Chicago alderwoman fires back after Archbishop pens letter saying proposed city ordinance was rushed

Archbishop of Chicago Blase Cupich wrote a letter to Mayor Lori Lightfoot and City Council members calling a new proposed ordinance rushed.

The letter from Cupich outlines concerns over the Human Service Work Advancement Ordinance.

The cardinal wrote that the legislation is being "pushed through with great haste by its supporters."

The nonprofit has food pantries, hot meals for seniors, shelter for the homeless and so much more.


The city ordinance would require any organization that provides human services to sign a Labor Peace Agreement, no matter if they are unionized or not, but the city has made it clear that it doesn't take money out of the pockets of providers.

It ensures there is no retaliation against workers if they choose to organize.

The Archdiocese of Chicago has 1,250 employees, and none of them are in a union.

"What the ordinance does is it would require every single person who provides human services, you know a million to a million and a half people every year in the city of Chicago, to sign a Labor Peace Agreement with the unions, whether or not we're unionized. The reason we're concerned about that is cause it does nothing to actually increase worker wages or benefits, it adds cost and complexity, but in the absence of more funding, we can't do anything, and the only way that we could respond to do more for the workers, would be to spend less on services," said Sally Blount, CEO of Catholic Charities of Chicago.

Chicago Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza of the 10th ward responded to the Archbishop Monday night.

The letter read, in part: 

Catholic Charities is exempt from this ordinance. We have repeatedly asked Catholic Charities for language to clarify what they think is necessary for them to be comfortable to be exempt but have gotten nothing. Your letter states that we are pushing this through, that is not at all true either. This ordinance has been in committee for over two years. 

Sadlowski Garza is also the chairwoman of the Committee on Workforce Development.