CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Emanuel front and center at U of C forum, CNN series
By Bill Ruthhart
Mayor Rahm Emanuel had a highly visible evening Thursday, first talking big city politics with three other mayors and then appearing in living rooms across the country as the face of a new CNN documentary about Chicago.
At a University of Chicago forum, the mayors agreed that America’s largest cities are where leaders are facing difficult financial challenges and producing tangible accomplishments — a contrast to the ongoing gridlock of a divided and dysfunctional Congress in Washington.
“This is a unique moment in American history. Cities are in their renaissance … I would have loved to be mayor in the late 1990s when cash was everywhere, man,” said Emanuel, a former congressman and White House chief of staff. “Washington is AWOL. Totally AWOL. So, we are cast on our own at a moment in time where you have to boost the economy.”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said they face the challenges of crumbling infrastructure, government worker pension debt, crime and a need to improve education.