Joseph Moore

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Joseph Moore

b. July 22, 1958

Chicago, 49th Ward Alderman (1991-)
Chicago, 49th Ward Democratic Committeeman (2015-)

49th Ward Map - City Ward Map

Once one of the most difficult progressive thorns in the side of Mayor Richard M. Daley, Joe Moore, turned a new leaf in 2011 and became one of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s staunchest supporters.

An activist for independent presidential candidate John Anderson while at Galesburg's Knox College, Moore returned to Chicago for law school and became active with independent Democrats in Rogers Park. The leading organization, Network 49, was led by David Orr, who had run a successful race for alderman in 1979 and was leading the North Side independents for then-mayoral candidate Harold Washington. Orr, already an Alderman in 1983, played a leading role in Washington's North Side campaign, and Moore found a slot in slot in Washington's retooled and newly corruption-free city Law Department.

Moore took up leadership of Network 49, leading campaigns against the ward's still strong Regular Democratic Organization and worked to build a broader North Side and Evanston independent Democrat organization with Orr, Jan Schakowsky and her husband Robert Creamer. In 1990, the team (later known as "Team Jan") worked together to elect Orr to Cook County Clerk and elected Schakowsky to State Representative. Orr urged Mayor Richard M. Daley to appoint Moore as his replacement, but Daley chose 49th Ward Democratic regular Bob Clarke instead.

Then, in 1991, Team Jan helped elect Moore alderman, defeating Clarke. Two years after that, Moore reconciled with the Ward's Democratic Committeeman David Fagus. They were close allies until Fagus' death in 2015.

Since his election Moore has been a stalwart supporter of Schakowsky's organization, including Schakowsky's successful 1998 run for Congress and Lawrence Suffredin's successful 2002 run for Cook County Board Commissioner. In 2000 Team Jan supported Moore in what now seems like a quixotic (and losing) campaign for Cook County Clerk of Courts against Dorothy Brown.

As the liberal banner carrier in the City Council, Moore regularly (and vocally) voted against Mayor Daley. His opposition came to a peak in 2006 when he successfully passed both the Chicago Fois Gras Ban Ordinance and the Big Box Living Wage Ordinance. Although Daley later vetoed the Big Box Ordinance, which was sustained by City Council, the labor-backed Big Box Ordinance became the most politically polarizing vote in City Council during Daley's entire tenure. Moore's sponsorship of the ordinance cemented his reputation as a progressive leader–and as Daley's loudest antagonist.

In an effort to obtain revenge for Daley, Chicago business leaders heavily sponsored Moore's first significant opponent, Don Gordon, in the 2007 election. Gordon was funded by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, while Moore was supported by Schakowsky and the unions. Gordon forced Moore into a runoff, then lost to Moore by a narrow margin.

In 2007, Moore helped to found the Independent Caucus, a loose group of aldermen generally opposing Mayor Richard M. Daley. That group later turned into the Progressive Caucus. However over time, Moore became considerably less bombastic in Council, opposing Mayor Daley less and less. Then, in a surprise move, newly elected Mayor Emanuel rewarded him with chairmanship of the Special Events Committee in 2011. Since then Moore has been a steady Emanuel supporter, abandoning his old Progressive Caucus allies.

Recently Network 49 has been revived in Rogers Park, but now as an opposition group to Moore. He is expected to have another difficult reelection campaign in 2019.

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 Health and Environmental Protection
  • Committee on Housing and Real Estate, Chair
  • Committee on Human Relations
  • Committee on Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation


  • 1976, Evanston Township High School
  • 1980, Knox College, B.A.
  • 1984, DePaul University Law School, J.D.

Important Political Events

  • 1990, Passed over by Mayor Richard M. Daley to fill 49th Ward Alderman David Orr's seat, Robert Clarke selected instead
  • 1991, Elected 49th Ward Alderman, defeating incumbent Bob Clarke in a runoff
  • 1995, Reelected 49th Ward Alderman
  • 1999, Reelected 49th Ward Alderman
  • 2000, Defeated for Clerk of the Circuit Court by Dorothy Brown
  • 2003, Reelected 49th Ward Alderman
  • 2007, Reelected 49th Ward Alderman, defeating Don Gordon in runoff
  • 2015, Appointed 49th Ward Democratic Committeeman, replacing David Fagus, who died in office