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Rahm Emanuel
Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Fri Oct 26, 2012

More Police Manpower Possible In Affluent Downtown

The Chicago City Council will likely not press Mayor Rahm Emanuel to hire more police officers than the figure already laid out in Emanuel’s proposed 2013 budget.

However, one idea from Police Department Superintendent Garry McCarthy’s city council testimony this week is to allow private business to hire off-duty police for additional protection. Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) suggested the plan as a way to protect downtown businesses in “hospitality and tourism areas.” Read more »

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Wed Oct 24, 2012

Chicago Aldermen May Not Press For More Police Hires

If there was any part of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposed 2013 city budget that aldermen might question, it was the number of police on the street. Murders are up this year citywide and several aldermen say Chicago needs more cops. There are about 1,000 fewer police officers in the CPD today than five years ago.

But Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy was only partly scathed at a council budget committee hearing today, suggesting aldermen will not revise Emanuel’s budget in order to hire more police.

Council members did question how Emanuel and McCarthy arrived at the figure of having 12,500 officers by the end of 2013.

Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) asked the police head if there was a “written formal analysis” on staffing. McCarthy responded there was not. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Wed Oct 24, 2012

Chicago City Council: School Closing Hearing Will Be Held, Homeless Population Questioned

The Chicago City Council will hold hearings on what are rumored to be 80 to 120 neighborhood school closings, according to Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th), head of the council's education committee.

Thomas, who as education chairperson must convene such a panel, has previously been silent on a resolution signed by 32 aldermen calling for a school closing hearing. She told Progress Illinois that she would “absolutely” hold such a hearing. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Tue Oct 16, 2012

City Staffing, Promised Savings Scrutinized In Emanuel Budget

The Chicago City Council started this morning four days of hearings that will examine the proposed 2013 budget that Mayor Rahm Emanuel released last week.

At a community meeting on the Northwest Side last night Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd) said that, “The annual budget is the most important aspect of public policy. It tells us who we are as a city.”

Perhaps to the chagrin of Fioretti, Chicago is a city that mostly lets the mayor write the budget. Unlike the U.S. Congress or Illinois General Assembly, the 50-member city council essentially plays an advisory role.

The public also played a small role under previous mayors through community hearings, but Emanuel scrapped those this year. So a group of six aldermen representing the council’s progressive caucus held a public forum last night that attracted about 200 people. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Mon Oct 15, 2012

Ravitch Says CTU Strike Was Galvanizing Moment For Teachers

Diane Ravitch, who was assistant secretary of education under George H.W. Bush and then became a national spokeswoman against the so-called education reform movement, says that Chicago has taken the lead on education reform – and the revolt against such policies.

Now a professor at New York University, Ravitch told reporters at the Chicago Teachers Union headquarters Monday that the strike gave “vicarious exhilaration” to teachers across the nation that were “beaten down” by evaluations based on standardized tests and charter schools.

Ravitch says Chicago is distinctive on education issues because of a “more militant” teachers' union, noting that in much of the south, west and now to an extent in northern states such as Wisconsin, “Teacher collective bargaining rights are eliminated.” Read more »

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Wed Oct 10, 2012

Why Is Emanuel Touting 'No New Taxes'?

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel presented his 2013 budget to the city council today, profusely emphasizing that the budget contains no new taxes.

“This is a budget that allows us to make critical investments by reforming government instead of raising taxes,” Emanuel said in a statement. “As I pledged, we will not raise sales taxes; we will not raise the fuel tax; we will not raise the amusement tax.”

So are no new taxes a good thing? Read more »