Rahm Emanuel: A severe case of ‘Voter's Remorse’?

Rahm Emanuel:  A severe case of ‘Voter's Remorse’?

I’m going to ask the question that many people are thinking but are afraid to ask:

Is it just me, or does Rahm Emanuel (kinda) suck as mayor?

Like the majority of voters, I voted for Rahm.

Yeah, I didn’t quite know what he stood for or how he was proposing to make the city better.  And sure I thought Miguel had more integrity, and that Chico had more knowledge of local politics, and that Carol would prioritize commercial development on the south side.

I voted for him anyway.

I voted for him, in part, because of the possibility that he would bring a bit of intelligence to this hack city that prioritizes favors over sound policy.  I voted for him because I hate the entitlement of those heavily affiliated with the Chicago Democratic Machine and felt like it was my only way to give a middle finger to the candidates who I knew would not do things differently.

I voted for him, though I had to lie to my parents, my coworkers, and my neighbors about not voting for Carol or Miguel.

Nevertheless, I felt no apprehension about my decision.  It was time for a new era.  However, a year later, as I look at the current state of my beloved city, a sinking feeling evades my stomach because I suspect that I made a mistake.

From a distance, I’ve observed the policy measures that Rahm have initiated under his tenure and have been in awe of what he has been able to accomplish with little to no real adversity from the city council. After passing his first budget unanimously (something Daley was never able to accomplish), I wondered if he was holding someone’s child/dog/wife as a hostage in the basement of City Hall – using them as collateral until the council voted.  Though he was never charged with the crime, no one can deny the complexity, difficulty, and creepiness of him accomplishing such a feat.

Yet, violence continued to rise and teachers continued to express their frustration with having to do more work for less pay.  And as the 2012 school year ended, there were no signs of a resolution – only an impending teacher’s strike and 1,267 gunshot victims throughout the city.  Budget cuts made for fewer public libraries to supplement after school programming and closed mental health clinics meant fewer counseling services available to those in already underserved communities.

Oh…but we did host the North Atlantic Treaty Organization this year.

Thanks, Rahm.  You really know how to make your residents feel special.

Our livelihood and safety has always been contingent on tourism from Britain and Canada.

(Insert palpable sarcasm.)

My stomach becomes anxious when I think of the future of Chicago with Rahm as Mayor.  After making the decision to shut down a primary source of transportation for Southside residents to go to and from work for five months, the context (or lack thereof) of his perspective on public policy became clear.  His focus is bringing the world to Chicago, even if that means pushing everyone who already lives here out.

The city has extended new tax subsidies to rejuvenate numerous stalled residential development projects on the south side.  But should that have been the priority when banks continue to restrict their financing of mortgages and there continues to be a surplus of foreclosures in these neighborhoods?  It appears that yet again, the only people who will truly benefit are the developers.

No one knows how to curb the violence, you say?  Improve incentives for teachers, who will improve the quality of teaching, who will inform students that it (literally) pays more to be anything other than a drug dealer or gangbanger.  If students understood that Home Depot will pay them more than the minimum wage they will get as a street soldier, then it becomes a much easier job for the city to focus its energy on ensuring that there are companies willing to hire them.  So for the love of the God, the Lord of Abraham and Moses, stop giving money to developers to build unnecessary housing and use it as a way to incentivize businesses to build stores in underserved communities.

Until that happens, poor kids will continue to take the train, bus, and ride their bicycles to the other side of town and rob people who look like they have what they don’t know how to get for themselves.

In the end, I am sure that by the time his first term ends the budget will be balanced and Mercedes Benz will have located a corporate headquarters on State Street.  People will eventually forgive him for cancelling the annual 4th of July fireworks, and will learn to enjoy the Taste of Chicago during one of its four days (in contrast to its previous duration of two weeks).  Yet I wonder, in the proverbial ashes of his first term, what will the residents of this city have to sacrifice to help him achieve his detached (and slightly elitist) measures of success?

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  • Marketing classes say there is always buyers' remorse. I admit that Rahm has show his contempt with regard to the CTA, but that brings us to...

    Did you live in Chicago before 2007? Did you have remorse for leaving Daley in for 22 years? Letting Daley run the schools for 15? Letting Chico lead "school reform" as school board president? Leasing city assets, like the parking meters? Did you think J. Fed did a good job, even though it was reported that most of the police force was fighting with him? Other than on foie gras, did the City Council ever turn on Daley, especially since he appointed about 30 replacements for its convicts?

    Since Quinn gave Chico a job, the question is moot, but you tell us what he would have done with a school system so broke that it now says it has to blow its reserves?

    Did Carol ever show competence at anything, including bringing together her voting base? At the time, they said that Meeks, Davis and her would split the vote by each getting 9%, so the other two dropped out and she got....9%.

    So, unless you can demonstrate what the others would have done better, or can rally the people for an alternate candidate in 2015, this is what I said the marketing people said it is.

  • In reply to jack:

    Holy smokes Jack! Slow down! I'm with you.

    Was there a better candidate? I don't know if I can make a stellar argument for any of the other people who ran. However, my frustration is that we need Rahm to be as fair as we all hoped he would be and better than he currently is. Is that a tall order for a politician? Perhaps...But why not expect more from someone who has shown a disregard for public consensus.

    No doubt, CPS was a hot mess before him and it was not my intention to say that he is completely to blame for its current state. However, I do find that it was in poor taste that he (at one point) considered using public funds to help renovate Wrigley Field while also telling teachers to make due/do with their current contracts. His priorities don't seem to benefit the "average" citizen but instead his "dream citizen" - the type of person he would like to attract to Chicago. Some people may think that's a great thing, I am just not one of those people.

    Finally, to your point about buyer's remorse...

    I hope that this feeling is indeed fleeting. I remember when I first got my iPad2, I thought, "well this is anti-climatic...I don't even know what apps to download." But in time, I've learned to worship (j/k) my iPad just like everyone else! Here's to wishing the same fate for Rahm. ;-)

    Thanks for commenting!

  • In reply to Kay S:

    Thanks also for the measured response.

    Maybe Rahm is sort of like the tense dogs on "Dogs in the City" last night, where you can just call in Justin to put on a leash and have him calm the dog down. Or Rahm just stays overexcited and barks a lot. Sure has to be at a lot of press ops.

    The Schools/Wrigley Field observation seems a bit confused, however, in that Rahm has said that while Wrigley Field needs help, not with tax money. The schools problem also seems related to Daley having TIFed a good chunk of the city, mostly to have a slush fund for corporations asking for it, at the expense of other taxing districts, including CPS and the Park District, as well as to blow money on such projects as the hole under Block 37. One time Huberman (while Schools CEO) was asked about that, and his reply was "we got some TIF construction money." At least Rahm is a bit more transparent about his TIF projects, such as the Cermak Green Line station.

    The initial rap on Rahm was that his initiatives implied that Daley left a mess, which he did. Now, maybe he is overexcited in trying to turn some of those things around, or not doing it in an effective way, but if he was doing nothing, that would seem more objectionable. I suspect that Chico would have been merely a defender of the status quo, especially his supporter Ed Burke.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack,

    I agree with much of what you said! However, I thought the initial plans for the renovation (privately called, 'Emanuels Fenway Plan') did call for some public funds from the city and the State. However, once Quinn publicly nixed the idea of State funds (and after the Ricketts/Super Pac fiasco)...then the idea of putting public funds into the project was completely off the table. It is possible that I got that wrong but I'm pretty sure that I'm not making that up. Either way, I think I agree with most of what you have said.

  • In reply to jack:

    as for carol, the media told the black people not to vote for her solely because she is black.

    but, the media knew all the jewish people woulds come out of the woodworks to vote for rahm solely because he is jewish.

    carol was and is the better candidate.

  • Kay S. forgot to mention Rahm's recent remarks that he wants to make Chicago even more friendly to illegal aliens, i.e., allow them to stay in their jobs that rightfully belong to some of the 20 million Americans who can't find full-time employment.

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    In reply to davegorak:

    The statement "more friendly to illegal aliens" is nearly an oxymoron when considering the law of the land. Totally agree with Dave in reference to a more friendly Chicago toward illegal aliens. Our politicians tell us that the economy is in in trouble, and we know it's true because we're feeling it more than the politicians. However, it doesn't take a politician or a genius to figure out that if illegal aliens were treated as such and deported, that more jobs would open up for the citizens of this country, and the economy would be a little better. Maybe Rahm left his brain at home the day he said that because for the life of me I can't understand why he would advocate a welcoming mat for illegal aliens. Oxymoron indeed!

  • In reply to Barbara Jean:

    Yea... I have to disagree here. The problem doesn't reside with the immigrants... It resides within our broken system. Our economy will never improve if we remain an isolationist society that is only interested in "preserving jobs" for our own countrymen and women, who as of late are unfortunately uninterested in broadening their horizons enough to compete with the world's fastest-growing economies.

    I have close family members and friends who have been screwed over by the immigration system, and they're educated, enterprising individuals who have to either face the reality of leaving their families (who were more fortunate in the immigration process), or remaining here undocumented.

    I actually commend Rahm for having the courage to take such a progressive stance towards fixing our pitiful system.

  • In reply to JChris:

    Errr yeah... there's a huge difference between 'Immigration' and the 'illegal immigrant population'. Please stop trying to purposely muddle the issue.

    Immigration is great for the US - increase the numbers! But try a grown-up smart immigration system like that of Canada - instead of 'importing' poverty.

    Illegal immigration is a scourge.

    The wonderful melting pot surely has not benefited from having a giant frozen turkey thrown into the mix.

    Enough nonsense.

  • In reply to davegorak:

    Thanks Dave for you comment. Illegal immigration is a whole other topic! I'm actually pretty liberal when it comes to immigration policy but that doesn't mean that I don't understand your point or frustration.

  • In reply to davegorak:

    Nice try, but he said undocumented citizens, not illegal. There's a big difference. Also, if you'd like to come mow my lawn, you're welcome to give me your best price.

    There are lots of jobs out there, with many unfilled positions due to lack of qualified candidates. Do some homework.

    To the point of the column, I like that Rahm has brought strong management and communication skills to the position and will provide sound leadership to the city for many years. It takes tough decision making to balance a budget, and he will find a way to do it while continuing to enhance the city. More and more people are moving to the city from the suburbs, shedding their cars and working downtown. That may drive up prices in the surrounding areas but that's the way it works. The suburbs of Paris and many cities are where the ghettos are, not downtown.

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    Bumsteer,

    Thanks for your comment and input.

    "More and more people are moving to the city from the suburbs, shedding their cars and working downtown."

    I don't think Rahm can take the credit for that. Reverse migration in the Chicago metro area had been happening for the last decade. This trend began, in part, when the CHA Plan for Transformation was launched as there are documented cases where housing vouchers recipients were steered towards the suburbs. Once that happened, many suburbanites fled back into the city. (No judgement...I'm just saying.) However, I wonder if people will continue to move into the city with the increasing rate of violence everywhere. I don't know.

    "That may drive up prices in the surrounding areas but that's the way it works."

    I understand your point. It's basic economics, right? However, that's a very hard pill to swallow when you have worked a job for 30 years, maintained a home, paid off your mortgage, but suddenly can't afford the taxes. Yes, that is a consequence of higher property value but isn't it the role of public policy to create balance in situations such as this through property tax freezes and/or relief?

    "The suburbs of Paris and many cities are where the ghettos are, not downtown."

    Good point. But we saw what happened in those suburbs a few years ago.

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    "Undocumented citizen" is the oxymoron. All citizens have documents proving their citizenship by birth or naturalization. "Undocumented immigrant" is by definition an "illegal immigrant" since federal law requires all immigrants to have documentation.

  • Nice post. Chicago has so many long-deferred problems that it is not fair to blame Rahm completely for not addressing all of them, but I too am severely disenchanted. Most of his public schedule is devoted to building his Roledex, and there is more PR spin to this administration than substance, with everything somehow creating chimerical jobs and ensuring child safety. Yet, our unemployment rate is still way above the national average near 10%, and children are being shot every week. But it has been great to see that the Mayor has been able to squeeze in four (!) family vacations in the first 7 months this year.

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    Skitsketjeff,

    Thanks for your comment. Great point. My intention wasn't to blame the Mayor for all of the city's woes. But we can agree that something seems to be amiss, correct? FOUR VACATIONS!?!? Good Lord! I hope he brought some jobs back with him.

  • Rahm won because of name recognition and his association with Obama. That's it. People like Kay S. voted essentially on grounds of celebrity, which in this culture is not surprising, but is sad and even shameful, when there were more substantial options available.

  • In reply to mason:

    Whoa Mason. Hold your horses. The only celebrity who can make me do anything is Oprah, of course.

    Seriously, I didn't vote for him for his celebrity. I voted for him because of the possibility that he would be different from Daley.

  • I voted for Del Valle and I still think it was the best choice.

  • In reply to Chelle:

    I liked De Valle too. I did have some reservations about his experience but maybe he will run again?

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The people in Illinois keep voting these idiots in, that's why the state is bankrupt.

  • In reply to lrdvdr41:

    What the...YOU ARE RIGHT!

    For decades I thought it was the North American Trade Organization. That's shameful. Thanks for the correction.

  • Ms. Kay S., if I could meet you I would give you a big hug for outing our current mayor , not throwing-up your hands and burying your head in the sand, pointing out the destruction of our once great city at the hands of those who are profiteering from positions of authoriity, and assembling a well thought-out, intelligent, and coherent essay. Many thanks and continue to call them as you see them. Remember, silence is assent, and ignorance is not bliss, it is bondage.

  • In reply to average voter:

    Thanks Average Voter!

    "Remember, silence is assent, and ignorance is not bliss, it is bondage."

    That's an awesome sentence. Can I use it? ;-)

    (Giving you a hug right back.)

  • Our politicians in Chicago want illegals here to keep their lawn mowing costs down. After all workmans comp and social security cost money. Its cheaper to hire illegals. We are being outsourced in our own country. Thanks Rahm

  • In reply to randy:

    Randy,

    Thanks for your comment!

  • Don't blame me. I voted for Kodos.

  • In reply to joefromchicago:

    Who was Kodos? (Googling now...) Thanks for your comment!

  • Hooray, Kay! Not into this mayor. Didn't vote for him. Very unhappy about everything to do with CPS, the damn speed cameras "for the children," and the holy terror of bullets currently raining down on the south side. The most disturbing thing of all is how the City Council rolls over for him like a faithful dog wanting a belly scratch and a dog treat, how he is never oppposed, and how he will probably skate to a second term because--though I know no one who did vote for him (except you, now), and I know many who are disenchanted with him--he seems to be impervious to opposing forces.

  • In reply to Julie:

    Thanks Julie!!! I was going to mention the speed cameras but I didn't know if I could refrain from cursing. LOL! You are 100% correct about the city council. It's SO weird to me. I think he threatens to burn down all of the dog parks in Chicago before every vote.

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    I don't know where you're coming from and I'm not sure where to start. First off, I think NATO stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and is primarily a defense group. If you are thinking of the G-8, that got moved from the city to Camp David.

    The Democratic Machine? Uh, I think he even broke up garbage pickup from ward lines to a grid system. Traditionally, when anything (garbage contracts, police or city hiring) is tied to ward boundaries it adds the possibility for political tampering. Breaking this tie reduces that political/economical opportunity. New York was doing this stuff years ago.

    Developers and the red line station? I don't like gentrification and the rising cost of living in the city anymore than you do, but it is happening everywhere, NYC, San Fran, etc. And even NYC is adding a subway station (I believe a Chinese company is planning it), so while inconvenient, I think you are being a tad over dramatic. Progress may hurt (and suck for a couple months) but you may like the new station.

    Nobody would be overjoyed about putting more stress on an already chaotic school system, but that seems to be happening everywhere too as budgets tighten.

    You talk about the shootings and incentivizing teaching to reduce the problems on the streets. I work at a hub-zone employer (read: inner-city), and you can offer work, but you don't change the mindset, nor make a person with an attitude care about their job. I would imagine those teachers up there are up against something similar.

    And immigration? Huh, I've been laid off, worked manufacturing in a tight economy here in Indiana, and I have yet to see and illegal taking a good paying job of say 30k or more. Sure, they may press down wages in home construction or the service industries, but they tend not to get into white-collar jobs or most factory work. They take jobs in crappy meat processing facilities and construction where the threat of injury is very real. Doesn't make it right, but I'm not sure how many wonderful jobs they are taking from us. How many illegals work in the newsroom with you?

    Rahm is doing an ok job for the circumstances. You can't be too hard on big business because they'll jump ship, could always institute 'stop and frisk', could take a hardline on development, but hey, on the bright side, development may generate jobs and if we attract immigrants, even of dubious origins, we may help get money moving around the municipal economy (though one could argue about the drain on city services). This is a different day and age and he could always be as remote and out of touch as bloomberg. There is still time to see what he can do.

  • In reply to Domingo Garcia:

    Thanks Domingo for your comment.

    1.) I mentioned to another reader that I got the acronym wrong. Thanks for reinforcing that point for me.

    2.) You misunderstood my statement about the Chicago Democratic Machine. I said that I voted for him because he DID NOT seem to be apart of The Machine. I'm not debating that point.

    3.) I'm being over-dramatic about the red line closure? The only reason this statement bothers me is because it's apparent that you don't depend on the red line. I road the red line for four years and believe me, it is the only real source of rapid transportation for a huge subsection of the southside. If you live between Cottage Grove and Western Ave, between 22nd and 95th then you don't have good access to the Metra. Express buses typically add an additional hour+ to your travel time. Tell that to a parent who has to calculate how to get their kid to school AND get to work and you will understand how difficult that is for some residents. Many residents on the northside, westside, and southeast communities don't have this issue because they have access to different rail lines and REAL express buses that take Lake Shore Drive.

    I didn't mention anything about illegal immigration so I am going to assume you are talking to one of the other readers.

    Thank you for your comment!

  • In reply to Kay S:

    Would you really rather have the red line crippled with slow zones for FOUR MORE YEARS than have an excellent bus replacement system for 5 months that is probably just as fast as the terribly disrepaired current red line, which ends up with a brand new south red line that cuts your commute down significantly when done?

    The 4 year option is full of weekend closures and reduced service and MESSES. the 5 month options which they are going forward with fixes the thing right quick, puts it back in service, and gets people from home to work much faster much sooner, and much cheaper! As someone who commutes from downtown to IIT I can't WAIT till they get the thing DONE. And I only have to deal with two stops of crappy tracks, but I'm fed up with it. a commute that should take 14 minutes maybe takes 22! This minimizes the impact to the whole system, and to the southside specifically.

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    Am I to assume you didn't like my comment? I can always repost it...

  • In reply to Domingo Garcia:

    What do you mean?

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    Rahm isn't part of the Democratic machine? Since when?

  • In reply to Jorge Johnson:

    Jorge,

    Thanks for your comment/question. Honestly, I didn't view him as entrenched as Chico and Carol. Remember, it was members of the "Machine" (that sounds so ominous) that supported the b.s. case challenging his residency. I viewed him an an independent Democrat -- perhaps that was my mistake?

  • Anyone who care's about what's happening in this city should read this:
    http://mayoraltutorial.com/articles/rahms_evil_never_sleeps

    Rahm won the mayoral election because he has friends in high places, and played the Obama card. Jeremy Piven's character in Entourage is based off of Rahm's brother, Ari. Don't tell me he didn't have campaign funds flowing in from Hollywood. Also all of his buddies from the financial sector.This election was bought and the 40ish % that came out to vote for him were duped.

    The only people that still support Rahmbo are the 1%er profiteers. E.G.-Charter School opersators and the "astro-turf" school reform groups. No money for CPS teachers or even a way to fund the Full(of sh*t) school day...but millions available to open new charters that perform no better than traditional public schools. JC Buzzard is a puppet...haven't heard peep from him lately...ever since the strike vote was authorized. Basically, a bunch of people with no education background pulling the strings and calling the shots (e.g.- Tim Cawley) .
    McCarthy is another puppet. CPD running thousands of officers short and no intention to hire the proper amount of officers. Yet Ceasefire gets a mil. New crime strategies issued every week because 50+ people are getting clipped a week. Underreported attacks downtown to create the illusion of safety. Yet the CPD has to wear kid gloves and can't do real police work. Damned if they do, damned if they don't. The innocent law-abiding folks that live in these high crime areas can't even report a crime because of the "no snitch" policy and fear of retribution.
    PS- the speed cameras are really not "for the children." It's a money grab. The guy that has a major stake in the company that makes the cameras was also a campaign contributor to Rahm.
    I've become very cynical and jaded since I've lived in this city. Moved here a little over 10 years ago. Additionally, I have little faith in this country. Dems or Repubs they've all been bought by corporations...wee thee peeeeple suffer. Ever seen Idiocracy? That's where we're headed.

  • In reply to corruptionok:

    Corruptionok,

    Thanks for your comment. I understand your frustration and you bring up very valid points. Let's be hopeful that things will improve...without a little hope then we really have nothing.

  • I agree wholeheartedly with your uneasiness with Emanuel. Something about the guy I just can't trust. However, I do disagree with the comment about the CTA line shut-down. Those tracks are reportedly in very bad shape and had to be replaced. There is no choice about that. If the infrastructure crumbles and decays,
    then the villagers will really be up in arms, torches and pitch forks in hand. The only choice was logistical, not political: Shut down for five months and implement service and daily routing alternatives that people could get accustomed to or drag out the pain for two years by closing on weekends when people still use the line and spend millions more. Given the two rotten alternatives, it looks to me like they made the better choice.

  • In reply to nick:

    Nick,

    Thanks for commenting. I see your point about the red line however, I'm still not sure if there weren't better alternatives. As someone who previously rode the red line to get to work, I can only hope that you are right and that the closure won't hinder commute times as severely as I suspect that it will.

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    My wife is from India, I have spent a lot of time there. There is no link with poverty and violence in India. There is a lot of violence in Chicago, I am from Chicago, I left Chicago a while ago. To me, divorce is an act of violence against children, so is abortion. This is the start, we need to end the violence in our hearts, then it will end the shooting on the streets. Remember before the flood, mankind had a heart of violence, the earth was filled with violence. One good promise for Chicago is "holiness and peace will come from Heaven into the hearts of My people". It is all about mercy, put your faith in the Lord, not in who sits in what political chair in City Hall.

    By the way, I forgive all who voted for Daley, etc. If you are looking for mercy, repent for placing faith in any person other than Jesus Himself. You need to get HOLD OF JESUS the way the cross got a hold of Him, to get those sins forgiven.

    Shalom and blessings.

  • In reply to Erik Ronneberg:

    Thank you Erik for sharing your thoughts. Many blessings to you!

  • Its black women like the author that put Rahm over the top.
    During the campaign you had the likes of Melody Hobson, Jennifer Hudson, those black female school principals that made commercials for Rahm on black radio (and see how he repaid them - an "f" you to the teachers by reneging on their raises), Blair Holt's mother, etc. all on the bandwagon of the great white father.
    No black males of any significance were on board with Rahm and now we see no black males, local, of any authority in his administration. Sure a couple of out of towners are at the head of sister agencies, but without any roots in the city, they are just figureheads.
    Some black women have gotten a few crumbs in insignificant departments, but by in large, Rahm has played the black community for chumps - there are more Gays in high positions than blacks, and latinos have gotten being an illegal alien an asset with the new department Rahm made to cater and encourage their illegal, bankrupting presence in our city.
    Hopefully Kay and others will maintain this fire into the election season of 2015.

  • In reply to dmlawyer:

    Dmlawyer,

    I don't know if that's completely accurate. I outed myself as a Rahm voter so I have nothing to hide. But many, many, many Black women that I know did not vote for him.

    However, you make some interesting points about those who hold positions in his administration. (I have to take some time and think about this...)

    Thanks for commenting!

  • Ms. Kay S. Thanks for your reply to my post and feel free to use any or all of it. Hugs and kisses to you too and stay on the case.

  • Hey Jack........ You can Rag o Daley all you want but i am a conservative, YES you heard that right and I also think Daley did a good/Great job with this city until his final year when his wifes death and things starting to catch up with him.

    You look at the city from the early 90`s till just before he left and it`s amazing what he did and most of it good. Museum Camous is wonderful and brings people from all over the world. Millenium Park?? he got ripped all over for the cost overruns etc etc and that place is making money and bringing tourists here like crazy and covered those tracks with a state of the art never before done park. Ravenswood, South loop, west loop what a difference!!!! Where there was ducking every night at 8pm there is now a Jewel food store along with all kinds of others that have come. half million to Million and more Condos/Homes and all the business that followed etc etc etc.......

    I have lived here well over 50 years and went down memory lane the other week. I have Photo albums that go back to the mid to late 60`s! What that man did for this city was amazing. I dont think he did it because of his political affiliation, i think he did it for his love of the place. People love to BI*** but in the end they voted for the man was always voted one of the top 3-5 Mayors in this country. Not easy for me to say but i already miss the man. The "Changes" are already showing!!!!

  • In reply to soxfun:

    Soxfun,

    Thanks for your comment. Yes Daley pimped the pension system, supported kickbacks to developers, and everything else under the sun but I think everything that you wrote explains why people had a great love/hate relationship with him. He gave us parks, tulips, and reason to love the city and I do think that should account for something. Sorry for the schizophrenic comment - I guess I understand where you are coming from as well as why many people loathed him.

    Take Care!

  • I admire your forthrightness. I was a Democrat for 3 years and know how the Party can beat up on those who don't toe the line. Why Blagoyevich is in prison but Jon Corzine isn't is one of those 'insider' Democratic things.

  • In reply to MissV:

    Good point Miss V! Thanks for commenting!

  • This is God's land so I refuse to use the term "illegal". The undocumented residents are not going anywhere, even if we had the manpower to remove them all to their land of origin, so why not create a path to amnesty? especially one that has them contributing to every (city, county, state, and federal) tax base.

  • In reply to Chelle:

    Chelle,

    Let me be clear. I haven't made any comment regarding immigration. I am very sympathetic towards immigrants and for this reason this is one of the few topics on this earth that I stay away from. I understand the frustration on both sides of the debate so until I feel like I have anything insightful to add, I choose to be quiet!

  • Give the Mayor a change, Chicago did not get this way overnight and it is going to take time to fix things. We want everything fast in this country... As for immigration, without it you would never get your lawn mowed or many of things that we Americans will not do anymore.

  • In reply to ChicagoBound:

    Fair point Chicagobound,

    Perhaps I am being a bit too tough on the Mayor. He SHOULD have more time to prove himself. I just don't want an entire term to pass us by before the populous voices its concerns with (some) of the things he has done. He can not improve if he isn't aware that (some) people aren't satisfied, correct?

    Thank you for commenting!

  • What TIF funded residential developments are you referring to?

  • In reply to Marcus:

    Marcus,

    Thank you for your question! When I checked my notes, I saw that the new developments were funded by tax subsidies and not a TIF. (Amending now...)

  • Too many comments above to read so I might repeat other thoughts. If you want your city to grow you have to cater to business. Business is jobs which is lowering of unemployment which is happy people spending money in stores. If teachers can get better jobs and more money in the private sector then why don't they do it. If they truly became teachers to help educate the youth then accept what you get. The mayor has to bring everything together and cut all of this ridiculous spending. I voted for him and I'm happy with what he has done in such a short time. Please quit whining about selling the parking meters or the skyway. I like the parking meter situation now. You can actually find a place to park and for a few dollars. I like the work that police supt. McCarthy is doing. The new breed of aldermen is active and innovative and will help Rahm lead this city into a bright tomorrow.

  • To have buyers remorse I would have had to vote for Rahm in the first place, I obviously did not. Keep in mind that Rahm came from the same cesspool which so many other Chicago Democrats have. Like all before him he is a political hack, he's just better at packaging. The fine people of Chicago have given the key to the city to the Democratic party over the past many decades and now we live in a city in debt it cannot contain, a school system ranked as one of the worst in the nation, runaway rampant crime and shootings and killings. I guess such are the consequences of relying on one political party, giving them absolute power. Rahm is known for sending a dead wrapped fish to a political opponent, for saying one should never let a crisis go to waste. How can anybody be surprised the way things are? The thing which really scares me is that the President of the United States came form the same swamp and regularly sought counsel from Rahm. The future of the city, the state and the nation truly scares me.

  • If I could take the fraud back to the store , I would and happily pay for the restocking charge

  • He's a huge disappointment to me.

    He's a little too quick to pat himself on the back for a job well done as shooters run rampant in certain parts of the city.

    Closing those mental health facilities down was also a sign of his major indifference towards certain parts of the city.

    His handling of the teachers/Chicago schools (which he does not let his own child attend) shows he's not too concerned with the reality of the situation. Yes, he puts on a great show talking about his concern for the school kids but attempting to disregard those responsible for teaching said kids makes no sense whatsoever.

    Then he sat idly by as the CTA planned to (basically) shut down certain parts of the city in 2013.

    I already know that I will not vote democrat if Quinn is the best the party has to offer--unless Emanuel comes down off of that cloud he seems to be residing in, I'll do the same for the mayor's race.

  • In reply to notes1977:

    YES HE DOES SUCK, even taking into consideration that anyone was better than Daly! Yeah Rahm...why don't you give more of our money to "Illegal immigtants" who are already completely leaching our services dry. Services THE REST OF US payed our entire lives to have in case we needed them . Sure, just let us go homeless, jobless, etc, etc. I found it hard to believe how long Daly was able to keep his job, so I just hope people are still fired up enough to start looking for Rahm's replacement!

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    Kay S

    Kay Smith is a Chicago-based freelance writer and blogger who focuses on race, politics and urban culture. Having worked on public policy at the state, regional, city and community level, her opinions have been featured in the Chicago SunTimes and a host of news websites (under very mysterious sounding pseudonyms). Follow her on Twitter @kaywillsmith or contact her at kaywilliamsmith@gmail.com.

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