The city of Chicago has seen a wave of violence affect the lives of its people in the past year. The problems faced by the city seemed like they wouldn’t end. Also, there were public protests expressing discontent with the way officials were handling the situation. Public opinion was against the mayor and the police.
The problems of Chicago received media attention and the city became part of the national debate. The city’s inefficiency at tackling crime was singled out as symptomatic of the country’s inability to come up with solutions.
Rahm Emanuel’s Speech
The mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel has been facing mounting pressure to solve the problem of Chicago’s crime wave. He has been mayor for the past five years and is now going through his most difficult times in office. All eyes are on him and the stakes are high. So, it is up to him if he can turn things around for the city of Chicago.
This Thursday evening, Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave a speech in front of an assembled audience. The event was invite-only and the anticipation for what the mayor had to say high. Emanuel talked about a new approach and new policies. Everything meant to curtail crime and restore law and order to the city of Chicago.
The city now has a comprehensive plan for fighting back the violence. It consists of more police on the streets, more mentors for young people and more jobs for those living in Chicago.
Emanuel spoke candidly. The speech showcased the list of measures that are going to happen. But it also had moments of emotional recollections by the mayor. He sometimes strayed from the prepared speech to make an emphatic point.
“Gun violence in Chicago is unacceptable”, said Rahm Emanuel. “It is pulling us apart at the very moment when our city needs us to come together”, he continued.
Difficult Times for Chicago
The rate of murders and shooting this year in Chicago has sky-rocketed. It has become a national issue. The city is also facing racial tension. The Department of Justice is investigating the Chicago police force. They are looking into the case of Laquan McDonald. Laquan was an African American teenager who was shot sixteen times by a white police officer. The release of the video tape last year comes after years of mutual distrust between the Chicago police force and the African American community.
Throughout the difficulties and the hardship, Rahm Emanuel has remained steadfast. Months ago, the protests led to calls for his resignation. That seems to longer be the case. So, the mayor is holding on to his job.
But the relationship between Rahm Emanuel and the African American community remains frayed. The past year has clearly put a strain on the mayor’s image. A poll conducted in the spring gave him terrible ratings. 62 percent of Chicago residents disapproved of the mayor’s job performance. Two thirds were unhappy with the way he handled the police. When looking at the numbers solely from African American residents, they looked even worse. So the mayor is eager to patch up relations with the black community.
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