Even though Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel most likely could have convinced his 50-person City Council - all fellow Democrats - to go along with a move to increase the city’s minimum wage for city contract workers, following the lead of his former boss – President Barack Obama – Emanuel took out his pen to make an executive order. Pundits and critics alike are saying the near-obvious. They are saying that Emanuel is blatantly and desperately trying to improve his incredibly low job approval rating among the masses, according to a Chicago Tribune report on Wednesday.
Emanuel, who is up for re-election early next year for continuing his reign as mayor of Chicago, performed for the press and cameras by signing his executive order publicly. During the orchestrated performance, Emanuel said that this is a down payment and an effort to make sure the city of Chicago is on record to raising the minimum wage to $13 just like the president did on the national level. Emanuel may very well find himself going rogue as far as linking himself to President Barack Obama these days. Like Emanuel, Obama’s approval rating has tanked.
Beyond linking himself to Obama, Emanuel said that he is taking the steps in the city of Chicago to make sure that if you work, your kids aren’t raised in poverty, your paycheck pays, you get a raise and that the city has the policies that set a clear priority. Again, it is said that Emanuel would have had no problem convincing his 50 aldermen – all Democrats like he is – to go along with the move, yet he chose to grab the much-needed positive headline by himself. The move, nonetheless, increases the pay rate 9 percent from $11.93 to $13 an hour, according to the Sun-Times.
While Chicago’s incredible crime rate and recent murders are what are on most Chicagoans’ minds, Emanuel has consistently kept his efforts on minimum wage recently – which concerns many. In recent times, he has appeared at a series of events regarding minimum wage. He has recently appeared with Vice President Joe Biden and New York Mayor Bill deBlasio regarding the public-popular issue.
Emanuel is predicted to face an uphill battle in the next mayoral election in Chicago. Though his competitors are not decided as of yet, Emanuel has been his own worst enemy with Chicagoans’ massive discontent with 50 school closings in the past year. Also, the city’s speed camera program – an extremely unpopular Emanuel initiative – has been labeled nothing more than another money-grab by Emanuel. Also, the public concerns over the ill-performing red light cameras have increased as courts have stepped in to issue unsuspecting travelers in the city their deserved refunds.