PILSEN — Despite a recommendation from his City Council colleagues, longtime Ald. Danny Solis (25th) won't seek the soon-to-be-open city clerk seat.
In a letter Thursday, the City Council's Latino Caucus urged Mayor Rahm Emanuel to pick among four Latino aldermen to replace state Comptroller-elect Susana Mendoza as city clerk. Those aldermen were Solis, Ald. George Cardenas (12th), Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th), Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th).
Solis, who has represented the 25th Ward for 20 years and chairs the city's Committee on Zoning, said he was asked by three or four fellow Latino aldermen to consider the seat, but ultimately decided against it.
"They asked me if I was interested and I said I would consider it," said Solis, 67. "But I like my position as alderman.... I'm happy where I'm at."
Solis said that he hopes the new clerk will be Latino or Latina.
Now that Republican Donald Trump has been elected to the White House, Solis said that his work as alderman to protect the undocumented immigrant populations living in Pilsen, a historical point of entry for Mexican immigrants, and Chinatown will now be more important than ever.
In June 2015 When he announced his candidacy, Trump said that Mexico was not "sending their best" and soon announced policy proposals that would include deportation for undocumented Hispanic immigrants.
As part of his campaign platform, Trump promised to work to build a physical wall at the Mexican border, end sanctuary cities in the U.S. and repeal President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) order.
Solis said Friday that Chicago will work to remain a sanctuary city under Trump's presidency and will use all municipal powers and authority to protect its undocumented immigrants.
"[Trump is] the new president and we're going to respect his office as president, but we don't have to agree with his policies," Solis said. "We need to be worried about it, but we absolutely cannot despair."
The election of City Clerk Susana Mendoza as Illinois comptroller leaves a vacancy at City Hall in a $133,545-a-year position that has been held by a Latino politician since former Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed former state Sen. Miguel Del Valle in 2006.
As 25th Ward alderman, Solis represents Pilsen, Chinatown, the West Loop, Little Italy and Heart of Chicago. He was reelected to the seat in 2015.
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