Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Emanuel Meets With Chicago Ministers

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Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel and Rev. Chris Harris say the meeting of ministers is the first of what will be many working to "provide solutions for the greater good."

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Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel met with about 25 ministers Wednesday morning to kick off what he says will be the first of many meetings with the faith-based community.

"We are not a divided city" post-election, Emanuel told the group, which included Rev. Father Michael Pfleger, Rev. Willie Barrow and Rev. Chris Harris. But "we have differences."

"We all look forward to working with our new mayor-elect," Harris said.

During a Q&A with reporters after the meeting, Emanuel said the group talked about jobs, economic growth, schools and the possibility of setting up a clergy board dealing with public safety. He said the ministers were pleased with the progress on getting grocery stores in food desserts.

"We had a good discussion about their interests in helping our city," Emanuel said.

When asked if he's trying to buy a council, Emanuel said no, promising transparency. 

"I want a council that will be part of the reform agenda and be a partner in that effort."

He would not comment on former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's request to cancel his retrial, saying "others will evaluate that" and that he instead wants to "focus like a laser on the issues facing Chicagoans."

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