Tag Archives: Rahm Emanuel

Emanuel Budget Plan: 911 Tax Hike, Higher Uber Fees, Amusement Tax Redo

CHICAGO (CBS) — Attending a concert and hailing an Uber or Lyft would cost you more in Chicago next year under the budget plan Mayor Rahm Emanuel was set to formally present to the City Council on Wednesday. The mayor has been dropping hints about his 2018 budget proposal for weeks; including an increase in fees on ride hailing services, rewriting the city’s amusement tax, and raising the city’s monthly 911 phone tax. Emanuel was scheduled to present his budget address at a special City Council meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The plan to eliminate a $288 million budget shortfall includes boosting the city’s 911 tax from $3.90 to $5 per month, producing about $30 million in new revenue. The money would have to go to upgrades to the city’s 911 system, but would free up $19 million in money from other revenue sources that could now go to other city expenses. The mayor also has proposed an additional 15 cent fee on trips arranged with ride-hailing apps like Lyft and Uber, to provide about $16 million in extra revenue for the CTA in 2018. Finally, Emanuel is seeking to overhaul the city’s amusement tax. A 5 percent tax currently is applied to live cultural performances at venues with more than 750 seats. The mayor’s proposal would exempt venues with seats for 1,500 people or fewer. Meantime, the rate would go up from 5 percent to 9 percent for tickets to cultural events at larger venues – the same tax rate applied to sporting events. The changes to the amusement tax should create about $16 million in new revenue, according to budget documents. “After the property tax increase, we’re seeing less nickel and diming because so much of the revenue of the city needed to fund pensions are coming in thru the property tax hikes,” said Bobby Otter, budget director for the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, a financial think tank. Emanuel also plans to declare a $167 million surplus in tax increment finance district funds. The mayor’s office said his budget is an investment in public safety, which will help fulfill his pledge to hire 1,000 new police officers by the end of next year. The budget plan includes $27 million on Chicago Police Department reforms for enhanced training and community policing, $5 million on new hiring, and $100 million on police overtime – up $20 million from this year. After Emanuel presents his budget address, the City Council Budget Committee will hold a series of hearings with the city’s department heads before making any changes ahead of a final vote in late November.

Woodlawn Manufacturing Facility Training Workers In Robotics

CHICAGO (CBS) — Thursday was the grand opening of a high-tech job training and manufacturing facility in the Woodlawn neighborhood. Dr. Byron Brazier, chairman and CEO of the Arthur Brazier Foundation, and a pastor, is behind BSD Industries, or Building Self Determination. He called the manufacturing company a social enterprise. “A robotics training program with an attached manufacturing facility,” he said. Funded with a combination of public and private investment, BSD will manufacture plastic cutlery, with profits benefitting the community.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel toured the factory floor. “This used to be a shoe factory. It’s being reimagined, reinvented to be a place of digital advanced manufacturing; not only making money, but training – every 20 weeks – 20 more workers,” he said. The workers will include public housing residents, who will earn college credit on the job.

Emanuel Donates Weinstein Campaign Contributions To Charity

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel has donated more than $10,000 in campaign contributions he received from disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein to charity. Weinstein made a total of $10,900 in contributions to Emanuel’s mayoral campaign fund in 2013 and 2016. The mayor said he donated $10,900 on Monday to Chicago-based non-profit Working on Womanhood, which provides counseling and mentoring to at-risk young women. “I gave money to WOW, which is Working on Womanhood. It’s the sister organization to BAM, Becoming A Man, and it helps young women develop a great sense of who they are, and their identity, and their own sense of what I would say self respect,” he said.
Emanuel said he feels donating the money to WOW is a statement about the growing number of sexual assault and sexual harassment allegations against Weinstein. “Total rejection of the actions of Harvey Weinstein,” he said. Last week, the New York Times published a story exposing multiple sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations against Weinstein. He was fired by the Weinstein Co. on Sunday as more allegations have since come to light.

As Chicago Prepares For 40th Marathon, Security Remains Top Of Mind

CHICAGO (CBS) — With the Bank of America Chicago Marathon less than 48 hours away, runners’ and organizers’ minds were focused on security Friday morning, in the wake of the shooting massacre in Las Vegas. Chicago police have said they’re amping up the number of undercover officers who will be deployed along the marathon route, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said the city is “prepared for any eventuality” on Sunday. “We trained for any possible circumstances in this type of event so everybody can enjoy a great marathon,” Emanuel said earlier this week. The mayor said the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications is double- and triple-checking security plans. Race director Carey Pinkowski said he’s confident officials are prepared to respond to any potential problems. “There’s a great relationship between the event producers and the Chicago police and the federal agencies,” he said. “So we share best practices. We interact with the Chicago Bears, we interact with the Lollapalooza producers, and that sharing of best practices, we get a little bit better.” Approximately 45,000 people will run the 26.2-mile race through 29 neighborhoods Sunday. About 20,000 runners are from Illinois; the rest represent all 50 states and 100 nations. This year is the 40th Chicago Marathon, so organizers celebrated by honoring a group of men who have run all 39 previous races and are hoping to finish their 40th. “The first one, it was just the challenge of it, plus it was the first one and I wanted to be able to say someday that I ran the first Chicago Marathon,” runner Larry Moon said. “I didn’t know I’d keep saying it every year.” The marathon’s Abbott Health & Fitness Expo on Friday drew more than 130,000 people looking to check out the latest in running shoes, apparel, nutrition and technology. Runners also showed up to pick up their race bibs.

Emanuel: Chicago ‘Prepared For Any Eventuality’ At Marathon

CHICAGO (CBS) — In light of the Las Vegas massacre, authorities in Chicago have been focusing on security for Sunday’s marathon, and how to make sure runners and fans stay safe. Approximately 44,000 runners will take part in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and another million spectators will cheer them on along the race course. With the marathon drawing so many people to one general area, safety and security is top of mind in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The white tents have been set up in Grant Park, and marathons have been setting up barricades in preparation for Sunday’s race, but the preparation goes beyond just the appearance of the event.
City officials have been making sure plans are in place, in light of the mass shooting. Many high-rises surround Grant Park and line the race course; in some sense, resembling the outdoor music festival in Las Vegas, where a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of a nearby hotel. On Tuesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel met with officials from the Office of Emergency Management and Communications to discuss their emergency plans, and to decide if changes need to be made.
Officials went over potential emergency events and existing response plans. Chicago increased security for its marathon following the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. “Basically, we’re prepared for any eventuality in this effort, and we trained for any possible circumstances in this type of event so everybody can enjoy a great marathon,” Emanuel said. One runner said this year is his fifth marathon, and he’s even more determined to run this weekend. “With Boston, it was on our minds, and with yesterday it’s on our minds. Our feeling is that if we don’t run it, we sort of capitulate to the people who want to instill terror, whatever their intent, or if they have no agenda,” Craig McCrohon said. “We want to combat that, and show that we’re alive, and we’re with the people who endured that suffering, and I think that’s very important that we continue with that.” Two other events in Chicago will also draw big crowds next week: the Cubs’ playoff game against the Nationals at Wrigley Field on Monday, and the Bears’ Monday night game against the Vikings at Soldier Field.

Chicago Announces Massive Committee To Lure Amazon

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Emanuel administration has taken the wraps off a 600-member coalition designed to lure Amazon’s second headquarters – and a promised 50,000 jobs – against nationwide competition. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and sometimes nemesis Gov. Bruce Rauner are honorary co-chairs of a committee that almost literally includes everybody – every state legislative leader, the government heads in Cook and all six collar counties, executives of every major Chicago corporation and many minor corporations, and civic and religious leaders. Among the biggest names on the committee are United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz, loop Capital CEO Jim Reynolds, Abbott Laboratories CEO Miles White, former U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, former Mayor Richard M. Daley, former White House chief of staff Bill Daley, McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook, Citadel founder Ken Griffin, GrubHub co-founder Matt Maloney, and Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg. The mayor wasn’t shy about touting Chicago as the right place at the right time for Amazon’s second headquarters, during a summer jobs breakfast on Wednesday. “Amazon, if you’re listening, we’re number one,” he said. “Not only did our graduation rate lead the country every year for the last five years, Chicago is the number one city in the United States for corporate relocation every year for the last five years.”
Chicago will be proposing at least four sites in its effort to woo Amazon, including the Thompson Center, the old Michael Reese Hospital site, the now-vacant Finkl Steel plant, and a plot south of Roosevelt Road along the Chicago River. Developers have until the end of the day on Wednesday to submit other proposals. Amazon has said its new facility would include at least a $5 billion construction investment, 8 million square feet of office space, and 50,000 jobs with an average salary of more than $100,000 a year. According to Business Insider, Emanuel already has spoken to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos about why he believes Chicago should be the company’s choice for its new facility. On Wednesday, Emanuel again hit on why he believes the Second City is first when it comes to business. “What city has more universities than any other city in the United States but Boston? Chicago. What has the best-connected aviation system in the United States, and maybe in the world? Chicago. What has the number one public transportation system? Chicago,” he said. Chicago is not alone trying to lure Amazon’s second headquarters to Illinois. Orland Park and Tinley Park also have announced they’re making bids.

Emanuel Calls Trump’s NFL Comments ‘Cynical Ploy’ To Distract From Failures

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel accused President Donald Trump of trying to divide the nation in criticizing NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem, calling the president’s comments a “cynical ploy to distract people” from his administration’s failures. The mayor said presidents are supposed to bring the nation together, but he said Trump’s provocative statements and Tweets about the kneeling protests sought to divide Americans. “There’s a part of me that also thinks it was a cynical ploy to distract people from what was happening on health care, what was not happening in Puerto Rico, and what they were attempting to do on health care but also on North Korea,” the mayor said. Emanuel said the country’s ideals encourage those who dissent to speak up, and that takes nothing away from their patriotism. He also pointed out an irony in Gov. Bruce Rauner making public statements in support of the president’s feelings about athletes kneeling for the national anthem, but staying quiet on other issues. “He hasn’t told you where he’s going to be on an abortion bill as governor, but he told you where he was going to be on it as a candidate. He hasn’t taken a position on the Republican health care plan that would leave thousands upon hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans with less health care, if not any. But he has taken a position on what Donald Trump said over the weekend,” Emanuel said.

Chicago To Host International Tennis Tournament In 2018

CHICAGO (CBS) — The United Center will swap out the Hawks and Bulls logos next year in exchange for a tennis court. The second edition of the Laver Cup will be held at the West Side arena in September 2018, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Sunday. The inaugural tennis tournament, which pits Europe against the World, concludes Sunday in Prague. “The Laver Cup will draw tennis fans from throughout the world to Chicago for a competition like no other,” Emanuel said in a statement. “But this competition will do more than bring world-class tennis back to Chicago – it will inspire the next generation of tennis champions in neighborhoods across the city and beyond.” The Laver Cup is a three-day event pitting six players from Europe against six rivals from the rest of the world. The tournament will be the first major tennis event in Chicago in more than 25 years. (Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2017. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Mayor: “All Hands On Deck” To Woo 2nd Amazon HQ To Chicago Area

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city’s bid to convince Amazon to build its second headquarters in Chicago will be an “all hands on deck” endeavor. Although the mayor and Gov. Bruce Rauner have been at odds about most issues lately, Emanuel said city and state officials will be working hard to entice Amazon to open its second headquarters in the Chicago area. Amazon expects to hire as many as 50,000 people full-time to work at the new facility over the course of several years, with an average annual compensation of $100,000 per employee. “This is of a scale that’s different. Therefore it’s going to be Chicago, county, and state with one voice; and all the resources, all hands on deck, and all the creativity to that effort, and everybody’s going to be pulling in the same direction. That’s the one thing I want to be clear about,” Emanuel said. Amazon has outlined its requirements for the complex, which it said will cost as much as $5 billion to build. Among the requirements, according to the company’s request for proposals: • A metropolitan area with more than one million people;
• a stable and business-friendly environment;
• proximity to major highways, mass transit and international airports;
• and space for up to eight million square feet for its office complex. Amazon plans to have the first phase completed in 2019, with additional space added through 2027. The mayor said Chicago has everything Amazon wants for its second headquarters, including several possible sites. “I don’t want to pick favorites about sites. That’s for them to pick. We have a multitude of sites, based on the perspective of what they want when they say Amazon in 2030,” he said. “I know, and I don’t want to speak for either the county or the state, but I can say from their staff levels, that we’re going to make sure that we have a unified public-private proposal.” Chicago-based developer Sterling Bay has said it plans to pursue the second Amazon headquarters at a massive mixed-use project it has proposed for up to 100 acres of land it has acquired along the Chicago River on the North Side, including the old Finkl steel plant. Other sites mentioned as possible homes for Amazon’s complex include the long-vacant Old Main Post Office spanning the east end of the Eisenhower Expressway, the old Michael Reese Hospital campus, and a 62-acre mixed-use development planned for a vacant stretch of the South Loop along the Chicago River.

Garry McCarthy For Mayor? Exploratory Committee Formed For Ex-Top Cop

CHICAGO (CBS) — Could Chicago’s former top cop be Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s first challenger for re-election? According to the Illinois State Board of Elections, the “Garry McCarthy For Mayor” exploratory committee filed its official statement of organization on Wednesday. The committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment about McCarthy’s plans. Forming an exploratory committee is just the first possible step in a run for mayor, and a long way from actual candidacy. The move allows a potential candidate to raise money for a campaign, though McCarthy would still have to collect the signatures of 12,500 voters on nominating petitions to get on the ballot. He couldn’t start circulating petitions until about six months before the 2019 election. So far, the McCarthy exploratory committee appears to be the only one established for the 2019 mayor’s race in Chicago.
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Emanuel fired McCarthy as the city’s top cop in December 2015, a week after Police Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with murder in the October 2014 shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Hours after Van Dyke was charged, the city released police dashboard camera video of Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times. The high-profile shooting death of a black teenager by a white police officer sparked several days of protests across the city. Van Dyke is still awaiting trial. Three months after he was fired, McCarthy said he had “nothing to do” with the McDonald scandal. “They say, ‘Man, you got screwed, but somebody had to take the hit,’” McCarthy said. “I said, ‘You’re right’ and the person who is going to take the hit is going to be the person who committed the act and at the end of the day, police legitimacy in Chicago took an enormous hit and people are dying at record numbers right now as a result.” After he was fired, McCarthy and his wife started a private security firm. McCarthy also has criticized the U.S. Justice Department’s investigation of the Chicago Police Department. The scathing report took the CPD to task for systemic violations of civil rights, finding officers regularly have used excessive force and discriminated against minorities. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said, during the investigation, the feds reached out to McCarthy for his input, but he was “not available.” McCarthy called that “nonsense.” “They must be really great investigators if they can’t find the former superintendent of police who lives right here in River North,” he said. McCarthy said it’s odd that his perspective wasn’t included in the report. In fact, he says, he probably should have been the first person interviewed. Weeks before the McDonald video was released, Emanuel said he was planning to run for a third term, but his approval ratings among African-Americans plummeted in the wake of the resulting scandal. In recent months, he has become more vocal about his support for immigrants’ rights, in an apparent bid to shore up support among Hispanic voters. Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who lost to Emanuel in a runoff election in 2015, also reportedly has been mulling another run for mayor, but has yet to announce any plans.