Published On: Sun, Sep 21st, 2014

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Won’t Name School After President Obama

GTY 486088983 E ACE ENT USA IL


Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has decided not to name a new school after his former boss, President Obama, because of complaints from the African American community that the name would not be fitting, since the school is located in a mainly white, affluent Near North Side neighborhood.

South Side Ald. Carrie Austin, who represents the Roseland neighborhood where President Obama first worked as a community organizer, said, “If they are going to name a school after President Obama, they should put it somewhere else. Either in Roseland, where he got his start, or in Hyde Park, where he lived and has a home. To put it (on the Near North side) doesn’t look right.”

When the Mayor changed his mind about the name of the school, Austin said, “He backed off on the name. To his credit, he heard what we were saying, he listened and took it to heart.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been criticized by his two of his opponents, Ald Robert Fioretti, who is running for mayor, and Chicago Teacher’s Union President Karen Lewis, who is considering running, on his policies concerning schooling, and both argue that the current Mayor is not doing enough to support poorer students. He is also struggling with his African American constituency, with 6 in 10 black voters in Chicago saying they disapprove of his performance and only 1 in 4 saying they approve. Around 48% of black voters say they are not happy with the Mayor’s performance and only 40% saying they are satisfied.

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