A Chicagoan explains his vote for Emanuel

22 Feb

By Sam Royko

(An opinion piece.)

In an election which may decide the future of the city I’ve come to call home, I’ve begun to ask myself the question—what makes Chicago unique?

One could argue that there are numerous traits that set Chicago apart from the big cities of the East and the sprawling cities of the West. We’re Midwest. We’re away from the glitz of Hollywood and the Wall Street money of New York. We have our own unique politics. And, when you look around, you’ll see generations of people who have come here to work hard.

This is reflected in everything that is Chicago. Just consider a few of these things.

Take a look at Chicagoans during the snow storm. Our ranks are filled with hard working men and women who do what they can to earn a dollar. When over two feet of snow came down on a cold day in February, people went outside and dug out their cars, put a chair in their parking spot, and drove to work or put on their warmest clothes and fought for a spot on a crowded public transit vehicle in order to earn a dollar.

Chicago sports and sports fans are another great example. The Cubs for instance demonstrate the tenacity of Chicagoans. Every year, Chicagoans, mainly from the north side, fill Wrigley Field. We go to cheer on a team that hasn’t won the big game in over a hundred years. That doesn’t matter, we still go. Amid jeers from our south side counterparts, who were blessed with a World Series trophy not that long ago, those on the north side keep on hoping. It’s the never–give- up attitude.

Consider the people who make up what we call home. Chicago is truly a melting pot. And all of us strive for the same things—to make a living, raise a family and find a good home. Simple ideals are what most people have who come to Chicago have and we fight hard to protect them.

This has made thinking about the politics of Chicago all the more interesting. How does hard fighting, fiercely loyal, never-give-up Chicagoans find leadership that they can be proud of? For the past several decades, we’ve had one man that we’ve turned to. That man, Mayor Daley, is not on the ballot.

Therefore, this election is all about change. And I have something to say about the change that Chicago deserves.

Most of the candidates running for mayor have similar ideas about the issues. They are Democrats who lean for the most part left of central. In fact, a Republican has never won the mayor’s race since William Hale Thompson was elected in 1927. This means that Chicagoans must find the best possible candidate with the personality, tenacity, fire and the fight to make the hard decisions.

I think Rahm Emanuel is our guy. While there are many good candidates in the race, Rahm has proved that he has the willingness and the intelligence to fight for us. He has shown that he will not be afraid to fight for what is best for the city and he will be able to make the hard decisions necessary in facing the looming budget crisis.

He is loyal to and loves this city. He was working at the request of the President—ironically this is why his residency was challenged—and made the decision to come back home and run for mayor at a time when Chicago needs a strong leader.

While there are many good candidates in the race, Rahm Emanuel has proved that he has the willingness and desire to fight for what he believes is right. He has demonstrated this skill during the years he served as the Chief of Staff to the President of the United States. His tenacity and willingness to do what is necessary was proven time and time again.

It’s these traits that make a real Chicagoan. It’s what made the Boss the Boss and what helped the Daley’s govern this city for so many years. Rahm Emanuel has the fire, the fight, the loyalty and the heart to help keep Chicago on top.

What Chicago needs is Rahm Emanuel.

(Sam Royko is a political science major at DePaul University.)

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