Robert Fioretti

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Robert "Bob" Fioretti
Robert Fioretti (20741647040) (cropped).jpg
Member of the Chicago City Council
from the 2nd ward
In office
May 2007 (2007-05) – May 2015 (2015-05)
Preceded byMadeline Haithcock
Succeeded byBrian K. Hopkins
Personal details
Born (1953-03-08) March 8, 1953 (age 67)
Chicago, Illinois
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Nicki Fioretti
ResidenceWest Loop, Chicago, Illinois
Alma materUniversity of Illinois (B.A.)
Northern Illinois University (J.D.)
ProfessionAttorney

Robert William (Bob) Fioretti (born March 8, 1953) is an American attorney and politician who served as an alderman in the Chicago City Council for the 2nd Ward, which included portions of Bronzeville, East Garfield Park, Illinois Medical District, Little Italy, Loop, Near West Side, Prairie District, South Loop, University Village, Westhaven, and West Loop. Bob first ran for office because of inequities and disinvestments he saw throughout the City of Chicago and communities of the 2nd Ward. He first won election as alderman in 2007 and was re-elected in 2011. He also served as 2nd Ward Democratic Committeeman for two terms, which is a position in the Cook County Democratic Party.

When ward boundaries were re-drawn after the 2010 Census, the original area in the 2nd ward was divided into several wards, and Fioretti did not run for re-election.[1][2] Since leaving City Council, Fioretti ran for other elective offices while pursuing a successful legal career.

Background/education[edit]

Fioretti was born and raised in Chicago's Pullman and Roseland neighborhoods. He is the son of a Polish-American mother and an Italian immigrant father who moved to Chicago and worked for the Pullman train car company. Fioretti attended St. Anthony's Grammar School and Mendel High School on the South Side of Chicago. He received a Pullman Foundation scholarship to attend the University of Illinois, where he studied political science and served as student body president.

Fioretti earned his J.D. degree from Northern Illinois University College of Law, where he remains a member of the adjunct faculty. He serves on the Law School Alumni Council and the NIU Board of Visitors. He previously served as president of the NIU National Alumni Association from 2000 to 2004. During his tenure as president, Fioretti oversaw the establishment of a Chicago alumni office, the formation of a quarterly alumni magazine, and the creation of the Barsema Alumni Center on campus, created the law student travel overseas program, and helped establish a scholarship endowment program. Fioretti also served as president of the NIU College of Law Alumni Council. He has spoken at graduation lauding NIU as an incredible asset to the state of Illinois education and empowering students to become successful professionals in many fields of endeavor. He regularly mentors law school students and underwrites the annual Helene and Edward Fioretti Memorial Scholarship in Ethics in honor of his parents.

Personal life[edit]

Fioretti currently lives on Chicago’s Near West Side, with his wife, Nicki.[3]

Fioretti survived throat cancer, which he was diagnosed with in late-2010.[4][5] In 2019 Fioretti published, "My Cancer Journey: In Seven Parts." Fioretti described the book by stating, "You now belong to a club where no one wants to be a member. Words no one wants to hear. But there is nothing you negotiate to get out of it once it happens to you. My Cancer Journey chronicles what I, and my wife, Nicki, went through from my diagnosis to treatment, recovery and our new normal today."

Legal career[edit]

Fioretti, a long-time civil rights lawyer, is currently a partner in the law firm Roth Fioretti LLC in Chicago, where he practices governmental law and complex litigation. He is a seasoned civil litigator and has litigated a wide variety of cases before federal and state administrative law judges as well as in the state and federal courts. He is a former Senior Supervising Attorney of the General Litigation Division for the Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago, working with Mayor Harold Washington during the time of Council Wars. While there, he was involved in more than 500 civil rights cases, and his personal trail experiences have led to over 100 state and federal verdicts and appellate court decisions. Bob has advised and represented many governmental units. He has been appointed in numerous cases as a Special Assistant Attorney General of Illinois and a Special Assistant State's Attorney.

Long before it was popular, Fioretti fought to free people of color wrongly accused of crimes they did not commit. In 2006 Fioretti was the attorney for LaFonso Rollins, a young African American sentenced to 75 years in jail for rape. Rollins had spent 11 years in prison before being exonerated in 2004 by DNA testing. He was awarded a $9 million settlement in a wrongful conviction lawsuit against the City of Chicago.

He represented the family of Baby Tamia in the high-profile interstate adoption case that led to changes in Illinois adoption law. This high-profile adoption case spurred legislation in Illinois, providing sweeping protections for birth parents and established the state as a model for adoption reform. Previously Illinois adoption law has been discriminatory against poor families of color involved in the adoption process.

Aldermanic career[edit]

In 2007, Fioretti ran for Alderman of Chicago's 2nd Ward, challenging 14-year incumbent Madeline Haithcock. [6] He secured the most votes in the February primary and forced a run-off with Haithcock. In the run-off, Fioretti defeated Haithcock, by nearly a two-to-one margin. Fioretti took office on May 21, 2007. In 2011, Fioretti was re-elected to a second term. Following that election, Fioretti's colleagues. along with the Mayor, agreed to a re-districting map that left Fioretti with none of his original ward.[7] Fioretti was one of only two Aldermen to so lose their ward. Fioretti subsequently chose to run for election as Mayor. [8]

Fioretti had come into conflict with mayor Rahm Emanuel many times, including over siding with a successful resistance to Emanuel's efforts to move the water fee exemption for some nonprofits and religious groups in the city's budget and unsuccessfully opposing the licensing of rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft.[4]

Education and jobs[edit]

Since taking office, Fioretti has prioritized education and job creation in his legislative agenda. Fioretti has attempted to improve the Chicago Public School system, working closely with administrators to solve issues both in and out of the classroom. In 2008, Fioretti helped to create "Operation Safe Passage," an initiative designed to protect students on the way to and from school that coordinated the resources of the Chicago Police Department, the CTA, local faith-based institutions, and families. Fioretti supported the expansion of Jones College Prep High School and oversaw Roosevelt University's expansion into Chicago's South Loop. In 2011, Fioretti won the "Defender of Public Education" Award from the Chicago Teachers Union, AFT Local 1 for his efforts at modernizing and sustaining neighborhood schools.

Fioretti has facilitated the creation and preservation of jobs in Chicago. He supported the relocation of the United Airlines headquarters, bringing approximately 2,500 jobs from Elk Grove to Chicago. Fioretti also led the effort to renovate and expand the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to keep the world's largest futures and options exchange as an anchor of Chicago's financial district.

Fioretti has also led efforts to combat the problem of "food deserts" on Chicago's West Side by working to bring low-cost food retailers into previously under-served neighborhoods. Pete's Fresh Market, Target, and Costco have agreed to open new locations within the 2nd Ward, providing food retailers and jobs to West Side residents.

Parks[edit]

For his efforts to improve and expand parks in the 2nd Ward, Fioretti received the 2009 "Legislator of the Year" award[9] from Friends of the Parks, a non-profit, Chicago-based park advocacy group. During his tenure as alderman, Fioretti has budgeted city resources to open several new parks in the 2nd Ward.

However, he alienated parks groups when he voted to allow the Chicago Children's Museum to relocate to Grant Park. That move was later challenged in court and Mayor Daley later withdrew the plan and the museum remained at Navy Pier.

Council activities[edit]

Fioretti served on five committees in Chicago's city council: Environmental Protection & Public Utilities, Health, License & Consumer Protection, Rules & Ethics, and Special Events.[citation needed]

Pursuits of higher office[edit]

Chicago mayoral candidacies[edit]

Fioretti twice ran for Mayor of Chicago. Fioretti had originally been considering a bid for mayor in the 2011 Chicago mayoral election, but canceled these plans after his diagnosis with throat cancer.[4][5] He would later run in next two mayoral elections (2015 and 2019).

2015 mayoral campaign[edit]

Fioretti was an unsuccessful candidate in the 2015 Chicago mayoral election.

Fioretti enjoyed support from former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka[4] and withdrawn candidate Amara Enyia,[10] as well as endorsements from the Chicago Police Sergeants Association,[10] the Green Party of Chicago,[10] and the Progressive Caucus of the Chicago City Council.[10]

Fioretti ultimately placed fourth of five candidates in the initial round of the election, with 35,363 votes, equal to 7.39% of the overall vote.[11] Having been eliminated, Fioretti endorsed Rahm Emanuel in the runoff.[12]

2019 mayoral campaign[edit]

On November 26, 2018, Fioretti announced his candidacy for mayor in the 2019 election to replace Rahm Emanuel. [13][14] He was again unsuccessful in his pursuit of Chicago mayoralty. Fioretti placed twelfth of fourteen candidates, with 4,302 votes, equal to 0.77% of the overall vote.[15]

Cook County offices[edit]

2018 Cook County Board President campaign[edit]

In November 2017, he announced that he would challenge incumbent Toni Preckwinkle for the Democratic nomination for President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.[16] Fioretti lost to Preckwinkle in the March 20, 2018 Democratic primary.[17]

2020 Cook County State's Attorney campaign[edit]

Fioretti was one of several candidates challenging incumbent Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx in the 2020 Democratic primary.[18] He confirmed his candidacy to the Chicago Tribune on November 22, 2019, and formally announced his candidacy on December 2, 2019.[19] His candidacy was endorsed by Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge #7.[20] He placed fourth in the primary.

State Senate[edit]

In 2016, Fioretti unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Patricia Van Pelt for the Democratic nomination for the 5th district of Illinois State Senate.[21]

Electoral history[edit]

2007 Chicago 2nd Ward aldermanic election
Candidates General Election[22] Run-off Election[23]
Votes % Votes %
Bob Fioretti 3,075 27.70 6,175 65.70
Madeline L. Haithcock 2,319 20.89 3,224 34.30
David R. Askew 1,756 15.82
Kenny Johnson 1,570 14.14
Larry Doody 1,284 11.56
Wallace Davis, Jr. 1,099 9.90
Total 11,103 100 9,399 100
2011 Chicago 2nd Ward aldermanic election[24]
Candidate Votes %
Bob Fioretti (incumbent) 8,028 54.94
Genita C. Robinson 4,484 30.69
Melissa Callahan 666 4.56
Enrique G. Perez 648 4.44
Federico Sciammarella 623 4.26
James A. Bosco 162 1.11
Total votes 14,611 100
2015 Chicago mayoral election
Candidates General Election[25] Run-off Election[26]
Votes % Votes %
Rahm Emanuel 218,217 45.63 332,171 56.23
Jesús "Chuy" García 160,414 33.55 258,562 43.77
Willie Wilson 50,960 10.66
Robert W. Fioretti 35,363 7.39
William Walls III 13,250 2.77
Total 478,204 100 573,524 100
2018 Cook County Board President Democratic primary[27][28]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Toni Preckwinkle (incumbent) 444,943 60.82
Democratic Bob Fioretti 286,675 39.18
Total votes 731,618 100
2016 Illinois State Senate 5th district Democratic primary[29]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Patricia Van Pelt (incumbent) 33,123 67.85
Democratic Robert "Bob" Fioretti 15,696 32.15
Total votes 48,819 100
2019 Chicago mayoral election
Candidates General Election[15] Run-off Election[30]
Votes % Votes %
Lori Lightfoot 97,667 17.54 386,039 73.70
Toni Preckwinkle 89,343 16.04 137,765 26.30
William Daley 82,294 14.78
Willie Wilson 59,072 10.61
Susana Mendoza 50,373 9.05
Amara Enyia 44,589 8.00
Jerry Joyce 40,099 7.20
Gery Chico 34,521 6.20
Paul Vallas 30,236 5.43
Garry McCarthy 14,784 2.66
La Shawn K. Ford 5,606 1.01
Robert "Bob" Fioretti 4,302 0.77
John Kolzar 2,349 0.42
Neal Sales-Griffin 1,523 0.27
Write-ins 86 0.02
Total 556,844 100 523,804 100
2020 Cook County State’s Attorney Democratic primary[31]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Kim Foxx (incumbent) 447,974 50.19
Democratic Bill Conway 276,341 30.96
Democratic Donna More 122,528 13.73
Democratic Bob Fioretti 44,794 5.02
Write-in Others 955 0.11
Total votes 892,592 100

References[edit]

  1. ^ Secter, Bob; Byrne, John. "Fioretti running down lonely road for Chicago mayor". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2020-02-15.
  2. ^ "What the Heck Is Up With the 2nd Ward Map?". DNAinfo Chicago. Retrieved 2020-02-15.
  3. ^ Bowean, Lolly. "Who is Bob Fioretti?". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  4. ^ a b c d Vivanco, Leonor (12 February 2015). "Mayoral candidate Bob Fioretti doesn't mind a political fight". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Fioretti Has Cancer, Abandons Mayoral Run". NBC Chicago. 1 November 2010. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  6. ^ Tribune, Chicago. "For the Chicago City Council". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2019-01-31.
  7. ^ "City Ward Map Lawsuit Headed Back to Court". DNAinfo Chicago. Archived from the original on 2014-12-08.
  8. ^ "Bob Fioretti: Candidate Profile". Daily Herald. 2018-02-07. Retrieved 2019-01-31.
  9. ^ Friends of the Parks Legislative Award, chicago2ndward.com; accessed May 15, 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d says, Diane (17 February 2015). "Mayoral Face Off". South Side Weekly. Retrieved 21 November 2019.
  11. ^ 2015 Municipal General - 2/24/15 -- Mayor Chicago Board of Elections Commissioners. Accessed June 3, 2015.
  12. ^ Lewis, Sean (29 March 2015). "Alderman Bob Fioretti endorses former opponent Rahm Emanuel for mayor". WGN-TV. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  13. ^ Tribune, Chicago. "Alderman Fioretti announces candidacy for mayor's office". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2019-01-31.
  14. ^ "Former Chicago Ald. Bob Fioretti officially enters mayor's race". WGN-TV. 2018-11-26. Retrieved 2019-01-31.
  15. ^ a b "TABULATED STATEMENT OF THE RETURNS AND PROCLAMATION OF THE RESULTS OF THE CANVASS OF THE ELECTION RETURNS FOR THE FEBRUARY 26, 2019 MUNICIPAL GENERAL ELECTION HELD IN EACH OF THE PRECINCTS IN ALL OF THE WARDS IN THE CITY OF CHICAGO" (PDF). Chicago Board of Elections. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  16. ^ Ahern, Mary Ann (November 10, 2017). "Fioretti to run against Preckwinkle for Cook County Board president". NBC 5 Chicago. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  17. ^ "Fioretti runs again: Joins crowded race to replace Mayor Rahm Emanuel". Chicago Sun-Times. November 16, 2018.
  18. ^ "Bob Fioretti: Candidate profile". Daily Herald. 11 February 2020. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  19. ^ Hinton, Rachel (2 December 2019). "Former Ald. Bob Fioretti to run for Cook County state's attorney". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  20. ^ "FOP Primary Election Endorsements — Fraternal Order of Police | Chicago, Lodge 7". Fraternal Order of Police | Chicago, Lodge 7. 18 February 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  21. ^ "Bob Fioretti". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  22. ^ "2007 Municipal General - 2/27/07". Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  23. ^ "2007 Municipal Runoffs - 4/17/07". Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  24. ^ "2011 Municipal General - 2/22/11". Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  25. ^ "2015 Municipal General - 2/24/15". Chicago Board of Elections. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  26. ^ "2015 Municipal Runoffs - 4/7/15". Chicago Board of Elections. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  27. ^ "Suburban Cook County Election Results March 20, 2018 Gubernatorial Primary Election Election Board President, Cook County Township & Precinct Results". Cook County Clerk's Office. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  28. ^ "2018 Primary - DEM 3/20/18". Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  29. ^ "Election Results 2016 GENERAL PRIMARY". www.elections.il.gov. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  30. ^ "2019 Municipal Runoffs - 4/2/19". Chicago Board of Elections. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  31. ^ "Cook County and The City of Chicago Primary Election March 17, 2020 Combined Summary" (PDF). Cook County Clerk. Retrieved 7 April 2020.

External links[edit]