Faced with a teachers strike and an increasing number of shootings and deaths on Chicago’s streets, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has decided to cut short his stay at the Democratic National Convention.
Emanuel was originally scheduled to fly to Charlotte to deliver a speech Tuesday night and stay at the DNC until Friday doing media interviews and party-building activities.
“Slight change of plans. He arrives [in Charlotte] late [Tuesday] and will be back in Chicago late Wednesday evening,” Sarah Hamilton, the mayor’s communications director, wrote in an e-mail to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Hamilton also said Emanuel would be going back home because the Obama campaign asked him to host a watch party for Obama’s speech on Thursday, not because he was pressured to do so by teachers and community leaders in Chicago.
According to the Sun-Times, teachers are expected to go on strike Monday, and thousands of teachers “marched around City Hall Monday, denouncing Emanuel as a liar and a bully, laying the blame for a strike scheduled to begin Monday squarely at the mayor’s feet.”
“[Emanuel] has two emergencies: One, the impending teachers strike, the other the killing rate in Chicago that has become the No. 1 news item in America,” Jesse Jackson said, comparing Chicago’s emergency to Hurricane Issac. That storm forced Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to miss the Republican National Convention.
The teachers union authorized the strike because Emmanuel took away a previously-negotiated four percent pay raise and tried to lengthen the school year.