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Digest of City Charters


Other Statutory and Constitutional
Provisions Relating to Cities



Chicago-Charter Convention


Department of Political Science

The University of Chicago


Printed for the
Chicago Charter Convention


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On June 19, 1905, the city council of the City of Chicago adopted the following resolution:

WHEREAS, The 44th General Assembly failed to give Chicago any of the essentials which are necessary for a better local government as contemplated by the amendment to the Constitution adopted last November; and,

WHEREAS, This failure of the legislature was due to lack of unanimity on the part of the various committees and organizations which proposed the amendments to the General Assembly; and,

WHEREAS, If Chicago is to get remedial legislation from the next Legislature it is necessary that steps be taken to formulate in advance measures that shall represent with some degree of unanimity the public sentiment and need of Chicago; now therefore be it,

Resolved, By the city council of the City of Chicago, that there is hereby constituted a Charter Convention to be made up as follows:

1. Fifteen members of the city council to be selected by the Committee on State Legislation of the city council.

2. Fifteen members of the 44th General Assembly residing in Cook county, to be selected by the presiding officers of the Senate and House of Representatives of the 44th General Assembly, acting jointly.

3. Fifteen citizens of Chicago to be appointed by the Mayor of Chicago.

4. Fifteen citizens of Chicago to be appointed by the Governor of the State of Illinois.

5. Two representatives of each of the following bodies: Board of Cook County Commissioners, Trustees of the Sanitary District, Board of Education, Library Board, South Park Board, West Park Board and Lincoln Park Board; the two representatives in each case to be appointed by the presiding officer of each of the respective bodies.

Said Charter Convention shall assemble in the Council Chamber at such time as may be designated by his Honor, the Mayor of Chicago. The Convention shall be called to order by the Mayor of the City of Chicago, who shall preside until the permanent organization shall be effected. The Convention shall organize by selecting a presiding officer from among its membership. The Convention shall elect a Secretary

and shall make provision for such other officers as it may

deem necessary.

Said Convention shall make a study of the needs of Chicago with respect to further charter legislation, to the end that it shall be able to present to the next legislature a measure or measures that shall confer upon Chicago a comprehensive home rule charter.

The various departments of the City of Chicago are hereby ordered and directed to supply to said Charter Convention such information and assistance as it may be within their power to render. The other bodies to be represented in such Convention are also requested to render like assistance and information.

The city council on October 30, 1905, adopted the following resolution:

WHEREAS, On the 19th day of June, 1905, the city council passed a resolution creating and constituting a Charter Convention to consider charter changes for the City of Chicago which resolution is printed on page 633 of the current council proceedings; and,

WHEREAS, By said resolution the Mayor of the City of Chicago was authorized and directed to appoint fifteen citizens of Chicago as delegates to said Convention, and was further directed, when all the delegates in said resolution provided for had been appointed, to fix a time for said Convention to assemble and call the delegates together; and,

WHEREAS, All the delegates to said Convention have been appointed, excepting those which are to be appointed by the Mayor of the City of Chicago; and,

WHEREAS, It is important to the City of Chicago that no further delay shall ensue in appointing said delegates and convening said Convention; now therefore be it,

Resolved, That the Mayor be, and is hereby, requested to appoint fifteen delegates without further delay, and immediately upon their appointment to call said Convention together in the manner and for the purpose set forth in the resolution hereinbefore referred to.

In compliance with this legislation, the Convention was appointed and convened in the Council Chamber of the City of Chicago, December 12, 1905, its membership being seventy-four, the men being designated by the following authorities :

Mayor Edward F. Dunne,
The City Council,
Governor Charles S. Deneen,

The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate of the Illinois General Assembly.

The Chicago Board of Education,
The Board of Sanitary Trustees,
The County Board of Cook County,

The Chicago Public Library,
The South Park Board,
The Lincoln Park Board,
The West Park Board.

The officers chosen by the Convention were Judge Orrin N. Carter, Chairman; Milton J. Foreman, Vice-Chairman, and M. L. McKinley, Secretary.

On July 10, 1906, Judge Carter resigned, owing to the fact that he had been elected a Justice of the Supreme Court of Illinois, and Milton J. Foreman was unanimously elected to succeed him. Alexander H. Revell was elected to succeed Col. Foreman as Vice-Chairman.

Since the organization of the Convention, the following have succeeded to vacancies caused by resignations:

W. Clyde Jones, vice Francis W. Parker.
George W. Paullin, vice Alexander J. Jones.
Thomas A. McMillan, vice Orrin N. Carter.

The present officers of the Convention are:
Milton J. Foreman

Chairman Alexander H. Revell

Vice-Chairman M. L. McKinley

Secretary Henry Barrett Chamberlin

Assistant Secretary
The complete membership is as follows:
Joseph Badenoch,

Andrew J. Graham, E. J. Rainy,
William H. Baker,
John Guerin,

Walter J. Raymer,
Walter E. Beebe,
Joseph F. Haas,

Alexander H. Revell, A. W. Beilfuss,

Carter H. Harrison, Lewis Rinaker,
Frank I. Bennett,
John W. Hill,

Raymond Robins,
Z. P. Brosseau,
Frank G. Hoyne,

Lessing Rosenthal,
William M. Brown, Thomas M. Hunter, C. 0. Sethness,
Richard E. Burke,
W. Clyde Jones,

D. E. Shanahan,
Thomas Carey,

James M. Kittleman, John G. Shedd, Chester W. Church, Bryan Lathrop,

Frank L. Shepard,
B. F. Clettenberg, James J. Linehan,

John F. Smulski,
George E. Cole,
Carl Lundberg,

B. W. Snow,
D. F. Crilly,

Thomas C. MacMillan, B. E. Sunny, Daniel L. Cruice,

R. R. McCormick, George B. Swift, William E. Dever,

John P. McGoorty, Graham Taylor, George W. Dixon, M. L. McKinley,

George J. Thompson, Thomas J. Dixon,

Charles E. Merriam, Charles J. Vopicka,
B. A. Eckhart,

Joseph A. O'Donnell, Edwin K. Walker,
John W. Eckhart,
Theodore Oehne,

Charles Werno,
Henry F. Eidmann, John E. Owens,

R. A. White,
F. E. Erickson,
George W. Paullin,

D. R. Wilkins,
Walter L. Fisher,

Joseph M. Patterson, John P. Wilson,
John J. Fitzpatrick, R. E. Pendarvis,

Edward C. Young,
Milton J. Foreman,
Louis F. Post,

Michael Zimmer.
F. H. Gansbergen,

John Powers, The Convention maintains headquarters at 171 Washington street, where its committee meetings are held, and meets in general session in the Council Chamber of the City of Chicago.

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