WBEZ | First 100 Days http://www.wbez.org/tags/first-100-days Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Emanuel takes on Chicago's food deserts http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-takes-chicagos-food-deserts-90776 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-23/City Farm 2_Flickr_Piush Dahal.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Today marks Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 100th day in office, and we’re taking stock of his progress.&nbsp;One problem he’s taken on is "food deserts," areas that don’t have much fresh food for sale.</p><p>Experts say the number of Chicagoans living in food deserts stands at approximately 400,000. Emanuel says he wants to cut that number in half by the end of his first term.&nbsp;The food desert is a complex, un-sexy policy problem, but Emanuel says he’ll spend political capital on it.</p><p>When he was barnstorming for mayor, Rahm Emanuel met a young African-American couple who live near 89th Street. The wife a doctor. The husband in information technology. Two kids. The couple told Emanuel they traveled eight miles to grocery shop.&nbsp;Emanuel assumed they endured the trek for cheaper prices.</p><p>EMANUEL: Maybe this is a vulnerability for a politician but I don’t mind because you always have to learn.</p><p>He learned the couple traveled because they didn’t have good grocery stores in their neighborhood.</p><p>EMANUEL: Here was something that kind of materialized it in an existential way. It was a way that just drove home, and &nbsp;I remember saying to the staff that was with me at the time – I want to speak to this.</p><p>MOORE: Would you say before you met that couple food deserts were even on your radar?</p><p>EMANUEL: Let’s go through my professional life. I’m a congressman on the North Side of the city of Chicago. What I do for office hours? Congress on your corner at grocery stores. I’m going to be honest – it’s not a material thing for people I represented. As chief of staff to the president of the United States, obviously I don’t want to say I had other issues, but I did have other issues.</p><p>Emanuel read up on food deserts and made their elimination part of his transition plan. And, during his first 100 days in office – he followed up.&nbsp;Back in June the mayor convened CEOs from major food chains and he received commitments from them to open stores in Chicago. Then, in July, he introduced an ordinance to city council that would make urban agriculture a new zoning designation in Chicago. The idea’s to kick-start large-scale production of vegetables close to where people need them.</p><p>EMANUEL: I see this as an opportunity to address a number of issues with one hit.</p><p>Jobs, economic development and…</p><p>EMANUEL: We’ll begin to make a dent on the public health piece of this, which is people having the opportunity to have access to fresh fruits, vegetables and meats in their area.</p><p>It’s one thing to want to make a dent in a problem like food deserts, but it’s another thing to actually make it happen.</p><p>GALLAGHER:&nbsp; It’s a complicated situation in neighborhoods like the ones we see in food deserts … it’s not just a problem that happened overnight; it’s been going on for a while.</p><p>This is national food desert expert, Mari Gallagher.&nbsp;She says Mayor Emanuel could have his work cut out for him. She's not aware of any city that’s eradicated food deserts.</p><p>GALLAGHER:&nbsp; These neighborhoods have suffered from disinvestment and other kinds of challenges, but they also have a number of assets, too. And given that everyone does eats as part of the human condition, we think there’s a real opportunity around healthy food in terms of, certainly, public health and better diet.</p><p>I meet Gallagher at the kind of spot she says could be one of these assets: the farmers market.</p><p>MARKET VENDOR: Thank you, have a nice day!</p><div class="slideshow-photo-credit" id="slideshow"><div class="slideshow-photo photo1"><span class="story-photo"><img alt="Food desert expert Mari Gallagher." class="imagecache imagecache-story_image_medium imagecache-default imagecache-story_image_medium_default" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/story_image_medium/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-18/004.JPG" title="(WBEZ/Natalie Moore)" width="280" height="195"></span><p class="slideshow-photo-credit">(WBEZ/Natalie Moore)</p><p class="slideshow-photo-description">Food desert expert Mari Gallagher tours a farmers market in Chicago's Pullman neighborhood.</p><span style="display: none;"><img alt="" class="imagecache imagecache-665x500" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/665x500/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-18/004.JPG" title="" width="665" height="500"></span></div></div><p>This market’s on 111th street, in the Pullman neighborhood’s Arcade Park.&nbsp;It’s got stalks of corn piled up like hay, and it’s got less common vegetables around, too, like&nbsp;kohlrabi.</p><p>MARKET VENDOR: It's in the cabbage family. You boil them like potatoes and serve with a cream sauce.</p><p>Gallagher says neighborhoods in the center of food deserts benefit from farmers markets. But they have another asset, too: small, corner stores.&nbsp;Food deserts have plenty of them.</p><p>GALLAGHER: These smaller stores that specialize in products that can sit on the shelves like potato chips and boxes of cereal and so on. Those are lower-risk items. If they’re going to start getting into produce, there’s a whole skill set around buying produce, displaying produce. But I think that these are challenges we can help stores address.&nbsp;</p><p>Gallagher says food deserts could stand to get help attracting bigger, mainstream grocery stores, too.&nbsp;Mayor Emanuel has already hit this.&nbsp;Again, he gathered grocery chain CEOS for a food desert summit in June.&nbsp;Emanuel walked in with data about neighborhood population density, and&nbsp;he handed over a list of 11 sites that need a big-box store and are commercially zoned (see below).</p><p>The talk was frank.</p><p>EMANUEL: Although it’s morally motivating for me, they’re not in the moral business. As one CEO said to me and I won’t say who, says ‘look, if you want to grandstand I’ll write you a check and I’ll be done with it.’ I said that’s not what I want. I want you to open stores that serve people, create jobs and make money. I want you to make money.</p><p>Supervalu CEO Craig Herkert attended Emanuel’s summit. The chain is the parent company of Jewel-Osco and Save-A-Lot.</p><p>Herkert says Supervalu will open 30 more discount Save-A-Lot stores in Chicago over the next five years.</p><p>HERKERT: Let me state clearly, this first and foremost, is a very good business decision for us.</p><p>Naturally, I asked if any Chicago-style sweetheart deals got cut.&nbsp;Herkert said no, just break the red tape.</p><p>HERKERT: What the mayor has offered us is his support from the mayor’s office to do what he can to help us get these things opened. He did not give us, nor did we request, financial aid or support. We can open these stores as a viable business option on our own.</p><p>ODOMS-YOUNG: I want to see what happens with the meat around that.</p><p>Angela Odoms-Young is a nutritional scientist at the University of Illinois-Chicago.</p><p>ODOMS-YOUNG: It’s easy to say we’re going to bring in grocery stores. But we really need to make sure the community has input in what that plan will be.</p><p>Odoms-Young says the food desert issue is a broad one and it’s not solved just by having successful businesses in a neighborhood.&nbsp;Even big stores can minimize fruits and vegetables, so someone will have to keep watch.&nbsp;After all, the federal government recommends eating five fruits and vegetables a day to prevent chronic disease.&nbsp;That only works if people have the food available - and children see it.</p><p>ODOMS-YOUNG: When you have young children, exposure actually can contribute to the development of dietary habits. So when you have flaming-hots in a community, you have these sweetened beverages and people are only exposed to those things, a lot of your habits are really sort of coming together and you’re greatly influenced by your environment.</p><p>As grocery chains, urban agriculture and retooled corner stores peck away at the food desert problem in Chicago, the philosophy is guided by a simple principle: everyone has to eat.</p><p>From Melissa Stratton, a spokeswoman from the mayor's office:</p><p><em>Below are the 11 sites we gave the grocery chain CEOs at the Mayor’s food desert summit. Each site contains a parcel of land that can sustain a grocery store based on our calculations. Specifically, each is commercially zoned and is in an ideal spot to absorb revenue because the area lacks grocery store options. The sites were identified by the City and given to each grocery chain.</em></p><ul><li><em>Cicero and Kinzie</em></li><li><em>63rd St and Justine Avenue</em></li><li><em>63rd and Halsted</em></li><li><em>63rd and State</em></li><li><em>47th and State</em></li><li><em>4400 W. Roosevelt Rd.</em></li><li><em>63rd St and Drexel Blvd.</em></li><li><em>63rd and St. Louis</em></li><li><em>7900 S. Perry</em></li><li><em>87th and Constance</em></li><li><em>114th and Western</em></li></ul><p><em>Music Button: Sounds from the Ground, "Delphine", from the CD The Maze, (Waveform)</em></p></p> Tue, 23 Aug 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-takes-chicagos-food-deserts-90776 Chicagoans share their hopes for the city's future http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-22/chicagoans-share-their-hopes-citys-future-90881 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-August/2011-08-22/5472237290_a5f8a6ac04_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Monday<em> </em>began a series of reports aimed to assess the performance of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as part of the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/first-100-rahm-emanuels-first-100-days-chicago-mayor" target="_blank"><em>First 100 </em></a>series which explores the early days of the city’s new administration. Wednesday night, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> will<a href="http://www.wbez.org/event/2011-08-24/first-100-mayor-emanuel%E2%80%99s-early-impact-chicago" target="_blank"> hold a public forum </a>with the mayor and other agency heads at the <a href="http://www.chicagohs.org/" target="_blank">Chicago History Museum</a>. The discussion will be an opportunity to discuss the future of Chicago. Listeners can hear that conversation on Friday's show. To get the conversation started, WBEZ's Pritzker Journalism Fellow LaCreisha Birts<em> </em>hit the streets to hear what some residents want for their city.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 22 Aug 2011 16:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-22/chicagoans-share-their-hopes-citys-future-90881 The First 100: Searching for transparency at City Hall http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-04/first-100-searching-transparency-city-hall-90112 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-August/2011-08-04/4048831734_80cd54cb27_b(2).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>"Chicago style" or the "Chicago way" of doings things can be a funny thing--cultural quirks--like the unwritten rule that hot dogs be dressed with celery salt, not ketchup. But the city also earned a reputation for shady politics and back-room deals. So when Mayor Rahm Emanuel promised a transparent, open city government - it was practically an affront to the very definition of "Chicago." Still, there was movement in that direction.</p><p>Earlier in the week, the mayor announced the release of a searchable online database of city contracts from 1993 onward. As part of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/first-100-rahm-emanuels-first-100-days-chicago-mayor" target="_blank"><em>The First 100</em></a> series, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> assessed the city’s progress and prospects under the Emanuel administration. For the latest installment,<a href="http://scottforchicago.com/" target="_blank"> Ald. Scott Waguespack</a> (32nd Ward) and <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/" target="_blank"><em>Chicago Reader</em></a> senior writer<a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/ArticleArchives?author=868703" target="_blank"> Mick Dumke</a> joined<em> Eight Forty-Eight</em> to discuss the level of transparency in Chicago city government.</p><p>On <strong>Wednesday, Aug. 24</strong>, local officials will join <em>Eight Forty-Eight's</em> Alison Cuddy for a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/event/2011-08-24/first-100-mayor-emanuel%E2%80%99s-early-impact-chicago" target="_blank">public forum</a> to culminate <em>The First 100</em> series.<br> Please <a href="http://www.wbez.org/first100question%20" target="_blank">submit questions</a> for the mayor and other local leaders for a dynamic and interactive discussion.</p><p><em>Music Button: Thievery Corporation, "Stargazer", from the CD Culture of Fear, (ESL)</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 04 Aug 2011 13:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-04/first-100-searching-transparency-city-hall-90112 Chicago City Council votes to allow firing ranges http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-city-council-votes-allow-firing-ranges-88793 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-06/AP091211122675.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago's City Council has approved an ordinance that allows gun ranges to set up shop in the city.&nbsp;</p><p>Without discussion, the City Council approved the ordinance on Wednesday. The move effectively strikes down a provision in the city's existing gun ordinance that prevents gun ranges from operating in the city.&nbsp;</p><p>Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the city's handgun ban. Then-Mayor Richard Daley pushed through an ordinance that required gun owners to receive firing range training but prohibited ranges in the city.&nbsp;</p><p>Not surprisingly, gun proponents filed two federal lawsuits challenging the prohibition.&nbsp;</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel says it appeared that the lawsuits would be successful.<br> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 06 Jul 2011 17:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-city-council-votes-allow-firing-ranges-88793 Emanuel confident police will keep city safe http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-confident-police-will-keep-city-safe-87716 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/archives/images/cityroom/amp_091007_CAF-Maxson image_large.png" alt="" /><p><p>This weekend concern is up about the violent attacks in downtown Chicago.&nbsp; In the last week alone, dozens of arrests have been made but the attacks continue to happen. They often involve large groups of youngsters.</p><p>In a press conference on Friday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that police can keep the whole city safe.&nbsp; He said, "I'm confident as it relates to not just this weekend, but during the week and every weekend in every neighborhood. And that we have a strategy of putting police on the street which is where we need to put those resources."</p><p>Emanuel says additional police and undercover officers are being deployed downtown. Many of the assaults and robberies happened near the Michigan Avenue shops and in broad daylight.</p></p> Sat, 11 Jun 2011 20:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-confident-police-will-keep-city-safe-87716 United Airlines to bring 1,300 new jobs to Chicago http://www.wbez.org/story/united-airlines-bring-1300-new-jobs-chicago-87708 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-10/United 2.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>United Airlines announced Friday that the company is bringing 1,300 new jobs to Chicago. That caps off a topsy turvy week for Chicago business.</p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says this United Airlines news is just the beginning. "There will be more companies that are investing in their operations here and important in investing in the city of Chicago because of their confidence in the decisions we're making," he said.</p><p>But the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange are threatening to leave the state. They say high taxes in Illinois could force them to move. In January the corporate tax rate went from 4.8% to 7%.</p><p>But Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said yesterday he won't tolerate corporate shakedowns for tax incentives. Quinn drove the point home saying, "I don't think anybody likes paying taxes, but that's the price of having a democracy. We have to have good schools, we need our men and women out there in the streets protecting us from any roaming bands of thugs."</p><p>In Illinois, the CBOE and CME have more than 2,500 employees.</p></p> Fri, 10 Jun 2011 19:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/united-airlines-bring-1300-new-jobs-chicago-87708 New presidents for City Colleges of Chicago http://www.wbez.org/story/new-presidents-city-colleges-chicago-87663 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-09/Emmanuel CCC.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Most of the city colleges of Chicago will be getting new leadership. Mayor Rahm Emanuel endorsed recommendations for five new presidents of the seven city colleges.<br> <br> In a press conference on Thursday, he said new presidents, a new board and a new plan to increase accountability in the system have to happen.</p><p>Mayor Emanuel pounded the table while saying, "You cannot continue with a seven percent graduation rate. You cannot continue with a system with a declining enrollment when everyone else during the recession was seeing dramatic increases."</p><p>The new presidents were picked from a pool of 140 candidates in a national search. The colleges board of trustees will vote on the leadership in a meeting next week.</p><p>The mayor also said he'd like to expand dual credit classes in Chicago high schools.&nbsp; These classes allow high schoolers to earn community college credit in addition to high school credit. Emanuel said he hopes that will increase student focus and "get them on a track where they have a future in mind."</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 09 Jun 2011 21:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/new-presidents-city-colleges-chicago-87663 Ald. Patrick O'Connor talks new position of power in City Council http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-09/ald-patrick-oconnor-talks-new-position-power-city-council-87626 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-09/Pat O&#039;Connor Bill Healy.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/supp_info/about_the_mayor.html" target="_blank">Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s</a> election is a big transition for many Chicagoans. But with all the problems facing Chicago, the introductory period is, for the most part, over.<br> <br> <em>Eight Forty-Eight </em>plans on doing regular check-ins during the first 100 days of the Emanuel administration, for a series called <em>The First 100</em>. The series will convene the day after City Council meetings.<br> <br> But first, host Alison Cuddy spoke to one of the stewards of change: 40th ward <a href="http://www.aldermanoconnor.com/about/" target="_blank">Alderman Patrick O’Connor</a>. The long-time Alderman has a new post as Chairman of the Committee on Audit and Workforce Development.</p></p> Thu, 09 Jun 2011 13:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-09/ald-patrick-oconnor-talks-new-position-power-city-council-87626 New top cop takes office: 'Let's get to work' http://www.wbez.org/story/new-top-cop-takes-office-lets-get-work-87622 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-09/Garry McCarthy AP Paul Beaty.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago's City Council officially confirmed Garry McCarthy as the new police superintendent on Wednesday.</p><p>McCarthy comes to Chicago from Newark, New Jersey, where he headed up the police department there. In a sign of the high crime-fighting expectations that have been laid before him, McCarthy will make $260,004 a year - more than any other city employee, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel.</p><p>If the brevity of McCarthy's remarks about his confirmation are any indicator, the newly-minted chief has a lot on his mind.<br> <br> "I gotta tell you, it's just awesome and humbling," McCarthy told reporters after Wednesday's City Council meeting. "Having said that, let's get to work."</p><p>He went on to field reporters' questions about everything from a recent string of robberies to racial profiling. Chicago aldermen, meanwhile, seemed more focussed on that fact that McCarthy actually has credibility with rank-and-file officers, thanks to his time policing the streets of his native New York City.</p><p>"They welcome Garry McCarthy, 'cause they know that he's the kind of a law enforcement officer who's taken his cuffs off his belt," said powerful 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke, himself a former Chicago cop.</p><p>McCarthy replaces Jody Weis, who left the Chicago Police Department when his contract expired in March. Weis had faced criticism from the Chicago police union for being an outsider, as he was previously an FBI agent, but never a cop. McCarthy will make just over 260-thousand dollars a year.</p></p> Thu, 09 Jun 2011 10:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/new-top-cop-takes-office-lets-get-work-87622 Chicago aldermen propose random drug testing for city employees http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-aldermen-propose-random-drug-testing-city-employees-87611 <p><p>Two Chicago aldermen say they want random drug testing for all city employees.</p><p>14th Ward Alderman Edward Burke and 40th Ward Alderman Patrick O'Connor proposed legislation that would mandate random screening. If passed, anybody who works for the city could be tested, including city council members.</p><p>At a press conference Wednesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel wouldn't say how he felt about the proposal.</p><p>"I gotta read it, I gotta hear what the hearings are, I gotta see what the opinions are, and vice versa," Emanuel said. "I haven't read it and I don't want to give an opinion on something I haven't read, okay?"</p><p>In a statement, Burke and O'Connor say the testing would help protect residents from errors in judgement by city employees.</p><p>The ordinance now moves to the Workforce Development and Audit Committee, which is chaired by O'Connor.&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 09 Jun 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-aldermen-propose-random-drug-testing-city-employees-87611