Her campaign manager, Tom Bowen, was kind enough to e-mail me promptly with her rationale for the vote. He said, "All you had to do was ask."
This reponse, I think, kind of drives home my point about the alderman putting the onus on the constituents to keep abreast of what's going on in the ward. That attitude surprises me. After all, who is working for whom?
Furthermore, here's Vi's statement on her vote, taken from her written response to the IVI-IPO questionnaire:
I voted against it both times in the City Council. I agonized about this decision and, in the end, I was not dissuaded of my belief that some areas are in desperate need of such developments and services. If this ordinance would have prevented new jobs from coming to the South and West Sides, then I do not feel it’s my prerogative to vote against the interests of people I do not represent. As to the residents of the 43rd, many in the business community make a very persuasive argument when they argue that it is unfair to discriminate against a business simply based on size, a legislative flaw in the ordinance.
I abhor the practices that some of these companies employ to lower their costs; however, I believe the regulations we put in place to address this matter must apply equally to all businesses. The minimum wage increase was a good first step and we have many more to make. We should also concentrate on bringing in good corporate community members and businesses that follow good labor practices and use them as models for the kind of businesses we want in Chicago. And finally, I support increases in the minimum wage for all workers so that everybody benefits from such an increase.
Okay, so that seems pretty rational and thoughtfully considered. Why doesn't she broadcast her stance on her votes more widely? It would help her enormously.
This every-candidate's-armchair-campaign manager is completely stumped.