‘This has been the job of a lifetime, but it’s not a job for a lifetime’ -Mayor Rahm Emanuel

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsIn a stunning announcement, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he won’t run for re-election during a press conference Tuesday afternoon. “On my first day as Mayor of this great city, I promised to make tough choices and face the hard truths we had not confronted, even when it hurts. Every day for the past seven and a half years, that is what I have tried my best to do – to improve our schools, make our community colleges relevant, put our fiscal house on stable footing, confront violence and rebuild trust between police and community, modernize our transportation systems, invest in our neighborhood parks and libraries and grow our economy into an engine of jobs and opportunity for all. I’m not shy, and together we’ve never shied away from a challenge,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Today, the time has come to make another tough choice.  As much as I love this job and will always love this city and its residents, I have decided not to seek re-election. This has been the job of a lifetime, but it is not a job for a lifetime. You hire us to get things done – and pass the torch when we’ve done our best to do what you hired us to do.” In the last eight years, Emanuel has experienced upheaval in the form of the controversial killing of Laquan McDonald, the $30 billion in unmet pension debt owed to city workers, the shuttering of 50 Chicago public schools, as well as the challenge of reducing gun violence. Amid his announcement, several public figures shared their reaction to the news.

“Mayor Emanuel and I had some lively arguments when I first took office as City Clerk. But we respected each other’s work ethic and were united by our mutual love for the City and the people of Chicago. He made tough choices that needed to be made and I admire his conviction and force of will that drove him to see many projects through for the good of Chicago. Knowing that there’s still so much more work to do and so many critical challenges that would require a 100% focus, his decision to not seek re-election means that Mayor Emanuel is putting the City before himself. I admire him for that. As Rahm said, ‘It has been the job of a lifetime, but it is not a job for a lifetime.’ I thank Rahm for his dedicated service to Chicago as its mayor and I hope we find a worthy successor.” -Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza

“One of my first jobs in Chicago politics was working for Mayor Emanuel. I have seen firsthand the passion and dedication he has to all the people of Chicago, regardless of where they come from or what neighborhood they live in. He took a chance on me, a first generation college student, Latina from a working class family, and for that I am incredibly grateful. I admire his commitment to always being a strong champion for all of Chicago’s residents and while I am surprised by his decision to not run for re-election, it paves a way forward for the next generation of Chicago leaders. I wish him and Amy all the best and am looking forward to seeing what challenges he will take on next.” -Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia

“Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on Tuesday morning that he will not be seeking re-election in the 2019 Mayoral race. This is a great victory for the organizations and groups across Chicago who have been fighting for eight years to expose Emanuel’s racism, lies, and tactics which have resulted in increased criminalization and violence against Black and Brown communities in our city, all while he posed as a progressive, pro-immigrant, Mayor of Chicago.” -Organized Communities Against Deportations

“The city is in shock and awe after Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s surprise announcement that he will not seek a third term. While we applaud his contributions to Chicago – pre-K for all, a vibrant and beautiful downtown – perhaps now, with a fresh start, the city’s unmet needs and unfinished business can be addressed. The unfinished business of violence, the closing of 50 public schools, the shuttering of mental health clinics and uneven job and contract distribution. Those who aspire to replace Emanuel must put forward an urban agenda, a policy that is inclusive from the bottom up, to close gaps of inequity and make Chicago one city for all, following in the footsteps of Mayor Harold Washington, emphasizing neighborhoods where the need is greatest.” -Rainbow PUSH Coalition

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

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