Chicago - City of Broad Shoulders

This course is about Chicago, We will cover the history of the city and region, the politics, corruption, arts, plans, neighborhoods, humor, achievements and the future of the City.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Emanuel was elected on February 22, 2011 with 55% of the vote. At his inauguration were outgoing Mayor Richard M. Daley, Vice President Joe Biden, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and William M. Daley, brother of the outgoing mayor and who would later serve as White House Chief of Staff. Emanuel is Chicago's first Jewish mayor.

Having run on a campaign of reform, Emanuel assembled a transition team from varied backgrounds. Emanuel brought about reform to the City Council, consolidating committees from 19 to 16, in a cost control effort. On November 16, the city council voted unanimously to adopt the mayor's first budget, which decreased the budget by $34 million and increased spending by $46.2 million, supported by increasing fees and fines. Despite most Aldermen opposing cuts to library workers and the closure of mental health clinics, they ultimately supported it, calling it "honest".

In November, Emanuel rejected Freedom of Information Act requests by The Chicago Tribune for various communication and information logs for himself and his staff, labelling it "unduly burdensome." After a second request by the Tribune, they were informed that 90 percent of the emails had been deleted by Emanuel and his top aides.[79] As a result, Emanuel came under fire for going against his campaign promise to create "the most open, accountable, and transparent government that the City of Chicago has ever seen."[80]

Controversy arose in 2011 over the tax-exempt status of Lollapalooza, an annual summer music festival in Grant Park. With Emanuel's brother Ari being the CEO of William Morris Endeavor, which co-owns the event, the Mayor asked the City Council to appoint an independent third party negotiator, to avoid having the negotiation seen as biased. Although the deal was reached before Emanuel took office, tax breaks must be negotiated every year.[81] It was later revealed that the festival received its tax exemption for 2011 in the final days of the Daley administration.[82] In 2012, Lollapalooza paid taxes for the first time in seven years and extended its contract to host in Grant Park through 2021.[83]

In August 2012, a federal lawsuit was filed by eleven Chicago police officers alleging they were removed from the mayoral security detail and replaced with officers who worked on Emanuel's mayoral campaign, in violation of the 1983 Shakman Decree, which bars city officials from making political considerations in the hiring process.
At a news conference in November 2012, Emanuel listed his top three priorities for the state legislature as security and pension reform, adding a casino to Chicago, and marriage equalityAt a press conference with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, who previously vetoed legislation to put a casino in Chicago, the two were "very close" to reaching a deal.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago is a dynamic leader and is making great strides in improving the city. 

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      Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently announced food trucks would be included at this year's Taste of Chicago. We hope to see them participate.

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