As a young freshman alderman, Rick arrived in the City Council determined to do something about the education crisis facing his community. Boys and girls were going to classes in cramped rooms and even hallways, because school overcrowding was so severe. Bureaucrats at the Board of Education and City Hall told the new alderman nothing could be done to help.

Rick started talking to people, doing his homework and working to persuade his colleagues. Together they came up with a solution that raised millions of dollars for new school construction — without raising taxes. The solution turned out to be as simple as expanding the city’s bonding authority to include the Board of Education.

“Give credit to Ald. Ricardo Muñoz for constantly pushing new ideas,” said the Tribune after his school funding proposal was adopted. “He works hard, his enthusiasm is contagious and his efforts are paying off.” (Source: Chicago Tribune, 1999.) Rick has continued to be a citywide leader on education, overseeing the construction of more new schools in his neighborhood than any other throughout the state.