Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Rahm: "Happiest I've Ever Been"

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, more relaxed than usual, is about to check off the one year anniversary mark

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel, more relaxed than usual, is about to check off the one year anniversary mark.

When asked Thursday during a sit-down interview about what's been the highlight of the past year, he quickly rattled off education gains as he noted "test scores have gone up" and a "school system that very much respects our teachers and kids." 

Of course Emanuel makes little mention of the teacher’s union labor unrest and a contract about to expire on June 30.

But Emanuel sees progress in how the city is run; moving to a grid garbage system, rather than the old ward by ward pickup, and streamlining licensing for small business owners.

And he has big infrastructure plans.

Next up: tackling pensions that not just Chicago but all cities pay. His in-person visit to Springfield this week highlighted how important finding a pension solution is as the bills pile up.

When it comes to job satisfaction, you can check Emanuel in the happy column.

"This is the job I’ve wanted," he said. "This is the happiest I’ve ever been in public life."

For someone who has a reputation for raising his voice or pointing a finger in a reporter or fellow lawmaker’s face, that says it all.

As for his political aspirations, Ward Room asked him. But we'll save his answer for another post.

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