Rahm Emanuel’s First 100 Days: A Preview

The first new mayor in 22 years takes over for real today. Here’s a sampling of what to look out for, from school days to beat cops to searchable budgets. Just don’t ask him about tampons.

Rahm Emanuel Richard Daley

 

* Immediate spending freeze, with layoffs to follow.

* Longer school days, that we know. How long? No one knows yet. Abdon Pallasch and Rosalind Rossi have a good story in the Sun-Times about the numbers.

* The passage of the Illinois DREAM Act. Not that Emanuel has direct control over it, but he included it in his inaugural speech, and it received a lot of applause, both at the inauguration and in my Twitter feed. Achy Obejas has suggestions for how he could give it momentum.

* A searchable version of the budget? That would actually be pretty awesome. I’m hoping that’s on John Tolva’s to-do list. He’s the city’s new technology officer, and he’s got a blog.

* From the above post, Mick Dumke asks how Emanuel plans to increase the number of beat cops without actually hiring more cops. It’s a good question, and one for which the answers are conflicting. Fran Spielman and Frank Main pressed Garry McCarthy on his plans, and he says he wants to get cops off of desk duty and keep them from having to chase small-peanuts calls… but also wants them to address quality-of-life complaints (as a William Bratton protege, he’s keen on the broken-windows theory) and wants two-cop car patrols overnight. Completing those goals under current budget constrains will be tricky.

* Arts & Entertainment: Jim DeRogatis, who was very skeptical of Mayor-Elect Emanuel, finds quite a bit to like about Mayor Emanuel, in regards to his transformative potential with the arts scene. Except for the fact that Chicago played his inaugural party. I dunno, man, they were pretty cool before they went mainstream.

* Tangentially related: Chuck Goudie is already calling out Emanuel’s (very) young press secretary. Tarrah Cooper, the press secretary in question, served as Emanuel’s assistant press secretary during his campaign, and had a memorable runaround with the Reader’s Ben Joravsky over a question about a tampon. Not that unresponsive civic press secretaries weren’t called out during the Daley administration. It’s just that Goudie’s piece is unusually, er, emphatic.

* “Emanuel also said he got a note from outgoing Mayor Richard Daley lauding Chicago as full of optimistic people.”

 

Photograph: Chicago Tribune

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