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Kennedy lashes out at Emanuel, while Pritzker takes a softer approach

Friday, Nov 17, 2017

* Laura Washington moderated a candidates forum last night. She asked them whether they would support Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s reelection today

Chris Kennedy: I think he’s destroying our communities, he’s destroying the economic future of our state. Everything is driven by Chicago, and you can’t have an educational system where something like 75 percent of the kids who graduate CPS are so undereducated that they need remedial education. And then he allows an institution like this that provides that remedial education to practically be destroyed. He doesn’t believe what I believe in.

Laura Washington: Mr. Pritzker?

JB Pritzker: So many challenges that Rahm Emanuel has brought to the City of Chicago, it’s important for us to recognize that the chronic underfunding of schools in neighborhoods that most need that funding is something that we need to stand up against. The chronic challenge of violence in our communities, something that I believe Rahm Emanuel has not done a good job of. We need to make sure that we’re standing up against those basic principles. Now, what Bob Daiber said is right, which is let’s see who the candidates are in 2019. Who’s going to emerge here? Because we need to make sure that we’ve got someone that will stand up for a better education system, who’s going to stand up for our communities of color all across the City of Chicago. I always believe you always have to ask the question who are the candidates and then answer it.

LW: But you’re unhappy with his leadership?

JB: I am.

OK, Pritzker did criticize Emanuel, but that “let’s see who the candidates are” kinda reminds me of when he was asked if he planned to vote for President Barack Obama in 2012: “We’ll have to wait and see. I don’t know who the nominee’s gonna be on the Republican side.”

* Video

* Kennedy, meanwhile, threw out an idea during the forum

Chris Kennedy: The leadership of this state needs to look like the state itself. There needs to be a Rooney Rule. For every executive, every appointment, everybody that gets hired by the State of Illinois, the last pool of candidates there needs to be a woman. That’s how it has to change. I’ve seen what government can do. I remember my older sisters not being able to play sports, and my younger sister required to play sports on the very fields that my older sister was not allowed to play on because she was a woman. And then Title IX is passed and we see the incredible advancement. My own kids, four of them, they played on a collective 25 sports teams in college – I mean in High School. None of that would have been possible, those girls would not have played had their middle school and grade schools not been required to teach them sports. The government can do great things, but the government that we have today looks the other way. Once again bills come close to being passed and they fail, the Democratic Party doesn’t get the job done. And they say to us, ‘we’ll just elect a few more Democrats, we’ll get it done in the next election.’ Quit falling for that trap.

Laura Washington: Mr. Kennedy could I just quickly follow up on that. Can you explain how you would implement the Rooney Rule?

CK: - So the Rooney Rule…

LW: - As governor. And what you would actually do…

CK: How that works? The Rooney Rule was a – is a rule that’s been in place in the National Football League and it’s named after the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers who’s since passed away. And they recognized that there was a lack of African-American leadership within the team organizations, outside of the players themselves. And they wrestled with that and they really didn’t do enough to change the culture. And he came up with this notion that in the final candidate pool of 3, for any job in management, in any team anywhere in the NFL – not the corporate part of the NFL, but in every team, at the Bears, at the Steelers, at the Giants, anywhere, that there had to be an African-American candidate in that pool. And that forced the teams, the recruiting professions, others to bring in and start sourcing talented African-Americans and it changed the face of the NFL as far as management goes. That notion can be applied to any targeted audience.

LW: So how would you do it? Are you suggesting that you would make sure that every candidate in your administration for every position?

CK: Yeah, every candidate in the administration… Every position would be required that there would be at least one woman in the final candidate pool.

Video is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - PJ - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 1:18 pm:

    Kennedy kind of reminds me of a (hopefully) non-corrupt version of Blago. Brash, doesn’t seem to know or care about the specifics or details or anything, and would have a terrible relationship with the legislature.

  2. - Perrid - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 1:18 pm:

    As long as the female candidates still need to be qualified for the job I’m all for it. Help break some barriers.

  3. - Loop Lady - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 1:44 pm:

    I admire Chris, but at this point in the race, he can afford his idealism.

    Governing is not just throwing out platitudes and easy fixes…
    his idea about the inclusion of women is nice, but what about other under represented groups…just sayin

  4. - Chris Widger - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 1:45 pm:

    Good on Laura for pushing Kennedy to actually outline how his Rooney Rule would be implemented.

  5. - wordslinger - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 1:53 pm:

    Woof, Kennedy took Emanuel down to the whipping post.

    The poll numbers for Emanuel must stink for both Kennedy and JB to diss him like that.

  6. - The Captain - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 1:53 pm:

    Kennedy’s strategy of trying to win the Democratic nomination by bashing Democrats, seemingly every day, sure is something.

  7. - Lunchbox - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 1:54 pm:

    Might be speaking too soon, but can we give Chris Kennedy the “most improved candidate” award, please? He has come a long way from the “disheveled and disorganized/ offending mothers groups Chris Kennedy” that was his m.o. from his kickoff until late summer. This is a good idea and he gave a strong answer to the question about Rahm. Meanwhile, J.B. treads water.

  8. - Anonymous - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 1:57 pm:

    Kind of hard to defend Chicago State as the jewel of the state higher ed system. It is totally disingenuous to suggest that CSU was in jeopardy solely because the budget stalemate since it has been mismanaged for decades.

  9. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 2:05 pm:

    What did Bob and Tio say? LOL

  10. - Anon - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 2:16 pm:

    Hey, if the Rooney rule forces state agecies to start recruiting that’d be great because right now there’s not really any evidence that the state is trying to attract job applicants for any position.

  11. - City Zen - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 2:20 pm:

    ==Kind of hard to defend Chicago State as the jewel of the state higher ed system.==

    Kind of hard to take any statement delivered behind a Chicago State banner seriously.

  12. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 2:38 pm:

    Speaking as someone who ran a 60%-plus female workforce for years, the way to encourage and increase women in the workforce is not with a “Rooney Rule.” (Good luck bargaining that, by the way, Chris.)

    Creating and maintaining the right personnel policies and work environment, not to mention a good share of women in key positions, works much better in my experience than a hiring quota.

  13. - Veil of Ignorance - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 2:49 pm:

    Process question but Kennedy was talking about appointments with the Rooney rule right? That wouldn’t involve any collective bargaining agreements right? Just wondering. As for including minorities in that rule as well, I don’t see why that wouldn’t be workable either.

  14. - West Wing - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 2:52 pm:

    Kennedy’s bluntness here is another example of his political guts, the likes of which I haven’t seen in a long time.

  15. - DuPage Saint - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 2:52 pm:

    He doesn’t need a Rooney rule. I know where he can get binders full of qualified women

  16. - lake county democrat - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 2:58 pm:

    Remember at the time JB said he’d have to wait and see, he meant Romney, Gingrich or Rick Santorum. He thought one of those three might be better than Obama.

    Yeah, he’s a Democrat.

    Meanwhile, I like CK, and I don’t like Rahm, but this isn’t the straight-shooting I like. Rahm’s biggest challenge - the dwindling African-American population necessitating school closings - was handled pretty well (something that should give the crowd who predicted there’d be a spike in violence against the kids walking to the receiving schools and drops in test scores some pause). Tell me a reform or list of reforms you’re in favor of that Rahm won’t support, and then explain how they’ll pass muster with CTU. And don’t say “elected school board” - an elected school board might be a good idea on small-d democracy grounds, but it’s not an education reform.

  17. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 3:14 pm:

    ===Might be speaking too soon, but can we give Chris Kennedy the “most improved candidate” award, please?==

    No. Speaking waaaaay too soon. Remember he gave that great speech on violence in Chicago, and everyone said he was turning the corner only for him to go back to disheveled, dismissive Kennedy several days later. One good Q&A session isn’t near long enough, with his track record. I’d give it at least until after the new year.

  18. - Max Bayer - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 3:34 pm:

    That Jb non response was pretty funny in the worst way.

  19. - Amalia - Friday, Nov 17, 17 @ 4:21 pm:

    Rooney rule for women from Chris Kennedy. boom. love it. agree with West Wing that Kennedy’s bluntness is unseen in some time. think of it, nearly 50 years ago his father was killed. why not be bold when you know that things are so ephemeral?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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