Ahead of Final Mayoral Debate, United Working Families: Rahm Emanuel Has Failed African American Community

Shuttered Schools, Lost Jobs, Cut Services and Unsafe Streets

CHICAGO (February 10, 2015) -- As the mayoral candidates prepared for Tuesday's mayoral debate focusing on issues particular to the city's African American community, Rahm Emanuel was undoubtedly preparing for his most vigorous spinning yet.

That's because while Emanuel's pro-rich policies have hurt ALL Chicago's working families, they've had a disproportionate impact on African American neighborhoods and citizens.

  • An estimated 88% of students affected by Emanuel's closing of some 50 neighborhood schools were African American.
  • Black unemployment is a crisis: In West Englewood alone, the latest unemployment stands at 35%.
  • Almost 70% of African American students attend schools with concentrated poverty.

This is not to mention inequities in health care, affordable housing and the closing of mental health facilities. And the public-sector pensionstargeted by Emanuel disproportionately represent the retirement income of Chicago's black middle class.

Meanwhile, Emanuel continues to support diverting millions of dollars away from the aforementioned services and diverting it into an out-of-control TIF program.

Said Brandon Johnson, Chair of the Black Caucus of the Chicago Teachers Union, a United Working Families member organization:

"Rahm Emanuel will have a chance tonight at the DuSable Museum to answer for policies that have utterly failed all Chicagoans, but African American citizens in particular. From school closings and cut services to lost jobs and unsafe streets, Emanuel has favored the very rich at the expense of a community that has borne the historic ill effects of neglect, segregation and inequality.

"Rahm's legacy for the African American community: He made things worse."