For the past month in Chicago's media, it's been all Rahm, all the time. But this week, cracks began to appear in the wall protecting Emanuel. New, critical voices are coming through, making his cakewalk into the mayor's office a little more slippery. It's becoming obvious that not everyone, even in the city's business and political hierarchy is happy about the prospects of Emanuel taking over so easily.
Case in point--check out Greg Hinz' latest column in Crain's Chicago Business ("Miguel del Valle echoes Harold Washington in long-shot mayor's bid"). Hinz, probably more than any other journalist, has his finger on the pulse of the city's business community and del Valle is arguably the most progressive candidate in the mayoral field — similar, as Hinz points out to the late great Mayor Harold Washington, who also ran on a platform of economic justice and institutional change.
Del Valle is gaining credibility, in part because he brings an added dimension in that his candidacy is reflective of the great demographic shift with Latino's about to become the city's largest ethnic group. Immigration reform could prove to be a critical issue with del Valle coming out strong at yesterday's press conference. He landed a solid blow with his criticism of Emanuel's "lack of courage" on the issue.
But education remains key to this campaign because, for the past 15 years, the mayor has ruled the schools, appointed all board members and hand-picked the CEO. The current chaos and flat-lining of CPS's pulse can be directly attributed to Mayor Daley's autocratic rule and the failure of his corporate-style, top-down, reform named Renaissance 2010. Emanuel promises more of the same. Del Valle--not.
More from Hinz:
He [del Valle] was one of the fathers of the local school council model that largely was dumped during the Richard M. Daley years, and he'd clearly like to go back to some sort of system that spreads the wealth. "It's time to focus on the low-performing schools," he says. "We don't need a dual-track system."