's comments about Chicago in the first presidential debate (in which he called for stop-and-frisk tactics to be used here to combat gun violence) were "the final straw," added Reilly, who said he would send back campaign contributions he previously received from Trump "with his honorary street sign."

Asked about the symbolic action, Mayor Rahm Emanuel did not object, but said it was more important to defeat Trump at the ballot box.

"Look, he has a sign on a building, he has a sign on the street," Emanuel said. "Here's what I would say: I think he's wrong for America. You know my view of what I think is right. The aldermen took the way they want to express themselves, so my recommendation: Don't just take a sign down. Make sure we mobilize and get out and vote, because it's a very important and big election."

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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