Brief: Perez retains seat as minority caucus chair with unanimous vote

Ward 5 Alderman Jorge Perez won another two-year term as chair of the Board of Aldermen’s minority caucus Monday night.

The vote in the 18-person caucus was uncontested; only nine caucus members showed up for the vote. One non-voting board member also attended.

“People are happy with the direction the caucus is heading,” Perez said Tuesday night when asked why he won uncontested.

Several minority aldermen interviewed said they are not surprised Perez won a second term without facing any opposition.

Ward 3 Alderwoman Jacqueline James, who was elected vice chair of the caucus Monday, said she was the only other board member nominated for the job — she received a nod from Ward 23 Alderman Yusuf Shah — but she declined to run for the post.

“Jorge was the best person,” James said. “By no means, I would not have supported anyone other than George Perez.”

Before becoming the leader of the caucus for the first time two years ago, Perez served as board president from 2000 to 2006, when he was unseated by current president Carl Goldfield in a close 16-14 vote.

At the beginning of every term, the caucus draws up a legislative agenda designed to address issues of concern to the city’s black and Latino voters. In addition, after the mayor delivers his State of the City address at the beginning of each year, the caucus chair responds with his own “minority State of the City” address that reacts to the mayor’s speech.

The caucus will start working on the legislative agenda in its next meeting and will unveil the agenda as part of the minority State of the City address in March, James said.

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