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Emanuel Is Reading His Own Press Releases
By RAY HANANIA — Turns out Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is not that much different from his predecessors. He’s just another politician with a powerful office and title.
This week, for example, he released his own report card on how great he has been during his first 100 days.
I remember once in grammar school trying to fake up a report card to bring home to my mom and dad to replace the real one Mrs. Drew gave me in fourth grade. My grades hadn’t changed that much from the prior report card and my highest one was only a C.
I really wanted to bring home a report card with an “A” but I figured that would be too much to try to pass off on my parents. So I gave myself a lot of B’s, which is exactly what Mayor Emanuel did.
He gave himself a lot of B’s, explaining to his entourage of loving and admiring City Hall reporters that his grades are “not perfection” but rather a “down payment” on the change that the public expects.
Sorry, Mayor. Spin it anyway you want. Chicago is in a shambles. People are afraid to go downtown. Even if they could get over their fears, it costs too much to go anywhere, not including the arm and the leg you have to pay to park.
The schools, which open soon, are a historical mess. Instead of holding the bureaucracy responsible, the blame is heaped on the helpless principals and teachers.
Crime is still high. People are out of work. The economy when it’s good can make even the worst situations acceptable. But when the economy is in the tank — and the economy is way past empty running on the memories of money — everything is 10 times worse.
The truth is, Mayor Emanuel, 100 days in to your term of office and you haven’t accomplished much at all, except for a few paper moon announcements. So you cut $75 million from the city’s budget. Only a few years ago Daley had to raise property taxes $500 million just to cover the basics.
You do get good grades for transparency. I’ll give you that. Posting the salaries of every employee on the Internet is a good thing. But that’s not enough. You haven’t even started to make the neighborhoods safe, as you promised. Chicago’s finances are not solid. You know students will get shot near our schools, or while sitting in their front rooms.
You know what I would like for a change? I’d like to have a mayor who gets up to the microphone and admits that he hasn’t succeeded. I’ve had enough of that “Barack Obama Sweet Talk” that promises everything is going to be OK if we all just hold hands and sing kumbayah!
I’d like a mayor who has the real courage to admit the city is a wreck, that taxes are out of control and services are in the emergency room.
Chicago needs a mayor who’s willing to throw his political future out the window and tell us what we need to hear, not what we want to hear.
It’s been 100 days, Mayor Emanuel. How about giving us the one thing no Chicago mayor has ever given us before on their first 100 days. A little honesty.
(Southwest News-Herald Newspaper, Lawndale News Newspaper. Ray Hanania Syndication. www.TheMediaOasis.com)
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Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.
Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.
Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com