Rahm sells Chicago (minus the warts) to visiting journalists

By Ryan Sachetta
Medill News Service

CHICAGO – Mayor Rahm Emanuel presented a glowing picture of the city of Chicago, emphasizing his push for expanding access to education and job gains in a keynote address to the Society of American Business Editors and Writers  Friday evening.

Left on the cutting floor was any mention of the city’s pension crisis, looming teacher negotiations and gang violence exemplified by Spike Lee’s working title for his next film, “Chiraq,” slated to start filming in Chicago’s roughest South Side neighborhoods this summer.

Emanuel focused his speech on Chicago’s Star Scholarship program, which waives community college tuition fees for the city’s high school students who graduate with at least a B average. “The city of Chicago is going to a Pre-K to college model,” he said.

The mayor spoke about O’Hare International Airport’s runway expansion, system-wide improvements to Chicago Transit Authority’s lines and his push to continue attracting businesses to the city.

“As some of you may note, I’m fresh from an election,” Emanuel joked near the conclusion of his 30-minute speech. Emanuel secured his second term against challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, following the city’s first mayoral runoff. Emanuel garnered 56 percent of the vote compared with Chuy’s nearly 44 percent.

Rather than recap Emanuel’s entire speech, here is a collection of tweets from the audience.

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