Few things have stirred as much architectural controversy in recent years as the “TRUMP” sign on the Trump International Hotel and Tower in downtown Chicago.
The Chicago Tribune editorial board wrote on Wednesday a call for the removal of the sign, which is a departure from its previous argument that the sign should stay up. Former President Donald Trump’s recent comments on the Constitution and his company’s conviction for tax fraud change the equation, the board argues.
Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th Ward) sponsored an ordinance in light of the Jan. 6 insurrection last year that would prohibit “any person convicted of treason, sedition or subversive actions from doing business with the city, including having a sign permit.”
“You have someone that’s notorious, that’s said some crazy things, but he has millions of people that follow him, it’s dangerous,” Villegas said. “We saw what happened on Jan. 6 and now people should be concerned when the former president’s talking about eliminating the Constitution and reinstating himself.”
Villegas said that he is working closely with Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward), who represents the area in which the Trump Tower stands, to address issues regarding the city’s business relationships. He also said he is working with his legal team on potentially expanding the ordinance to also include tax fraud.
Jacob Huebert, president of the Chicago-based Liberty Justice Center, said calls to remove the sign are a First Amendment issue.
“You can’t target a sign because you don’t like what it says,” Huebert said. “It doesn’t matter also that Donald Trump said stupid things about the Constitution recently. You don’t waive your constitutional rights because you say something like that; you still have them.”
The Trump Organization did not respond to a request to appear.