b. January 30, 1965
Chicago, 22nd Ward Alderman (1993-2016)
Chicago, 22nd Ward Democratic Committeeman (1994-2016)
Illinois, 4th District State Central Committeeman (2010-)
Born in Monterey, Mexico, Alderman Ricardo Muñoz was appointed by Mayor Richard M. Daley in 1993 to replace Jesus Garcia, who was elected to the State Senate in 1992. 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.
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, Munoz 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, Munoz’ name was one of a few at the bottom of the list. Munoz was cited as having requested no city jobs for applicants nor received any.
Munoz 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 Munoz' political ties with the Chicago's labor unions. Despite The Big Box Ordinance's failure, the Service Employees Industry Union (SEIU) donated $32,000 to Munoz’ 2007 re-election campaign.
In 2007, Munoz, 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. Munoz is now one of the co-chairs of the Progressive Caucus.
In 2009, Munoz’ father, Ellias Munoz pleaded guilty to snapping photos used to make up fake IDs for illegal immigrants . Ald. Munoz claimed he is estranged from his father and stated that, “adults need to be held accountable for what they do.”
In 2015, Munoz' 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, Munoz has been considerably less combative in Council than in the past. 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. Munoz is rumored to be looking to leave Council by 2019. He was once was thought as an heir-apparent for Garcia's County Board seat if he won a County-wide position in 2018, but Garcia is staying put in his Commissioner seat for now.
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