Burke Is Real Mayor Of Southwest Side

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Burke Is Real Mayor Of Southwest Side
By RAY HANANIA • Friday, June 22, 2012
Southwest News-Herald Newspaper
Rahm Emanuel may have the title of Chicago mayor but when it comes to the best interests of the Southwest Side, the title belongs to Ed Burke, the Dean of Chicago City Council.

It’s clear Emanuel doesn’t care about the Southwest Side, pumping city funds everywhere else but here.

Burke, however, continues to fight to give our region its share of city funds and grants, blocking Emanuel’s efforts to cut costs at the expense of Southwest Side needs.

Emanuel has done everything he can to undermine Chicago’s diversity, destroying the Human Relations Council to cloak the real goal of eliminating the Advisory Commission on Arab Affairs and all of the city’s Arab celebrations.

The fact that Emanuel served in the Israeli military repairing war vehicles contrasts with Burke, who worked as a Chicago police officer for four years before being elected to alderman in 1968. Emanuel won’t talk about his service because serving in a foreign military while not serving in the American military might normally cause some politicians problems.

But Emanuel is coddled by the local media. He’s been enjoying an extended “honeymoon” gummed to death by the toothless Chicago media. They love him.

When Burke stood up to Emanuel’s efforts to pull the rug out from under him, Emanuel beat the pavement to target Burke’s daughter, an attorney for worked in the Corporation Consul’s office and was later hired by Gov. Pat Quinn.

The suggestion was that somehow just because she was Burke’s daughter, it was wrong. Yet Emanuel has, over the years, helped the family members of all his political pals and still does. The media protects Emanuel and buys into the garbage that anyone from the Southwest Side is not worth their paycheck.

When it comes to safe-guarding Chicago residents, Burke, the author of two books on Chicago, has a track record. Emanuel does not.

Burke backed fellow Southwest Sider Gery Chico against Emanuel in the 2011 mayoral election. Chico was a great candidate but couldn’t raise the money and was inept at bringing the city’s diverse communities together to back his candidacy.

Emanuel saw Burke as a foe early on but was forced to back down at stripping the Southwest Side’s only powerful alderman of his position as Finance Committee chairman. Instead, he made a ruckus about Burke having bodyguards.

Despite the political battle, Burke has maintained his control of the City Council Finance Committee, the city’s most important financial office.

Now Burke is sounding a warning about Emanuel’s policies, including questioning Emanuel’s proposal to reduce punishment for the use of the illegal drug Marijuana.

A former cop, Burke has seen too many police officers endangered by street gang members on drugs.

Emanuel can’t seem to get a handle on the city’s rising street gang problem. Maybe he should let people who know what they are doing step in and take charge.

It’s a disgrace that so many Chicago residents are being killed and Mayor Emanuel can’t do anything about it. The last time his police chief Garry McCarthy was in the heavy spotlight, he was weeping like a baby about the NATO protesters.

Great image. I guess.

The Southwest Side needs to stand up to Emanuel’s failed leadership.

We don’t get enough support for our schools. Transportation service, infra-structure repairs, or capital improvements.

If Burke were not around, Emanuel would have decimated our community.

We can’t let that happen.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter, radio talk show host and president of Urban Strategies Group media consulting. http://www.RadioChicagoland.com.) — City & Suburban News-Herald

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

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