1 month, 1 week ago chicagotribune.com
Also says IL shouldn't have raised taxes without tackling pension problem
Before a like-minded crowd of progressive Democrats, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday claimed a variety of accomplishments in Chicago, citing longer school days, the rebuilt south end of the Red Line and his efforts to improve community colleges, parks and youth programs.
The Democratic mayor from Chicago spoke at a conference hosted by a progressive think tank, the Center for American Progress. He said being mayor was the best job he’d ever had “because while there’s a lot of tough issues, you can actually move the needle significantly.”
He also said it’s “very, very hard” being mayor because “you are living it 24/7. … You live both the highs and lows intensely.”
Emanuel, President Barack Obama’s first chief of staff, former congressman and veteran of the Clinton White House, responded to a friendly line of questioning from John Podesta, a Chicago native, former Clinton chief of staff and founder and chair of the think tank.
The mayor, asked about the city’s pension crisis, said the state erred in 2012 in raising individual and corporate income taxes without tackling runaway pensions. He said it was difficult for the city to solve its problems when the state hadn’t created a road map.
He also said he was “confident” that in the next two or three weeks the state legislature would act on pension reform, which he said was needed to avoid “horrific choices” such as deciding whether to pay for a pension or for a police officer or school principal.