The City Council of Chicago rejects the motion to remove Ald. Sigcho-Lopez from committee chairmanship.

City Council of Chicago.
Published on April 1, 2024 • Updated on April 1, 2024 at 6:11 pm.

Ald. Byron Sigcho-López, from Chicago’s 25th Ward, faced criticism from several colleagues who sought to remove him from a leadership position after he spoke at a protest where an American flag was burned. Reported by Christian Farr of NBC Chicago.

The Chicago City Council voted against a measure that would have removed Ald. Byron Sigcho-López from his leadership position after he appeared at a weekend protest condemning Israel’s actions in Gaza.

A military veteran burned an American flag at the protest, and photographs showed Sigcho-López standing in front of it while making comments at the event.

By a vote of 29 to 16 during a special council session, lawmakers opted not to remove Sigcho-López from his position as chairman of the council’s Housing Committee.

Ald. Chris Taliaferro spoke during Monday’s meeting and said that Sigcho-López had apologized for appearing with the group.

“When I spoke to my colleague, I forgave him for what I had in my heart, what I believed was an inappropriate action. That’s how I was able to accept his apologies and say that it’s enough for me,” he stated.

Sigcho-López said he did not condone the actions of those who attended the event, but he believed that burning the American flag was an expression of freedom of speech.

“I made my apologies clear. I have not tolerated or participated in any of those actions that some of my colleagues claim. At the same time, I am not condemning a veteran for his First Amendment rights,” he said.

Mayor of Chicago, Brandon Johnson, issued a statement following the Council meeting.

“I firmly believe in the democratic process and was pleased to see Ald. Sigcho-López and Ald. Taliaferro reaching a mutual understanding and moving forward,” he stated. “Once again, I applaud the members of the City Council for their thoughtful debate and look forward to continuing to work collaboratively to address the urgent needs of all Chicago residents.”

Sigcho-López had stated that he was not present when the flag was burned and did not notice it while he was speaking.

Other lawmakers had criticized Sigcho-López for calling for the cancellation of the Democratic National Convention over the handling of the conflict between Israel and Hamas by the Biden Administration.

“We have the right to criticize our colleague, who should be held to a higher standard when making comments about the cancellation of the Democratic National Committee, when making comments about the commander-in-chief in front of a charred flag,” Ald. Gilbert Villegas said last week.

The councilman stood by his comments when interviewed by NBC Chicago last week.

“Yes, (the Democratic National Committee should be canceled),” he said. “The president and many leaders have neglected the issue of migration and have neglected the genocide in Gaza.”

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