There are only 15 days remaining until the city elections. Can you believe it? Soon, we'll have a new mayor and soon after that...springtime! Yes, we are jumping the gun on the spring thing, but February is seriously the worst.
As the city prepares for a few brutally cold days, the candidates are announcing endorsements and trying to win the hearts of Chicago's undecideds.
Stay tuned to HuffPost Chicago from now until February 22 for "The Countdown," a daily roundup of election news, gossip and other fun tidbits. You can also sign up to receive "The Countdown" via email daily by checking the "Chicago Brief" box here.
UNIONS SHOW GERY SOME (MORE) LOVE
He won over the police union, the firefighters union and now, a few more. On Monday, Gery Chico was endorsed by the International Union of Operating Engineers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 9, Sheet Metal Workers Local 73, Ironworkers Local 1,Laborers' District Council of Chicago & Vicinity and Painters District Council #14.
At a "raucous" Monday news conference, union members gave Chico their support--and had harsh words for Rahm Emanuel.
"Somehow Chicago employees have become the demons in this election. ... It's a travesty," said Jim Sweeney, business manager of Operating Engineers Local 150, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "We are not the problem. We are the solution. Rahm Emanuel does not understand that. Gery Chico does."
Labor unions are angry about Emanuel's latest television ad, where Emanuel explains that taxpayers deserve public servants who are working for them and the city, not for personal gain. City workers and some labor groups were offended by the ad's tone, even though his campaign said he was targeting members of city government who have "acted on behalf of their own personal gain."
Even with the ad controversy, Emanuel had a good Monday. The very popular Jesse White, Illinois' secretary of state, endorsed him for mayor--and some believe his support in the black community could help him win outright. Emanuel would need more than 50 percent of the vote on February 22 to avoid a runoff with the second most-popular candidate. Polls show him closing in on that number. As of right now, Chico would be Emanuel's runoff opponent. Chico's support with blue-collar workers has helped him pass former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun in the polls.
Do you want to know about Gery Chico ALL THE TIME? Now you can. Chico's campaign released a free iPhone app called "Chico 2.0" that provides subscribers with Gery's event schedule, news feed and campaign photos. Download it here.
ED BUS: THE BEST AROUND
The Snow Removal Party got a serious boost today, when Ed Bus, mayoral candidate and alderman of the fictional 53rd ward, released a video of himself shoveling the entire city of Chicago--by himself.
Watch the hero in action here:
DOES SIZE MATTER?
Crain's Chicago Business points out how short the leading candidates for Chicago mayor are. Seriously--Miguel del Valle is the tallest of the four leading candidates at 5-foot-9.
Chris Fusco and Tim Novak of the Chicago Sun-Times took a look at the finances of the six mayoral candidates. The article lists home purchases, annual incomes, charitable contributions and more. Rahm Emanuel and Gery Chico are definitely the richest, but we knew that already. Check out the details here. Oh, and it turns out that William "Dock" Walls III works for an online apparel company called AmericanShirtShak.com. Who knew?
TURN IN YOUR TEASING COMB AND GO BACK TO HIGH SCHOOL
Miguel del Valle was at an alternative school in Humboldt Park today, rolling out a plan to re-enroll high school dropouts and strengthen the public school system in the process.
Del Valle's program would use existing statewide grant money to implement the program around the city. A press release gives more:
Between 14 and 20 schools, including neighborhood schools, will launch the program. Students will have access to part- and full-time classes, online courses, GED preparation, and dual credit to prepare for college.
70 Re-Enrollment Support Specialists will work closely with the students as they move through the program. The Specialists will track students' progress and determine what works best.
"We want to be in communication with each and every student and be attentive to their needs," del Valle said.
He described the program at El Cuarto Año, an organization he helped found, which helps prepare students for GED, testing, college programs, and employment.
TWEETS OF THE DAY
@whet: rahm "service" ad is apparently the new groupon tibet ad
@klandes: @DelValle4Mayor The fact that people from my hippy neighbors to my Republican colleagues support you speaks volumes about your integrity.
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