Looking back on community reactions to election of Mayor Emanuel

December 22, 2011

Produced by Eight Forty-Eight

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(WBEZ/Katie O'Brien)
The morning after Chicago elected Rahm Emanuel as its new mayor, 'Eight Forty-Eight' hosted a live community forum at WBEZ.

As part of a special encore presentation of Eight Forty-Eight, producer Katie O'Brien revisited the milestones that marked 2011. Local sports teams and franchise players often become part of a city’s identity. When a team’s star leaves for—let’s say South Beach or to live out a childhood dream of becoming a Major League Baseball player—dynasties crumble. And yes, that’s the type of language most sports fans use. But they’re not the only ones who build dynasties around a star player.

For more than 20 years, the franchise player in Chicago politics was Mayor Richard M. Daley. So when he announced he would not seek re-election, the free-agency frenzy began. But before the city crowned its new king, Eight Forty-Eight bid a fond farewell to "Da’ Mayor."

In February, former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel won more than 50 percent of the vote—avoiding any chance of a runoff against any of the other five mayoral candidates. The morning after the election, Eight Forty-Eight hosted a live community forum in WBEZ's Jim and Kay Mabie Performance Studio to discuss the results. The show was joined by WBEZ listeners, community organizers, academics, pundits and personalities—the room was packed! Helping Eight Forty-Eight field audience questions and concerns was the Chicago Tribune’s Rick Kogan, former alderman and political scientist Dick Simpson and local pundit Kyra Kyles. Before hearing from the panelists, Eight Forty-Eight's Alison Cuddy began by taking the temperature of the room.

WBEZ has been keeping tabs on the Emanuel administration with Eight Forty-Eight's First 100 series and continued coverage from WBEZ's City Room.

Listeners can find that content and related coverage from WBEZ's stellar cast of bloggers at WBEZ.org.