Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson has selected City Hall veteran Richard Guidice to be his first chief of staff, a move that could reassure the political establishment Johnson’s administration won’t rock the boat as much as they fear.
Guidice was a longtime figure in former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s administration who rose through the ranks at the Office of Emergency Management before rising to the agency’s top position four years ago.
He is well-respected in government circles and has public safety experience, a plus for Johnson as his administration works to replace Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown and demonstrate the they’ll be able to handle problems in the Loop like the chaos that unfolded last weekend. Brown resigned in March after outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot lost her reelection bid.
Johnson announced the move Wednesday morning, more than two weeks after defeating former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas in the April 4 election. Johnson also announced Illinois state Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas will be Guidice’s deputy, a move that ensured the progressive movement will have a strong champion on staff.
Pacione-Zayas led the Erikson Institute’s Policy and Leadership Department before being selected in December 2020 to replace Iris Martinez in the state senate after Martinez was elected Cook County Circuit Court Clerk. The Erikson Institute is a graduate school in child development.
In the years since being appointed, Pacione-Zayas has become a close ally of progressive aldermen Carlos Ramirez-Rosa and Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez, and was a vocal Johnson supporter.
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April 20, 2023 at 08:59AM