Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Emanuel's First Month as Mayor

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The mayor ticked off a number of his accomplishments from his first 30 days in office at a Chamber of commerce meeting.

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Rahm Emanuel arguably has seen his share of ups and downs during his first month as Chicago's mayor.

In the first 30 days, Emanuel announced the addition of 2,700 new jobs (which he hasn't been shy about touting), hosted the first conference in the nation on food deserts and kept his campaign promise to put more cops on the street.

He started the month strong, with the Senate passing the Illinois DREAM Act days after Emanuel made a point of supporting the legislation in his inauguaration speech. From there, per his pre-office strategy, Chicago Public Schools and economic strength remained at the forefront. So did transparency, as evidenced by the first-ever posting of city workers' salaries online.

The new mayor doesn't like to lose, and that's proving beneficial for Chicago in the wake of former Mayor Richard Daley's drive to bring the Windy City international attention.

Days after he was inaugurated, Emanuel asked for a casino within Chicago limits to keep city cash from flowing out of state. "We have a casino in Chicago," Emanuel said in May. "It just happens to be in Hammond, Indiana. And we're losing that revenue."

That fight isn't won yet, but Emanuel's not sitting around. Before the Senate approved the bill, he wasted no time in lobbying senators on the phone.

The first 30 days haven't been without roadblocks. Emanuel's new CPS board on Wednesday unanimously rejected a 4 percent annual pay raise in teachers' contracts in order to deal with a $712 million deficit. It was the board's first showdown with teachers, and it may end in a strike.

He felt pressure on the streets too. In the past couple of weeks, several "mob attacks" involving groups of teens attacking and robbing individuals were reported in Streeterville and along the lakefront. The most recent robbery happened Tuesday evening near Ogilvie Transportation Center, where seven teens and adults mugged a 15 year old at gunpoint.

In the middle of it all, Emanuel was even summoned to Rod Blagojevich's retrial.

All in all, though, Emanuel has pretty much kept old f-bomb-dropping ways from creeping into his new image. And thankfully, he's once again answering reporters' questions.

For the first 30 days, that's not too bad.

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