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Mayor Rahm Emanuel to Speak on Campus

Will discuss Chicago politics as part of One Book One Northwestern

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November 19, 2012 | by Storer H. Rowley
Rahm Emanuel
Mayor Rahm Emanuel

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will give a talk at Northwestern University Wednesday, Nov. 28, as part of the One Book One Northwestern program, which has focused the University community on Chicago this year.

Emanuel, who received a master’s degree from Northwestern's School of Communication in 1985, will speak about Chicago, its political culture and its influence on national politics, especially the 2012 general election. Emanuel accepted an invitation from President Morton Schapiro to speak on the Evanston campus.

Emanuel will deliver his remarks at 4:30 p.m. in the Ryan Family Auditorium at the Technological Institute, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston. His speech, titled “Chicago Politics and the 2012 Election,” also will include additional topics important to the mayor, such as educational opportunities and economic development.

The One Book One Northwestern program is a community reading program sponsored by the Office of the President. The program engages the campus in conversations around the One Book selection for an entire academic year. 

The focus during 2012-2013 is Northwestern’s relationship to the city of Chicago, and the theme is centered around Northwestern faculty member Alex Kotlowitz’s 2004 book, “Never a City So Real,” as a common reading for students, faculty and staff. 

“Having Mayor Emanuel come to speak at Northwestern is an extraordinary opportunity for our students, faculty and community to engage in this year’s program with one of the most prominent, passionate and authoritative advocates for Chicago today,” said Dan A. Lewis, professor of human development and social policy
 and director of the 
Center for Civic Engagement.

“We are delighted the mayor has agreed to come, and we look forward to hearing his knowledgeable perspective on a variety of Chicago-related issues that have generated interest during the One Book initiative this year,” Lewis added.

About One Book One Northwestern

The One Book One Northwestern program aims to engage the campus in a common conversation centered on a carefully chosen, thought-provoking book. It began in 2005 for students in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and has since evolved into a community­wide program involving students, faculty and staff from all majors and departments.

This year’s book, “Never a City so Real” by Alex Kotlowitz, provides an introduction to the city, but less as a tour of the place and more a chronicle of its soul. Through a collection of vignettes about Chicago's diverse people and neighborhoods, the book gives readers a much richer understanding of the city.

“Never a City so Real” provides insight into Chicago's character, history and culture, while also touching on a wide variety of challenging issues such as neighborhood integration, politics, urban poverty, immigration and public housing. Most of all, it brings to life the diverse people and neighborhoods that make this city so great.

See the story on Kotlowitz’s One Book keynote lecture to the community.

About Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Rahm Emanuel was elected the 55th mayor of Chicago Feb. 22, 2011, and was sworn in May 16, 2011. A native of Chicago who previously spent three terms representing a North Side district in the U.S. Congress, Emanuel is deeply rooted in the life of the city, its neighborhoods and its people.

In his first year in office, Emanuel announced the redeployment of more than 1,000 police officers to Chicago’s neighborhoods and secured more than 20,000 private-sector jobs for residents across the city. Facing a $635 million fiscal shortfall, Emanuel led the passage of a unanimous budget containing reforms and investments to ensure Chicago’s financial future. Additionally, Emanuel launched Building a New Chicago, a $7 billion coordinated infrastructure plan that will revitalize the city’s roads, rails and runways. The Emanuel administration has tackled policy challenges in our schools, in public safety, in the city’s finances and in key areas of city services, such as sanitation, transportation and technology.

Prior to becoming mayor, Emanuel served as the White House Chief of Staff in President Barack Obama’s administration. During his tenure, he helped orchestrate the passage of key milestones such as the economic Recovery Act, Wall Street reform and health care reform -- increasing access and decreasing costs for millions of Americans. Emanuel played a crucial role in securing a bipartisan compromise that saved 140,000 teachers’ jobs -- and protected 5,700 jobs in Illinois.

Before accepting the position as Chief of Staff to the President, Emanuel served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Chicago’s 5th District, which includes the Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lakeview and Uptown neighborhoods. Prior to that, Emanuel served as a key member of the Clinton White House from 1993 to 1998, rising to serve as Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Strategy. He played a key role in passing the COPS initiative, which added 100,000 cops to our streets and helped drop crime rates to a 26-year low. Emanuel also worked in the private sector for Chicago investment bank Wasserstein Perella. He began his career at Illinois Public Action, the state’s largest public interest organization.

Emanuel graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1981 and received a master's degree in speech and communication from Northwestern's School of Communication in 1985. He is married to Amy Rule, and they have three children, Zach, Ilana and Leah.

Topics: Campus Life, University