The Week in the Chicago Mayoral Race

A brief stop in (pre-snOMG) Chicago last weekend allowed me to experience the sights and sounds from the first open mayor’s race since 1989. A highlight was eavesdropping on a pitch from a real life 47th Ward precinct captain while visiting a friend in Lincoln Square.

Here are some excerpts I found this week from afar while watching my friends build igloos and play Hoth in the snow:

  • “A Chicago that makes the wrong moves, or no moves, risks becoming New Cleveland or New Philadelphia — one more city forced to admit it is less than it was,” wrote the Chicago Tribune editorial board in its (unsurprising and correct) endorsement of Rahm Emanuel. (@MayorEmanuel had the best reaction to the Trib’s endorsement: “Think of how fucking awesome that would be if anyone fucking read a newspaper.”)
  • Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey was motivated by the fake Twitter phenomena to create his own absurdist @MayorEmanuel-esque pre-snomg Jewel odyssey. (Fritchey also took a crack at unmasking the anonymous account in the Chicago Tribune.)
  • A group of Sullivan High School students made a video in favor of City Clerk Miguel Del Valle. Polls show Del Valle in fourth place with 7%  of the vote, and the students badly mischaracterize Rahm Emanuel’s education proposals. Despite the fact that his campaign is a footnote and the video’s claims are suspect, it’s a seemingly grassroots attempt to influence the election.
  • One candidate, a disgraced former Senator, suggested that another candidate was a crackhead in a debate in a church.
  • Emanuel announced a transportation plan that had my Chicago trans friends sky high. It proposes to
    • “Change building codes for all office buildings with more than 200 tenants, requiring that they offer protected bike storage facilities at the rate of one spot for every 20 employees in the building.”
    • Double the number of bike parking space by “adding racks and sheltered bike parking in the neighborhoods and downtown…Bike parking will be expanded at transit facilities, and co-planned with new car-sharing sites and walkability improvements to make it as easy as possible to get around without a car.”
    • Complete the Bloomingdale Trail— “a 2.78-mile-long park on an inactive railroad spur that rises almost 20 feet above the Northwest Side areas of Bucktown, Wicker Park, Logan Square and Humboldt Park,” writes the Trib.
    • The only thing missing from the plan was a bike share, which seems to have been such a hit here in DC with Capital Bikeshare.

One thought on “The Week in the Chicago Mayoral Race

  1. Ah, another resident of The Beltway commenting on Chicago politics. Tell me, how does Emanuel, whose background as a political fundraiser and chief of staff for Clinton, lacking any banking experience, make $16 million in two years as an investment banker? Then how does he wiggle out of the Freddie Mac scandal where he also earned a bundle by showing up a few times a year? Chicago politics is just a round-robin: I’ll trade you one Rahm Emanuel for one Billy Daley.

    And Obama used the Altgeld asbestos problem (which he did NOT solve) to advance his career just as he used and lost $50 million doing a bad job heading the Annenberg Challenge grant for Bill Ayres…just as he used Emil Jones’ expertise to lay around voting “present” in the senate, etc. etc. etc.

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