Emanuel Touts Riverwalk Facelift as Lightfoot Meets Aldermen

on May13
by | Comments Off on Emanuel Touts Riverwalk Facelift as Lightfoot Meets Aldermen |

2019-05-13 19:40:09

It’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s last week in office, with Lori Lightfoot’s swearing in next Monday.

What will Emanuel’s legacy be? Behind the scenes — the Emanuel administration is checking off the final to-do boxes. While the landscaping isn’t quite finished, the mayor toured the last section of the riverwalk Monday. Meanwhile, changes to the City Council are playing out behind the scenes.

Emanuel made it a priority that improvements were made to the riverwalk. He’s ready with his own progress report from the past eight years when it comes to downtown development.

“Five new office buildings, six new apartment buildings, you have the post office that was empty coming to life,” he said.

Emanuel’s cutting the ribbon here but behind the scenes at the Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot transition office — where aldermen were called to visit Friday–plans are underway for how the City Council will be organized.

Ameya Pawar is leaving the 47th Ward office, and Matt Martin is moving in.

“You have someone who campaigned on a lot of the same positions,” Martin said. “We want to make sure that we can campaign on all the things the freshmen aldermen and women and the mayor elect were campaigning on.”

New aldermen will not be chairing key committees, but their vote is important if Lightfoot wants to push a reform agenda.

“I don’t expect to chair anything, so it’s an opportunity to listen and learn, to see how folks want to take those committees, how we want to make sure we’re providing independent oversight,” Martin said.

The 22nd Ward’s alderman-elect, Mike Rodriguez, was one of the new aldermen who has met privately with Lightfoot.

“We had a very fruitful conversation with the mayor,” he said. “I think shes committed to working with freshmen legislators and all legislators of the city council to create a better city.”

Lightfoot–who’s never held political office before–is likely to soon see that campaigning and governing are far different.

“She said a number of times, she doesn’t expect there to be a rubber stamp, and I expect that to be the case,” Rodriguez said.

The Lightfoot campaign said Monday the mayor elect and Toni Preckwinkle met for lunch at the Chicago Cut steakhouse. Preckwinkle lost the election, but remains the Cook County Board chairman–so the two will have to work together.

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