■ … even though, the Sun-Times reports, a $153,500 poll released just last week showed him “strongly positioned to win.”
■ Reaction—including praise from his old bosses, two presidents—has begun pouring in.
■ The Tribune: Emanuel faced a rough ride to a third term.
■ Crain’s: This “throws the city’s future very much up for grabs.”
■ USA Today: A “bombshell.”
■ The New York Times: His decision comes as Chicago is on edge.
■ Video of the mayor’s announcement.
Text of the mayor’s remarks, as released by his office:
On my first day as Mayor of this great city, I promised to make tough choices and face the hard truths we had not confronted, even when it hurts. Every day for the past seven and a half years, that is what I have tried my best to do – to improve our schools, make our community colleges relevant, put our fiscal house on stable footing, confront violence and rebuild trust between police and community, modernize our transportation systems, invest in our neighborhood parks and libraries and grow our economy into an engine of jobs and opportunity for all. I’m not shy, and together we’ve never shied away from a challenge.
Today, the time has come to make another tough choice. As much as I love this job and will always love this city and its residents, I have decided not to seek re-election.
This has been the job of a lifetime, but it is not a job for a lifetime. You hire us to get things done – and pass the torch when we’ve done our best to do what you hired us to do.
I have approached public service the only way I know how for the last 23 years—giving 100 percent, 24 hours a day, seven days a week—for President Clinton, in Congress and in its leadership, as President Obama’s Chief of Staff and finally as your Mayor. For the last seven and a half years I’ve given my all every day and left everything on the field. This commitment has required significant sacrifice all around. Now, with our three kids in college, Amy and I have decided it is time for us to write a new chapter together.
In a few moments, I’ll speak to my Cabinet, and tell them to get ready to sprint for the finish line in May. We have more to do, and from now until then, we’ll do everything in our power to get it done and walk out the door hopefully leaving Chicago and Chicagoans in a stronger place. We will stand ready and eager to work with whoever is lucky enough to come next and ensure a smooth and positive transition. We owe our city nothing less.
But today I want to thank the people of Chicago for the opportunity to serve. It will fill my eyes with tears to leave a job I love, and already my heart is full with gratitude. We have worked together. We have celebrated progress together. We have grieved together. Amy and I made friendships across this city that will last a lifetime.
I want to thank Amy for being such a remarkable First Lady. We’ve been together for 27 years. When we got married, I told her I would never run for office. Six elections later, she’s the only reason I have made it this far.
We’re blessed with three great children, and I owe them so much as well. Politicians always say they’re leaving office to spend more time with their family. My kids were smart enough to see that coming and scattered to the two coasts, so as of the other day we are now empty nesters.
Amy and I are still young – and Amy still looks it. And we look forward to writing that next chapter in our journey together.
I’ll always be here for the future of this city – not as mayor, but in the most important role anyone can play, as citizen. I hope I’ll find ways to answer the call I’ve asked of every citizen: to do my part to stand up for the next generation, who deserve the doors of opportunity to be open and the spark of hope to light their eyes.
I’m grateful to my parents for lighting that spark in me. And I want to thank my grandfather, who at the age of 13, took an enormous chance a century ago by immigrating here from Eastern Europe, fleeing the pogroms, to meet a third cousin he did not know in a city whose name he could not pronounce.
In four congressional runs on the North and Northwest Sides – and in two races for Mayor – you cast aside old history and voted for a Jewish kid with the middle name Israel. I will always be profoundly grateful for that and what it means to my family.
This morning, as we start a new school year, I went to Bronzeville Classical to welcome students back for the start of a new school year and to Perez Elementary to mark the opening of universal full day pre-K in Chicago. The changes we have made to our school system – universal full day pre-K, universal kindergarten and a longer school day and year will add up to nearly four more years of class time for Chicago’s students. In the end of the day what matters most in public life is four more years for our children, not four more years for me.
Together, since May of 2011, through thick and thin, we tried to do right by our city’s future. No matter how difficult the path we never wavered or shrunk from our responsibilities. And I will never forget the honor it has been to serve alongside you the people of Chicago every step of the way.
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Ride-share risk. Chicago police are warning people to beware fake ride-hailing drivers—specifically, two women tied to a series of robberies of unwitting passengers.
■ The Tribune: Almost half Chicago’s cabs are in foreclosure or otherwise off the streets. (Photo: Paul Sableman.)
■ An SUV plunged off a Lake Shore Drive overpass onto LaSalle Drive this morning, hurting at least six people.
■ A Metra train struck and killed a pedestrian in Homewood.
On-duty cop kills self. For the second time in less than two months, a Chicago police officer has apparently taken his own life.
■ A Northwestern graduate student was shot and killed in Rogers Park—caught in the crossfire between two other people.
■ The Chicago Reporter: The city’s alternative schools serve a disproportionate number of students who’ve lost a classmate to gun violence.
Judges’ hot seats. The Sun-Times speculates November could be the first time in 28 years Cook County voters remove a sitting judge from office.*
■ A new law empowers judges to impose stiffer penalties on impaired wrong-way drivers.
Chicago’s parks history in pictures. The Chicago Park District has transferred tens of thousands of photos and documents in its archives—protests and celebrations alike—to the Chicago Public Library for your nostalgic enlightenment. (Photo: A 1937 Grant Park concert.)
■ The leader of a protest march onto the Kennedy Expressway yesterday was—as he expected—arrested as he stepped onto the highway.
‘It is heartwarming to see the obvious fondness Michelle Obama and George W. Bush have for each other.’ The Trib’s Dahleen Glanton reflects on a moment at John McCain’s funeral.
■ Journalist Luke O’Neil in his new blog, Welcome to Hell World: “This rehabilitation of Bush and McCain and the other architects of the Iraq War into kindly old grandpas … is a f__king bridge too far.”
Sole asylum. Nike’s decision to feature ostracized NFL player Colin Kaepernick in an ad campaign has triggered a wave of outrage from people who consider his protest of racial injustice an affront to the American flag and the national anthem.
■ Esquire’s Charles Pierce: “The company clearly thinks … it can make more money appealing to Kaepernick’s supporters than it can by truckling to the shoe-burning crowd.”
Supreme showdown. Updating coverage: Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have begun …
■ … with protesters dressed as handmaids (from The Handmaid’s Tale) bearing witness.
■ Watch live.
■ NPR: Six hot-button issues to watch during the hearings.
■ A glossary of terms to know as the proceedings unfold.
■ New York’s Irin Carmon: “Why Aren’t Democrats Waging an All-Out War to Stop Kavanaugh’s Confirmation?”
Trump lies on the rise. The Washington Post’s latest tally finds the president’s making an average of more than 15 lies, falsehoods or misleading claims a day—up from about 5 in his first 100 days.
■ PolitiFact: Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker’s claims Gov. Rauner misquoted newspapers to lie about him is “a stretch.”
■ NBC News: The midterms elections will be “(mostly) about Trump.” (Cartoon: Keith Taylor.)
■ Special prosecutor Robert Mueller and his grand jury have a date with a comedian Friday.
‘The New Yorker … blundered.’ An ex-CNN correspondent weighs in on what went wrong when the magazine invited—and then disinvited—alt-right agitator Steve Bannon to appear in a paid onstage interview.
■ What do you think? Join the debate on the Square Facebook page.
Correction. Friday’s Chicago Public Square was missing an s in the phrase replacements reluctant to endanger their reputations; thanks to reader Jan Kieckhefer, first to note the error.
* Disclosure: Your Square publisher’s married to a Cook County judge not up for retention this year.