The tragedy of Chicago gun violence and systematic police misconduct is one felt by Chicago citizens every day.
Every decent person in this city wants to find a way to end it and is disgusted watching Donald Trump use our city’s name as a dog whistle to his racist base of voters.
He can thank Rahm, and we can blame Rahm, for that.
And now Rahm has handed Trump another gift.
Rahm’s refusal to bargain a pay raise for the teachers in our public schools has provoked a strike deadline for October 11th.
Less than four weeks before the general election thirty thousand striking teachers in their red shirts, marching down La Salle Street will make every evening news show and hourly on cable.
Trump has no chance of taking Illinois.
But Chicago, run by a Clinton Democrat, has become a Trump racist dog whistle. Chicago is the message Trump whispers behind closed doors and at his pep rallies.
He snuck into Chicago yesterday without announcing his schedule to speak to a pro-Trump gathering of Polish Americans and then ran to the safety of the Chicago suburbs.
It was the first time he stepped foot in this city since we ran him out forcing him to cancel an appearance months ago.
Hillary Democrats can’t govern.
Hillary can’t be pleased. And Senate Democrat Tammy Duckworth, locked in a close race with Mark Kirk and key to a Democratic majority in the Senate, must be pulling her hair out.
The vote to strike on October 11th is not irreversible.
And Rahm has the money to settle it.
I’m betting Hillary wants it settled.
The teachers union presented a clear path for Mayor Rahm Emanuel that could avert a strike: Release more Tax Increment Finance funds to Chicago Public Schools. TIFs are special taxing districts that are used for economic development.
CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey called the TIF fund a “slush fund for the mayor that supports wealthy developers.” The union has argued that some of that money could be used for teacher salaries and also to restore some positions closed due to budget cuts.
Rahm miraculously came up with the money to hire a thousand cops.
Without an across the board salary increase, up to 8,000 veteran teachers, members of the union, will receive no step and lane increase at all and no raise.
The morning news is good for Hillary.
But that all may change October 11th.