Miguel del Valle says he declined an invitation from Rahm Emanuel to co-chair the mayor-elect’s transition team. Del Valle told me in a phone interview that he turned the position down because—after his term as City Clerk is over on May 15th—he will work on other projects “organizing around progressive issues in the neighborhoods.”…">
Carol Felsenthal
On politics

Miguel del Valle Says No to Rahm Emanuel

Mayoral candidate Miguel del Valle says he declined an invitation from Rahm Emanuel to co-chair the mayor-elect’s transition team. Del Valle told me in a phone interview that he turned the position down because—after his term as City Clerk is over on May 15th—he will work on other projects “organizing around progressive issues in the neighborhoods.”…

Miguel del Valle

Mayoral candidate Miguel del Valle says he declined an invitation from Rahm Emanuel to co-chair the mayor-elect’s transition team. Del Valle told me in a phone interview that he turned the position down because—after his term as City Clerk is over on May 15th—he will work on other projects “organizing around progressive issues in the neighborhoods.”

Yesterday, Emanuel announced his transition team, which will be co-chaired by a group of community, business, and religious leaders from the city. (An e-mail to Rahm’s communications director asking for a comment was not returned by post time.)

Although he finished third (slightly ahead of Carol Moseley Braun) and raised only $250,000, del Valle’s message—that Chicago cannot be a world-class city until it has “world-class neighborhoods”—resonated, especially with his cadre of young activists.

In a wide-ranging conversation Friday afternoon, del Valle complained about the Chicago Tribune’s coverage of the campaign, expressed his regret that there weren’t more debates, and wouldn’t rule out another run for mayor. Here, some highlights:

CF: Have you talked to Rahm Emanuel since the election?
MdV:
I had one brief conversation with him. He called me on Wednesday, and he asked me if I would consider being a co-chair of his transition team. I replied no because I’ll be working on a number of things.

CF: What exactly are you working on?
MdV:
I’m going to be organizing around progressive issues in the neighborhoods. I’m going to continue to develop a progressive agenda for the neighborhoods that have been neglected…. I’m going to bring together folks who were in our campaign.

CF: Can you give me the names of some of these people?
MdV:
They’re neighborhood folks, lots of them are very young—they’re young organizers.

CF: Could you see yourself running for mayor again four years from now?
MdV:
I see myself running for another elected office. [Mayor] is a possibility.

CF: Any regrets about this campaign?
MdV:
I wish we would have had more televised debates. We didn’t have money to do TV spots. We relied on debates to get our word out. I was never asked by any group how many I thought there should be. I don’t know this for a fact, but it seems like Rahm’s camp pretty much dictated how many televised debates there’d be. I would have agreed on as many as we could get. Rahm took his message into people’s living rooms many, many times a day for extended periods of time. That meant he didn’t have to go forums; that’s where the Rose Garden strategy comes in. He didn’t go to forums to avoid getting tripped up.

CF: Had Carol Moseley Braun done better, would there have been a runoff?
MdV:
Absolutely, that was the key. I had hoped for a runoff, and I thought there would be a runoff in part because I thought Carol would do much better than the polls were indicating.

CF: Was the media fair?
MdV:
The electronic media was very fair. I do think the Tribune was very unfair; the Tribune was really biased.  We complained time and again about the lack of adequate coverage.

CF: Are you saying that the Tribune was advocating for Rahm?
MdV:
Yes, totally.

CF: During the campaign, how much time did you spend raising money?
MdV:
Initially five, six, seven hours a day, but it was soon clear that Rahm Emanuel was going to run, so people I was calling who were on these lists of donors to the Democratic Party pretty much were already locked in.

CF: Did the residency challenge help Rahm?
MdV:
Definitely. We were called early on and asked if we would contribute to the legal fund for that and we said no right away. I said from the beginning that it was a distraction, ultimately he’d be on the ballot, and that it would work in his favor. [It was] a lot of lost time, used up by the media to talk about whether he had boxes in a crawl space—time that should have been used to deal with issues.

CF: Will you be taking a vacation?
MdV:
I came to work the very next day [after the election]. I have just about run out of vacation days. I have three days left, so no vacation.

CF: Would you take a job in private industry?
MdV:
No, any job I take would be not for profit or academia. A few years ago,  I taught a course at Roosevelt on public policy, on Saturday mornings, 8 a.m., for 16 weeks. It’s something I would enjoy doing.

 

Photograph: Chicago Tribune

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3 years ago
Posted by wilsonabc

Sigh. I defy him to show the call sheets that say he spent a single 6-hour day fundraising. I know it was possible to raise money for this campaign because I MYSELF raised some money for him, and then felt betrayed to see the January filings and realize that the campaign simply hadn't been serious about it, or didn't know how to do it. There were about 40 names in his filing. If they didn't know how to track down more than 40 people who'd give them enough to require listing on the filing, they shouldn't be running for mayor. This is not a rich man/poor man thing. I'm not wealthy, nor are my friends.

He ran against the most uninspiring mayoral field in decades, and lost miserably. He didn't win a single ward, not even in his old Senate District. I voted for him, helped out, and I like him, but he's kidding himself if he's thinking about running again. He needs to step aside and let someone younger step up. It was a bad mistake, and actually insulting to his supporters (at least to this one), to reject a spot helping to shape the new administration by serving on the transition team. He could accept an appointment from Daley, when everyone knew exactly who Daley was, and nothing about Daley was going to change? But he couldn't accept a spot from Rahm at a moment when Rahm is at an important turning point, and Miguel could have helped point him in some good directions? That's ridiculous. Even more so if he did this with the idea of trying again in 4 years.

3 years ago
Posted by SUPPORTER

You are clearly a moron and sound ABSOLUTELY ridiculous and I'm sure have NO CLUE about A. What it takes to run for mayor and B. Having HUGE supporters backing Rahm up Like Obama and Clinton..Let's not forget about the MILLIONS of dollars he was raising outside of the state and the millions of dollars Rahm was collecting (which I'm sure later he will re-pay back in favors). You really don't think that those people who gave Rahm all that money didn't expect a favor back, did you???hahahah get it together Wilson ABC and do not be so naive...Rahm was preordained and no one else had a fighting chance against that machine..And another thing, why would DelValle want to support Rahm which is totally the opposite of everything DelValle has fought for with a good sense of mortality and integrity, I don't blame DelValle and would have turned Rahm down too...All Rahm wanted to do was piggy back off of the other candidates ideas since he's been out of the loop for so long and take all the credibility...GET A CLUE!!!You should be ashamed of yourself and defiantly a coward for posting this!!!

3 years ago
Posted by SUPPORTER

You are clearly a moron and sound ABSOLUTELY ridiculous and I'm sure have NO CLUE about A. What it takes to run for mayor and B. Having HUGE supporters backing Rahm up Like Obama and Clinton..Let's not forget about the MILLIONS of dollars he was raising outside of the state and the millions of dollars Rahm was collecting (which I'm sure later he will re-pay back in favors). You really don't think that those people who gave Rahm all that money didn't expect a favor back, did you???hahahah get it together Wilson ABC and do not be so naive...Rahm was preordained and no one else had a fighting chance against that machine..And another thing, why would DelValle want to support Rahm which is totally the opposite of everything DelValle has fought for with a good sense of mortality and integrity, I don't blame DelValle and would have turned Rahm down too...All Rahm wanted to do was piggy back off of the other candidates ideas since he's been out of the loop for so long and take all the credibility...GET A CLUE!!!You should be ashamed of yourself and defiantly a coward for posting this!!!

3 years ago
Posted by SUPPORTER

You are clearly a moron and sound ABSOLUTELY ridiculous and I'm sure have NO CLUE about A. What it takes to run for mayor and B. Having HUGE supporters backing Rahm up Like Obama and Clinton..Let's not forget about the MILLIONS of dollars he was raising outside of the state and the millions of dollars Rahm was collecting (which I'm sure later he will re-pay back in favors). You really don't think that those people who gave Rahm all that money didn't expect a favor back, did you???hahahah get it together Wilson ABC and do not be so naive...Rahm was preordained and no one else had a fighting chance against that machine..And another thing, why would DelValle want to support Rahm which is totally the opposite of everything DelValle has fought for with a good sense of mortality and integrity, I don't blame DelValle and would have turned Rahm down too...All Rahm wanted to do was piggy back off of the other candidates ideas since he's been out of the loop for so long and take all the credibility...GET A CLUE!!!You should be ashamed of yourself and defiantly a coward for posting this!!!

3 years ago
Posted by bluechevy

Hey Wilson
Don't play the blame game. I also donated to Del Valle's campaign and feel that he ran the best campaign of all the canidates. The problem was that the media spent more time writing about Rahm's residency than the issues, and he was their darling from Washington. Forget that out of the almost three million people that live in the city limits just over five-hundred thousand voted, what a bunch of sheep the city has. Del Valle was right to turn down the offer from Rahm. He is looking for a stand in mayor while he goes out to raise money for the Obama re-election campaign, which is what he is really good at. Good luck to all the poor saps that voted for Rahm as they will soon find out that he will be missing in action for the next two years. When he does come back he will go after the teachers, city workers, not to mention the unions, also save your money for the meters cause he ain't gonna do anything about that contract. So if you want to be angry, be angry at the 2.5 million people that did not come out to vote, sheep, sheep, sheep.

3 years ago
Posted by SKEPTICAL

I too think he made a big mistake not agreeing to serve on Mayor Emmanuel's transition team. Short of being elected Mayor, which didn't happen, that would have been the best way to help to shae policy and to influence the hiring of department heads who share Miguel's vision. the suggestion that he preferred to work with young community organizers doesn't really hold any weight, the transition team job would be over in three montsh anyway and one activity wouldn't preclude the other. I think , speaking charitably, saying no was a big error of judgment on Miguel's part I'm glad Rahm reached out to him and sorry he didn't accept it for the good of the city and the people for whom he would like to be a voice.

3 years ago
Posted by Jeffs78

Wow...I think @WilsonABC is getting a bum rap. He was a contributor financially, a volunteer and a voting supporter. Just because he doesn't agree on all points doesn't make him a coward or a dissenter.

I'm not sure I agree Del Valle needs to step aside, but I do think there was enough of a grass roots movement where small contributions (even just from his supporters) could have gone a long way. The key is making it visible and easy to do it. I wish I had got involved with the campaign earlier because I could have helped with that.

I'm also disappointed (but not insulted) that he didn't take a spot within Rahm's transition team. I guess I can't truly judge his response until I see (in detail) what his plans are after the election. The fact that he did take an appointment from Daley tells me it's not because of Mr. Emanuel's character. Daley was already an established crook by the time Del Valle took that appointment.

Del Valle is a good man and I hope to see him on the ballot again. I think there were a few mistakes that could be corrected next time around. I better start banking my vacation time now.

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