Jorge Ramirez

AGE: 41
OCCUPATION: President, Chicago Federation of Labor

The son of a Mexican-immigrant labor leader, this savvy negotiator commands respect at City Hall. Last July, when the mayor announced plans to lay off 625 city workers, Ramirez complained that the move was “no way to treat a partner”—and finagled the final number down to 165.

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Photograph: Ken Frantz