Mayor Rahm Emanuel. AMARITA BANSAL/Medill

Breezing over what it tacitly acknowledged to be his faults — notably Chicago’s gaping economic inequality, which may have been exacerbated by some of his policies, and the relatively ignored economic blight on the city’s largely African American South and West sides — the Chicago Tribune issued a ringing endorsement for Mayor Rahm Emanuel today, Feb. 6.

The paper’s editorial board listed among Emanuel’s notable achievements his ability to stabilize the Chicago Transit Authority’s budget and the $425 million Red Line reconstruction; “the dozens of corporate headquarters” the Mayor has lured to downtown; his ability to “put the brakes on runaway tax-increment-financing expansion, retiring several of the TIF districts”; and his ability to lenghten the school day in Chicago Public Schools.

With respect to Emanuel’s four challengers, the Tribune gave a nod to their pledges to put more police officers on the streets, put an end to the city’s traffic camera program, and reopen some, or all, of the 50 schools that were closed under Emanuel’s watch in 2013. 

However, none of the candidates have shown how to “make the math work,” the paper stressed. 

“Chicago is teetering on the edge of a fiscal abyss. Whoever is elected mayor will have to act with courage and urgency to prevent a free-fall,” the Tribune noted. “If not, then the city will not have the money to provide basic services to citizens, to police the streets and to educate children. Chicago won’t be able to attract or keep the businesses and families that could reverse its slide.

“The not-Rahm candidates are reluctant to offer genuine answers for all of that.”

To read the Tribune’s full endorsement article, click here