Ward Room
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Emanuel Hosts First Facebook Town Hall

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Emanuel Hosts First Facebook Town Hall
Emanuel Hosts First Facebook Town Hall

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel's first Facebook town hall felt informative ... and choppy.

Connection issues plagued the livestreamed event Thursday afternoon, and video lagged between solid questions asked via Facebook and Twitter by Chicagoans who primarily wanted to know about jobs and Chicago's economic outlook.

Between blips and reconnections, Emanuel touted the new jobs he announced during his first days in office and plugged his mantra about keeping Chicago competitive.

Similar to Monday's telephone forum, the mayor ran down his mayoral achievements thus far, highlighting more cops on city streets and his big meeting with chain grocers about expanding to food deserts, among other things.

Good questions flowed in about gangs, Chicago Public Schools and unions, all filtered by and asked through three hosts.

In answer, Emanuel reiterated his position on crime ("The streets of Chicago should not belong to gangs"), schools (CPS needs help, schools will be graded) and furlough days (not good for worker morale).

He also said Chicago needs a city wide recycling program and said a big announcement is coming about a Chicago River development.

Breaking through some nervous laughter at first, Emanuel seemed candid at times, even chatty, talking about being a music buff and seeing Adele at the Riv. He still wants the Uptown Music District he talked about during his campaign, by the way.

Wrapping up, Emanuel promised to host more virtual forums. We hope his servers are up for it.

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