Mental Health Activists Spar with Emanuel | NBC Chicago
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Mental Health Activists Spar with Emanuel

"You're gonna respect me!" Chicago mayor allegedly screamed after being confronted about 2012 mental health clinic closures

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    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was confronted Wednesday night by activists upset by the closure of a half-dozen of the city's mental health clinics.

    A message shared on the Mental Health Movement's Facebook page describes how activists met "the Real Rahm. Calm and collected in public, raging angry and self-defensive behind closed doors."

    Emanuel's team says the mayor remained calm and collected and asked the questioners, to whom he listened respectfully, to afford him the same courtesy of respect. 

    The meeting's agenda called for an update on The 606, a project to revitalize an unused elevated rail line, and rooftop construction in the area.

    Mental Health Activists Spar with Emanuel

    [CHI] Mental Health Activists Spar with Emanuel
    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was confronted Wednesday night by activists upset by the closure of a half-dozen of the city's mental health clinics. NBC Chicago's political reporter Mary Ann Ahern has the story. (Published Thursday, March 5, 2015)

    But Mental Health Movement members Debbie Delgado and Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle confronted the mayor about the 2012 clinic closures.

    Delgado stood up and said the closure of a mental health clinic at 2354 N. Milwaukee Avenue made it difficult for her son to receive care and deal with the post-traumatic stress disorder and depression he felt after his sibling was killed in a shooting. She implored Emanuel to tell her why she should "travel an extra hour past three cemeteries to get to the clinic she was supposed to be transferred to."

    That's when Delgado and Ginsberg-Jaeckle say they were escorted to a separate room with Emanuel where they said the mayor lost his cool. The mayor's team denies that claim. 

    "The mayor was eager to get to the substance of the residents' concerns. After respectfully listening to the residents, he asked that they respectfully listen to his point of view. As a result, the meeting ended cordially, and the mayor is working with health officials to address the residents' needs.”  

    The Wednesday evening exchange came on the same day Emanuel was out with a new campaign ad in which he appears contrite and concedes "I can rub people the wrong way."

    Emanuel, seeking a second term as mayor, is in a run-off campaign with Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia after failing to earn a majority vote in the Feb. 24 election.

    Correction: An earlier version of this post indicated it was Delgado's slain son who used the now-shuttered mental care facility on Milwaukee Avenue. It was Delgado's other son who made use of the clinic after the death. NBC Chicago regrets the error.

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