Daniel La Spata
Member of the Chicago City Council
from the 1st ward
Assumed office
May 20, 2019
Preceded byProco Joe Moreno
Personal details
Born (1981-02-26) February 26, 1981 (age 41)
South Plainfield, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationNorth Park University (BA)
University of Illinois, Chicago (MUPP)

Daniel La Spata (born February 26, 1981) is a Chicago politician. He has served as the alderman of Chicago's 1st ward since May 2019. He won election to that office after defeating incumbent Proco Joe Moreno in the 2019 Chicago aldermanic elections.[1] He is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.[2]

Early life, education, and career

La Spata was born in South Plainfield, New Jersey in 1981.[3][1] He moved to Chicago in 1999 to attend North Park University, where he later received a bachelor's degree in psychology and music.[3] In 2019, he completed his master's degree in urban planning and public policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.[4]

He was a member of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association for 10 years, including a stint as vice-president, where he worked on issues of equitable housing and community development.[3] He has also worked as a community organizer for the Jane Addams Seniors Caucus, a policy and planning associate at Friends of the Parks, and policy intern at the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.[4][5]

In the 2019 Chicago aldermanic elections, La Spata ran for alderman of the 1st ward, challenging incumbent Proco Joe Moreno. He received endorsements from local community organization The People's Lobby and state representative Will Guzzardi.[6][7] In February 2019, a photograph reportedly from his 2013 bachelor party was released in which La Spata, dressed in a banana costume and with his friends surrounding him in monkey masks, posed with four African-American boys at a downtown Chicago park. Following criticism of the photo as racist, La Spata issued an apology stating "I apologize unequivocally for the photo from my bachelor party six years ago."[8][9] On February 29, 2019, he won election to the seat after defeating Moreno with 61.3% of the vote.

On April 10, 2019, La Spata joined six other newly elected socialist members of the City Council in protesting against the approval of tax increment financing for the Lincoln Yards and The 78 real estate developments.[10]

Chicago City Council (2019–present)

La Spata was sworn in as alderman from the 1st ward on May 20, 2019. He is a member of the Progressive Caucus and Socialist Caucus within City Council.

In November 2019, La Spata was one of eleven aldermen to vote against Mayor Lori Lightfoot's first budget.[11] He joined all five other members of the Socialist Caucus in signing a letter to Lightfoot which criticized her budget for "an over-reliance on property taxes" and "regressive funding models" that are "burdensome to our working-class citizens, while giving the wealthy and large corporations a pass."[12]

La Spata has advocated for Chicago to altogether end its contract with Commonwealth Edison.[13]

Electoral history

Chicago 1st ward aldermanic election, 2019: General[14]
Party Candidate Votes %
Independent Daniel La Spata 7,281 61.27
Independent Proco Joe Moreno 4,602 38.73
Total votes 11,883 100.00

See also


  1. ^ a b "La Spata Declares Victory Over Proco 'Joe' Moreno In 1st Ward Upset". Block Club Chicago. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  2. ^ "Socialists Surge to Victories in Chicago City Council". CBS Chicago. 2019-04-03.
  3. ^ a b c "About Daniel". Daniel LaSpata 2019. Archived from the original on 2020-01-28. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  4. ^ a b "'Hipster Alderman' Out, 'Nerd Alderman' In: Daniel La Spata Charts Path As 1st Ward's New Leader". Block Club Chicago. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  5. ^ "1st Ward candidate for alderman: Daniel La Spata". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  6. ^ "Endorsements | The People's Lobby". Retrieved 2021-12-21.
  7. ^ @DanielLaSpata (February 11, 2019). "So excited to be endorsed by State Rep. @WillGuzzardi. Will knows how to take on the machine and achieve real victories for our working families. 15 days to go, our progressive movement is united and ready to win!". Twitter. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 2021-12-21.
  8. ^ Byrne, John. "City Council's Black Caucus leader rips white aldermanic candidate for 'racist' banana costume photo". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2019-11-20.
  9. ^ Issa, Nader (2019-02-12). "Aldermanic candidate apologizes for controversial banana costume photo". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2019-11-20.
  10. ^ Spielman, Fran (April 10, 2019). "City Council OKs $1.6 billion in subsidies for Lincoln Yards, 'The 78'". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on April 20, 2019. Retrieved April 20, 2019. Joining the protesters were seven newly-elected progressive aldermen: Daniel La Spata (1st); Mike Rodriguez (22nd); Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th); Andre Vasquez (40th); Matt Martin (47th) and Maria Hadden (49th).
  11. ^ Schutz, Paris (9 December 2019). "Aldermen Stew Over Being Called Out by Lightfoot Campaign". WTTW News. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  12. ^ Bremer, Shelby (26 November 2019). "Chicago City Council Passes Lightfoot's Budget Proposal". NBC Chicago. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  13. ^ McClell, Edward (3 January 2020). "A Chicago Without ComEd". Chicago magazine. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  14. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2019-04-03. Retrieved 2019-03-01.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)