WBEZ | Rahm http://www.wbez.org/tags/rahm Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Who was 25-year-old Rahm Emanuel? http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25/who-was-25-year-old-rahm-emanuel-108327 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/rahm25yo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">As mayor of the city of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s days are anything but repetitive.</p><p dir="ltr">Some days, he crisscrosses the city for press conferences, packing in <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/midterm-emanuel-still-cozy-city-council-107199">phone calls to aldermen</a> and business leaders on the way.</p><p dir="ltr">Other days, he&rsquo;s in meetings at City Hall, talking Wrigley renovations or budget fixes, or maybe even calling President Barack Obama to talk over top issues, and who knows what else.</p><p dir="ltr">He&rsquo;s known to try to squeeze in a <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324564704578626070625333886.html">workout</a> wherever he can, and sometimes, he commutes to work on the <a href="http://redeyechicago.tumblr.com/post/57525285278/our-mayor-really-gets-around">train </a>to mix things up a bit.</p><p>But 25-year-old Emanuel nailed down a pattern and stuck to it.</p><p>The year was 1984. Emanuel lived in Lakeview, near Waveland and Southport, in an old house converted into four apartments. He distinctly remembers his neighbors from that house: Emanuel was a graduate student at Northwestern University then, and would take the L back and forth to class every day.</p><p>As he recalls, there was just one restaurant by the Southport train station: a pizza place that sold pies by the slice.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;d get off the train after school, get dinner, which was a slice of pizza, eat it walking home, and sit down and do my homework,&rdquo; Emanuel said. &ldquo;Is that pathetic?&rdquo;</p><p>Emanuel&rsquo;s two-bedroom apartment was on the second floor of the house. His rent: $330. And that included utilities.</p><p>&ldquo;You couldn&rsquo;t touch a parking space for $330 there today,&rdquo; Emanuel said.</p><p>His classes were at <a href="http://www.northwestern.edu/magazine/spring2012/feature/in-your-face-sidebar/rahms-grad-school-days-at-northwestern.html">Northwestern</a>&rsquo;s School of Speech and Communications, where he studied mass communications and classical rhetorical theory.</p><p>Emanuel squeezed the master&rsquo;s program into nine months.</p><p>&ldquo;It was basically I wanted to do mental gymnastics for a year, &rdquo; Emanuel said. &ldquo;When I had graduated [from undergrad] and started working, I was not done enjoying the life of the mind, so to say.&rdquo;</p><p>The mayor said 25 marked a critical point. He always knew he wanted to go to graduate school, but that year he realized it was now or never.</p><p>When he wasn&rsquo;t debating about Aristotle or Cicero, Emanuel dabbled in political work. He spent some of that year at the Illinois Public Action Council. He was also in the throes of then-Congressman Paul Simon&rsquo;s campaign for a U.S. Senate seat, where he worked alongside people like Lisa Madigan, David Axelrod and Forrest Claypool, to name a few.</p><p>And yes, he was still <a href="http://www.joffrey.org/node/2854">dancing </a>when he was 25 years old. Twice a week.</p><p>Emanuel was a serious dancer in his youth, even earning a scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet. He passed it up to go to Sarah Lawrence. He says once the pressure was off to dance professionally, he wanted to get back to it.</p><p>Dance, Emanuel says, was important for discipline, as well as exercise.</p><p>But come on, besides all that, he must have been doing some socializing and dating as a twenty-something, right?</p><p>Emanuel says he&rsquo;ll keep most of those stories under wraps, but that his 25-year-old self was very much in the mindset of: &ldquo;I&rsquo;m gonna be single for the rest of my life.&rdquo;</p><p>There was one woman he dated that year. Emanuel says the relationship ended when she decided to move to Washington, D.C. for a job, and he wanted to stay in Chicago.</p><p>But amid all the pizza, Aristotle, politics and ballet, Emanuel&rsquo;s sights were already set on Washington.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m going to finish Northwestern,&rdquo; Emanuel said was the goal. &ldquo;And I&rsquo;m going to try and figure out how to one day work for a person who&rsquo;s going to be elected president.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Lauren Chooljian is WBEZ&rsquo;s Morning Producer/Reporter. Follow her<a href="http://twitter.com/triciabobeda"> </a><a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 07 Aug 2013 16:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25/who-was-25-year-old-rahm-emanuel-108327 Emanuel: CPS school closures 'not taken lightly,' but must be done http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-cps-school-closures-not-taken-lightly-must-be-done-106253 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS5608_AP120518043860-scr_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Saturday the decision to launch the largest single round of school closures in American history was &ldquo;not taken lightly&rdquo; but had to be done, and he dismissed claims the closures are racially motivated as &ldquo;schoolyard taunts.&rdquo;</p><p>Emanuel made his first public comments about the city&rsquo;s school closure plan Saturday afternoon. Chicago Public Schools officially released a list of 54 schools slated for closure on Thursday, when the mayor was out of town on a family ski trip.</p><p>In his absence, news of CPS&rsquo; plan to shutter a record number of public schools by next year has drawn threats of civil unrest from the Chicago Teachers Union and outcry from many parents concerned about their kids having to cross busy streets or navigate new gang territories to get to class.</p><p>&ldquo;This is very difficult, a lot of anguish, and I understand that and I appreciate it,&rdquo; Emanuel said. &ldquo;But the anguish and the pain that comes &hellip; from making the change is less, or minimal, in my view, or pales compared to the anguish that comes by trapping children in schools that are not succeeding.&rdquo;</p><p>All told, 128 Chicago Public Schools face complete closure or other actions, including consolidation and &ldquo;turnaround,&rdquo; when low-performing schools have their entire staffs fired and new ones brought in. That&rsquo;s four times the number of school shakeups Chicago has ever tried to undertake in a single school year, and the actions disproportionately affect black students.</p><p>According to a WBEZ analysis, 87 percent of schools that are being closed or having their buildings vacated are majority African-American. In total, 80 percent of kids affected by closures and other shakeups are black. About 42 percent of CPS students are African-American.</p><p>On Saturday Emanuel brushed off accusations from the head of the Chicago Teachers Union that the closure policy is racist.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not interested in throwing terms around, or schoolyard taunts,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m interested in making sure that the schools are achieving what they&rsquo;re set up to do: a high-quality education.&rdquo;</p><p>The district has said the shakeups will save about $43 million a year, plus another $560 million in capital costs over the next decade that it won&rsquo;t have to spend fixing dilapidated buildings. But in tandem with the projected savings, district officials are also planning to spend $233 million next year on new air conditioners, iPads, books and libraries for schools that will take in the tens of thousands of displaced students.</p><p>But the closure plan is primarily aimed at getting kids out of schools marked as low-performing or underutilized, not about saving money, Emanuel said.</p><p>&ldquo;[We] did not look at this decision as numbers on a spreadsheet,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We looked at it, and viewed it [as], &lsquo;What do we need to do to make sure that every child has a high-quality education in the city of Chicago?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>The mayor also defended his decision to be on vacation when the controversial school closings were first announced.</p><p>&ldquo;I had a family trip planned. Took it. You are not far, ever, from your office, and I was on the phone and emailing with my office regularly,&rdquo; he said, adding he talked frequently with CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and other staffers.</p><p>Chicago Public Schools is planning to hold more than 150 public community meetings before the school board takes a final vote on its shakeup plan, which could occur at its May 22 meeting.</p></p> Sat, 23 Mar 2013 16:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-cps-school-closures-not-taken-lightly-must-be-done-106253 $12M renovation planned for Chicago City Hall http://www.wbez.org/news/12m-renovation-planned-chicago-city-hall-104227 <p><p>A $12 million renovation plan is in the works for Chicago&#39;s century-old City Hall.</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel&#39;s office on Thursday announced a plan to rehab the building and reorganize the city office space by the end of 2013.</p><p>Emanuel&#39;s office says the plan will save the city $4 million each year, so the costs will be recouped in three years.</p><p>The city is currently leasing space in another building for several agencies, including the departments of Housing, Finance and Law. The plan includes consolidating those departments into city-owned offices to save the more than $4.4 million spent each year to lease the other space.</p><p>The mayor&#39;s office says the renovations at City Hall will be designed to get the building certified under the U.S. Green Building Council&#39;s LEED program.</p></p> Thu, 06 Dec 2012 08:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/12m-renovation-planned-chicago-city-hall-104227 City, bartender ask judge to vacate verdict http://www.wbez.org/news/city-bartender-ask-judge-vacate-verdict-104187 <p><p>The city of Chicago and a bartender whose videotaped beating by an off-duty police officer drew national attention have taken the unusual step of asking a judge to toss a landmark civil verdict in the case.</p><p>In deciding against the city last month, jurors determined some officers follow a code of silence protecting rogue colleagues like the officer involved, Anthony Abbate.</p><p>This week&#39;s joint motion would let stand $850,000 in damages awarded to Karolina Obrycka.</p><p>If Judge Amy St. Eve grants the motion, the city would forgo any appeal and pay Obrycka the full damages immediately. Otherwise, a payment could be delayed years. Striking the verdict would deny others suing the city the chance to cite it as precedent.</p><p>There&#39;s a status hearing in the case Friday.</p></p> Tue, 04 Dec 2012 15:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/city-bartender-ask-judge-vacate-verdict-104187 Dear Mr. Mayor: a few suggestions from a humble food lover http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-05-16/dear-mr-mayor-few-suggestions-humble-food-lover-86554 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-15/dolinsky-sf.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-14/SF.jpg" title="The Ferry Building Market in San Francisco (photo: Steve Dolinsky)" width="400" height="299"></p><p>Dear Mr. Mayor,</p><p>I realize you're getting a lot of input from concerned citizens these days, regarding what they think your priorities should be upon taking office. I know there's a budget problem (and some issues with the schools, the CTA and the new Police Commissioner) but I also know you're as much a foodie as your predecessor was, so here are a few suggestions from one food-obsessed resident to another:</p><p>Food Trucks - I was pleased to see your quote in Time Out last week, in which you said, "I don't want to be the only city without food trucks. So I want the restaurants to work with these guys to come up with a compromise." Not only do New York City and L.A. have us beat on this issue, so does Evanston. For the past year, the <a href="http://hummingbirdkitchen.com/">Hummingbird Kitchen</a> has been cooking from its massive, state-of-the-art mobile kitchen, tweeting its location (always North of Howard St.) and hasn't encountered any resistance. Please go have a Naanwich Summit up in Edgewater with <a href="http://www.gaztro-wagon.com/Gaztro-Wagon/Home.html">gaztro-wagon's</a> Matt Maroni, 32nd Ward Alderman Waguespack and <a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/keefers-restaurant-chicago">Keefer's</a> owner Glen Keefer and hammer out a compromise that will work for everyone, so your humble, hungry subjects can start quality noshing downtown on weekdays. Frankly, we Loop workers are getting a little tired of Potbelly and Hannah's Bretzel every other day.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-14/Ferry Bldg.jpg" title="The Ferry Building in San Francisco (photo: Steve Dolinsky)" width="400" height="299"></p><p>A Full-Time, Year-Round Indoor/Outdoor Market - Your predecessor and I talked about this one over some guac and chips in the bar at Frontera a couple of years ago. As you're probably aware, Chicago ranks far below Cleveland, Portland, Minneapolis, Toronto, San Francisco, Vancouver, Paris and of course, New York City, when it comes to the all-in-one, year-round market. Have you ever been to the <a href="http://www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com/farmers_market.php">Ferry Building</a> along the Embarcadero in San Francisco? Maybe the <a href="http://www.chelseamarket.com/">Chelsea Market</a> in New York or the <a href="http://www.midtownglobalmarket.org/">Midtown Global Market</a> in Minneapolis? How is it that these cities have managed to bring together farmers, artisans, developers and politicians, and offer their residents and visitors something truly spectacular? Just think of the tax revenue, the tourist attraction and the prestige. When Daley Jr. and I talked about this, he had mentioned something in the works along upper Wacker, near the Swiss Hotel, as well as the Garfield Park area. Please scrap those ideas if they're even still being talked about.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-14/Paris.jpg" title="A Bensidoun Market in Paris (photo: Steve Dolinsky)" width="400" height="533">&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>For the love of God (and Child, Pepin, Waters and Bourdain), please convene a task force (on which I'm happy to serve) to work with the <a href="http://www.greencitymarket.org/index.asp">Green City Market</a> in Lincoln Park (which already has the street cred&nbsp;and the farmers and artisans on board, not to mention a $1 million gift bequethed by the market's founder Abby Mandel) and then find them a magnificent space in West Town, preferably along or near Randolph, which, as you know, was the birthplace of Chicago's produce market and the scene of the legendary Haymarket Riot. I hear the Peggy Notebaert would love to keep Green City around, since it boosts attendance in the winter, and might even consider expanding for it, but resist! Parking is already a nightmare over there, you've got issues with the Park and the alderman and altering the green space there and it's too far East for most of the city's residents. &nbsp;I've spent plenty of time driving around West Town, looking for a parking spot before heading to The Publican or Girl &amp; the Goat; I know there has to be an abandoned building or two over there we could convert into a market that could house individual businesses, but also serve as a central location for farmers, and still have enough room for a parking lot/ramp. The location would be key, since the CTA is building another Green Line stop along Lake Street at Morgan, and it's just a few blocks off of the Kennedy; it's also easily reachable by cab from the downtown hotels.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-14/Granville.JPG" title="Granville Public Market, Vancouver (photo: Steve Dolinsky)" width="400" height="300"></p><p>I know it's going to take a lot of money and a lot of cooperation, but I hear you're a really good listener, and if necessary, an arm-bender. Look forward to seeing you out at Avec one night, and by the way, any chance you could make the first night of Hanukkah a city holiday, so we could make latkes together on the Friday Night Special on ABC 7?</p><p>Respectfully,</p><p>Steve</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-14/Stockholm.jpg" title="Saluhall in Stockholm (photo: Steve Dolinsky)" width="400" height="533"></p></p> Mon, 16 May 2011 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-05-16/dear-mr-mayor-few-suggestions-humble-food-lover-86554 Ballots go to press without Emanuel's name http://www.wbez.org/story/board-chairman/ballots-go-press-without-emanuels-name <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Rahm want to vote sign - Getty Scott Olson.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Chicago board of elections says it's printing ballots for the February election without the name of one mayoral candidate.</p><p>Board Chairman Langdon Neal says the order has already been placed to print about 2 million ballots.&nbsp;Neal says that should've been done last week. Now that an Illinois Appeals Court issued its ruling that Rahm Emanuel should not be on the February 22nd ballot, the election board is running with it.</p><p>&quot;We will have an election and it will comply with what ever court is the last court to rule on this. We'll make adjustments and do what we need to do,&quot; Neal said.</p><p>Election officials wouldn't say exactly what those adjustments would be, but they say they'll cross that bridge when they come to it.</p><p>Emanuel is appealing the latest decision.&nbsp;If the Illinois Supreme Court takes up the case and overturns the Appellate Court's ruling, the election board would have to change the ballots.&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 25 Jan 2011 00:29:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/board-chairman/ballots-go-press-without-emanuels-name