b. January 30, 1965
Chicago, 22nd Ward Alderman (1993-)
Chicago, 22nd Ward Democratic Committeeman (1994-2016)
Illinois, 4th District State Central Committeeman (2010-)
An Intergovernmental Affairs staffer during Mayor Eugene Sawyer’s brief term in office, Muñoz then served as Garcia’s state senate campaign manager in 1992. Muñoz was elected to the Council in 1995, ran uncontested in 2003, and made headlines for going public about his struggle with alcoholism shortly before the 2011 elections. He ran for and lost a bid for Clerk of Cook County Circuit Court in 2012. In the 2015 election, his closest challenger finished with just 17 percent of the vote.
Long one of the leading "Independent" Aldermen of the City Council, Muñoz was often been at odds with both Mayor Daley and the Daley-allied, Hispanic Democratic Organization (HDO). On a "clout list," a directory of 5,743 people referred for city jobs by political or union sponsors released by federal prosecutors in June 2007, Muñoz’ name was one of a few at the bottom of the list. Muñoz was cited as having requested no city jobs for applicants nor received any.
Muñoz was one of the leading proponents of the Big Box Living Wage Ordinance, to oppose siting a Wal-Mart within the city limits. Although the ordinance was ultimately overturned by a mayoral veto, the effort cemented Muñoz' political ties with the Chicago's labor unions. Despite the ordinance's failure, the Service Employees Industry Union (SEIU) donated $32,000 to Muñoz’ 2007 re-election campaign.
In 2007, Muñoz, Joseph Moore and Toni Preckwinkle founded the City Council’s Independent Caucus. It has since transformed into the the Progressive Caucus to curtail the mayor’s control over the Council.
In 2007 he prepared to run for Illinois’ 4th U.S. Congressional District, but ultimately dropped out when the current Representative, Luis Gutierrez, did not retire as anticipated.
In 2009, Muñoz’ father, Ellias Muñoz pleaded guilty to snapping photos used to make up fake IDs for illegal immigrants . Ald. Muñoz claimed he is estranged from his father and stated that, “adults need to be held accountable for what they do.”
In 2015, Muñoz' long-standing ties to Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, one of his closest friends and political allies, came to the fore as he became a leading proponent and campaigner for Garcia's mayoral campaign against incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel. While Garcia managed to force Emanuel to a runoff, he ultimately lost. Since that campaign, Muñoz has been considerably less combative in Council than in the past, but remains one of the active members of the Progressive Caucus.
In 2016 he retired his Ward Committeeman seat and helped ensure his former chief of staff, Michael Rodriguez, would win it in an uncontested campaign. He was once considered heir-apparent for Garcia's County Board seat – a succession that seemed assured after Garcia announced he would run for Luis Gutierrez congressional seat in 2018. But after announcing Muñoz as his successor, both bowed to pressure from younger progressives – Garcia changed course and endorsed his Director of Administration, Alma Anaya instead. Muñoz endorsed Anaya as well.
In July of 2018, Muñoz announced he would retire from the City Council at the end of his term in 2019. Plans were upended in September of 2018, when Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he would not run for re-election. Garcia and Muñoz both publicly flirted with potential runs, ultimately deciding to stick to their paths – Congress and behind-the-scenes influencing.
In January 2019, Muñoz was arrested for a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. His wife, Betty Torres-Muñoz, alleged that he had drank and “forcibly” grabbed and pushed her during an altercation on New Years Eve, and that this was not the first occurrence of abuse. Muñoz checked himself into rehab in Indiana soon after. Both Garcia and Rodriguez called for him to step down immediately from the City Council, which he rebuffed.
Current Chicago City Council Committees:
- Committee on Budget and Government Operations
- Committee on Committees, Rules and Ethics
- Committee on Education and Child Development
- Committee on Finance
- Committee on Human Relations
- Committee on Public Safety
- Northern Illinois University, B.A.
Important Political Events
- 1993, Appointed 22nd Ward Alderman to replace Jesus "Chuy" Garcia
- 1994, Elected 22nd Ward Democratic Committeeman, replacing Jesus "Chuy" Garcia
- 1995, Elected 22nd Ward Alderman
- 2010, Elected 4th District Democratic State Central Committeeman, defeating Antonio Munoz
- 2014, Defeated 4th District Democratic State Central Committeeman, by Antonio Munoz
- 2016, Retired 22nd Ward Democratic Committeeman, replaced by Michael Rodriguez