In Chicago’s mayoral race, Jesus Chuy Garcia is nipping at incumbent Rahm Emanuel’s heels, with generous donations and important endorsements, according to the Chicagoist. Chicago’s MoveOn coalition is behind Garcia, who plans to form a broad, progressive coalition and has been critical of Emanuel’s policies while in office. Garcia has received endorsements from Cook County Clerk David Orr and Chicago Teacher’s Union President Karen Lewis. Labor unions are also pro-Garcia and anti-Emanuel. With mayoral campaign limits lifted, the sky is the limit. Candidate William Kelly already donated $100, 000 to his own aborted campaign, and in spite of Hollywood backing for Emanuel, courtesy of his brother who runs a major Los Angeles high profile talent agency, Garcia has raised more money than Emanuel, thanks to labor unions.
Dissatisfaction with Emanuel is growing in several quarters. One issue is his absolute desperation to have the Obama Presidential Library in Chicago. He is willing to sacrifice parkland to sweeten the bid. According to DNAInfo, Emanuel said, “I think having the president’s library in the city of Chicago…is a tremendous opportunity educationally, culturally and economically.” Friends of Parks have opposed using park land for the library, but supporters of the library have supported the idea if it is the last resort. The University of Chicago proposed including swaths of Washington Park or Jackson Park for the library.
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Another issue is that Emanuel is claiming he has no time to take a deposition over a claim by 11 police officers, dismissed when he took office in 2011, that they were let go to make room for African American officers who were less qualified, because Emanuel was determined to have a diverse police force. The dismissed officers, who are white and hispanic, feel that their dismissal was unfair and was no reflection on their performance.