Emanuel defends trip to Charlotte while teachers strike looms

September 5, 2012

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(WBEZ/Alex Keefe)
Emanuel addresses Chicago media in Charlotte.
(WBEZ/Tony Arnold)
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel addresses the Illinois delegation in Charlotte at a breakfast Wednesday morning.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is defending his decision to go to Charlotte, N.C., for the Democratic National Convention instead of negotiating with teachers in Chicago.

Following his address to the full DNC on Tuesday night, Emanuel riled up the Illinois delegation in a raucous speech Wednesday morning.

But after his speech, Emanuel was swarmed by Chicago media. He said his aides are negotiating with the Chicago Teachers Union, even though he’s in Charlotte.

"The president and his team asked me to come and speak. I’m going to be here," he said. "I don’t think the 36 hours - we miss a beat."

Meanwhile, the Chicago negotiations are being watched on a broader scale even by those not directly involved. Cinda Klickna’s in Charlotte representing the Illinois Education Association.

"It’s comforting to be here and hear support for unions so I hope that that can be brought into Chicago because what happens in Chicago affects the rest of us, too," she said.

Emanuel is expected to arrive back in Chicago later Wednesday in the evening.