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Right now you may be thinking that Persepolisgate—the purging of a great graphic novel from CPS libraries and classrooms—is the dumbest thing Mayor Emanuel's administration has ever done.
Hmm . . .
Well, it is an outrageous, poorly conceived, badly implemented, hugely embarrassing power grab by school officials who have been led to believe they are answerable to no one other than themselves.
And their boss, the mayor, of course.
But . . .
In terms of outrages perpetrated by the mayor? I'm not sure the great Persepolis purge—as bad as it is—makes the top ten.
That's how things have been going around here.
Let's see—in no particular order, Mayor Emanuel has . . .
Closed mental health clinics in high-crime neighborhoods whose people are in desperate need of more, not less, therapy to help get through the madness of life.
Slapped homeless shelters, clinics, and outreach programs that service these same low-income neighborhoods with exorbitant water-sewer fees that may put them out of business.
Outsourced decent-paying city jobs to private companies so that instead of directing salaries to west- and south-siders, he's sending that money someplace else. Like Japan.
Taken $29.5 million from the schools, libraries, parks, etc, and given it to some of the world's richest developers to help pay for an upscale skyscraper they're building in River North. In fact, he not only gave these cats the money, but posed with them at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Sort of makes you wonder who runs who.
He signed on to a state tax break for gazillionaires—at a time when the state's cutting aid to our dead-broke schools. Went so far as to call it "tax reform."
Guess we know who runs who.
Pestered President Obama into bringing NATO to town, wasting more money and putting the city on lockdown for that debacle.
Forced schools to take a longer day—whether they wanted it or not—without giving them much in the way of assistance to do anything particularly meaningful with the time. It's just test, test, test and more tests!
Went into firehouses and talked trash to firefighters about how he was going to take away their pensions (he made sure he had his bodyguards with him when he did that).
And then there's the TIF program . . .
You know, I think I'll spare you a recitation on TIFs for today.
On the other hand, he did take a teeny-tiny step toward a saner marijuana policy by having the City Council pass a law that took a teeny-tiny step toward decriminalization.
Of course, he was conveniently out of the country when the bill was introduced. Isn't that something? The man does one halfway sensible thing and it's like he's ashamed of it.
As you probably know, marijuana is a drug consumed by people of every race, creed, and color. For which mainly black people get busted.
A topic I urge all of you to discuss in your social studies classes.
Just don't tell the mayor—or he'll ban your teachers like they were a book.
At this point, you're probably wondering how a city as liberal as Chicago elected a mayor who in so many ways seems like an ideological soul mate of Rush Limbaugh.
Excellent question! I suggest you ask your parents about it. I have a hunch they voted for Mayor Emanuel.
It ought to make for some interesting dinner-table conversation.