50 Wards in 50 Weekdays: A chat with Chicago

May 14, 2012

Updated every weekday

As Mayor Rahm Emanuel marks his first year ruling Chicago, we embark on a simple road trip.

We want to know how Chicago residents feel about their hometown, whether Emanuel’s taking it in the right direction and what issues they want addressed.

We will not talk to politicians.

We will not talk to government officials.

We will only talk to you.

To find you, we’re going to visit every nook in this city. Well, a lot of nooks. Over the next 50 weekdays, we’ll interview 50 people, one resident of each ward.

There’s some precedent for this kind of tour. In 2009, Chicago’s Olympic bid committee held a bunch of town hall meetings in its own “50 Wards in 50 Days” effort. We all know how that turned out.

Two years later, mayoral candidate James Meeks, a reverend and Illinois state senator, planned to visit all 50 wards in 50 days. He dropped out of the race less than 20 days after kicking off the tour.

Always the ambitious-type, candidate Emanuel announced the week before the 2011 election that he, too, would visit all 50 wards. But instead of taking 50 days, he’d do it in 50 hours. Show-off.

We're going to pace ourselves and stick to the work week. In the map below, click a ward to meet a neighbor.

On May 14, 2012, Sam Hudzik and Steve Edwards discussed Emanuel's rookie year:

 

On June 18, 2012, they talked about the first half of the 50 Wards in 50 Weekdays series:

 

And on July 23, 2012, Sam and Steve wrapped-up the series: