Get out the chain saw and start slicing away.

That’s the overriding sentiment of more than 100 BGA followers who participated in an ongoing online poll about streamlining the size of the Chicago City Council—one of the hottest civic discussions underway right now.

The BGA online poll asks two questions:

1) Do you think the number of Chicago aldermen should be cut in half?

2) If not, do you think the number of Chicago aldermen should be reduced?

  • In answering the first question, an estimated 62 percent respondents said “yes” to halving the number of City Council seats to 25 from 50, while about 29 percent said “no” and nearly nine percent said “maybe.”
  • And those who did not agree with eliminating the 25 aldermanic seats agreed the time is ripe to reduce the size of Chicago’s City Council. Nearly 62 percent of those taking the online poll said “yes,” while 29 percent said “no” and nine percent replied “maybe.” (Results are as of March 31.)

>Beyond the raw numbers, BGA followers have a lot to say about this issue, which has been recently raised by Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel and other civic leaders. Indeed, the issue is being debated and discussed on BGA President Andy Shaw’s Facebook page, which features at least 45 comments on the topic. The vast majority of those Facebook respondents are advocating for fewer Chicago aldermen but others offer a different point-of-view.

And if you haven’t taken the poll yet, please do.

Earlier this year, the BGA helped initiate the discussion on reducing the size of the Chicago City Council and is pleased that so many people are participating in this important and timely civic debate.

One thing appears certain: We haven’t heard the last of this issue.

This blog entry was reported and written by Robert Reed, the BGA’s director of programming. Contact us with tips, suggestions and complaints at (312) 821-9030, or email our investigative team at