|Member of the Chicago City Council|
from the 6th ward
|Assumed office |
May 16, 2011
|Preceded by||Freddrenna Lyle|
Roderick Terrance Sawyer
April 12, 1963
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Education||DePaul University (BS)|
Illinois Institute of Technology (JD)
Roderick Terrance Sawyer (born April 12, 1963) is an American politician and the current alderman of the 6th ward located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. In addition to serving as alderman, Sawyer is currently the Chairman of the Health and Human Relations Committee, a member of the Progressive Reform Caucus, and the former Chairman of the African American Caucus.
Born one of three children in Chicago, Illinois to Eugene and Eleanor Sawyer (nee Taylor), Sawyer grew up in the 6th ward on the south side. Sawyer is the son of Eugene Sawyer, who served as Mayor of Chicago after the sudden death of Harold Washington from December 1987 until April 1989. His father is also noted as the second African-American to hold the position.
For high school, Sawyer attended St. Ignatius College Prep, graduating in 1981. Sawyer went on to earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from DePaul University, and a Juris Doctor from the Chicago Kent College of Law.
Sawyer was first elected in 2011 after narrowly defeating incumbent Freddrenna Lyle, and is currently serving his third term, having been re-elected in 2015 and 2019.
In the 2019 Chicago mayoral election, Sawyer endorsed Toni Preckwinkle, giving her his endorsement in the first round of the election.
In June 2020, Sawyer proposed an ordinance which would end the Chicago Public Schools' contract to station Chicago Police Department officers at schools.
Sawyer's first run for elective office was his campaign against city council incumbent Freddrenna Lyle in Chicago's aldermanic ward 6 in 2011. Four city council incumbents, including Lyle, lost in the April 2011 elections.
Sawyer had two opponents in the spring 2015 city council elections: Richard Wooten and Brian Garner. Sawyer received 10,659 votes in the February 2015 general election. This was 56.2% of the vote and as a result, he was declared the winner of the contest without it proceeding to a runoff.
Main article: 2023 Chicago mayoral election
In June 2022, Sawyer announced his candidacy for mayor in the 2023 election, challenging incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
When he announced his run for mayor, Sawyer said that crime is the first issue on his mind, and that if elected, he would fire Chicago Police Supt. David Brown.
Sawyer has been critical of incumbent mayor Lori Lightfoot on several issues. These include her late September 2022 removal of a $42.7 million property tax increase that would have taken effect prior to the 2023 election. The tax increase would have gone through on an automatic escalator basis had Lightfoot not revoked it. Sawyer said, "If you thought it was responsible to have a modest tax increase, you should stand by that. And if you feel it’s not, you should stand by that. If you’re not gonna do that, you’re just blowing with the wind."
Sawyer is married to Cheryll Aikens Sawyer. They have two children, Sydni Celeste Sawyer and Roderick T. Sawyer Jr.
Sawyer is the son of former Chicago mayor Eugene Sawyer.
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