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Rahm Emanuel
Chicago Mayor Emanuel 2016.jpg
55th Mayor of Chicago
In office
May 16, 2011 – May 20, 2019
Preceded by Richard Daley
Succeeded by Lori Lightfoot
23rd White House Chief of Staff
In office
January 20, 2009 – October 1, 2010
President Barack Obama
Deputy Mona Sutphen
Jim Messina
Preceded by Joshua Bolten
Succeeded by Pete Rouse (Acting)
Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Jim Clyburn
Succeeded by John Larson
Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
In office
January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by Bob Matsui
Succeeded by Chris Van Hollen
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 5th district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Rod Blagojevich
Succeeded by Mike Quigley
Senior Advisor to the President
for Policy and Strategy
In office
President Bill Clinton
Personal details
Born November 29, 1959 (1959-11-29) (age 61)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Amy Rule
Children 1 son
2 daughters
Residence Ravenswood, Chicago, U.S.
Alma mater Sarah Lawrence College
Northwestern University

Rahm Israel Emanuel ( born November 29, 1959) is an American politician. He is the 55th Mayor of Chicago from 2011 to 2019.

Early life

Emanuel was born on November 29, 1959 in Chicago, Illinois to a Jewish family. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College and at Northwestern University.

Political career

U.S. representative (2003-2009)

He was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Illinois's 5th congressional district, from 2003 until his resignation in 2009 to become a member of the Obama Administration. He is the first Jewish mayor of Chicago.

Emanuel was chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2006 mid-term elections and remained a top strategist for House Democrats during the 2008 cycle. After Democrats regained control of the House in 2006, Emanuel was elected chairman of the Democratic Caucus. This made him the fourth-ranking House Democrat, behind Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn.

White House Chief of Staff (2009-2010)

Two days after Obama's election victory, Emanuel was announced as Obama's designee for White House Chief of Staff. He resigned from the House on January 2, 2009, and began his duties as Chief of Staff on January 20, 2009, the day of Obama's inauguration.

Mayor of Chicago (2011-present)

Emanuel resigned as Chief of Staff effective October 1, 2010, in order to run for Mayor of Chicago pending the announced retirement of six term incumbent Richard M. Daley.

On January 27, 2011, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed a lower court's ruling that had cast doubt on Emanuel's candidacy; the court unanimously decided that Emanuel did not abandon his Chicago residency by serving in the White House, thus affirming his ability to run for mayor. He won the Mayoral election on February 22, 2011, with 55% of the vote. President Obama appointed William M. Daley, the brother of Emanuel's predecessor as mayor, as Chief of Staff to replace Emanuel.

Emanuel created a transition team from varied backgrounds. On November 16, the city council voted unanimously to adopt the mayor's first budget, which decreased the budget by $34 million and increased spending by $46.2 million, supported by increasing fees and fines. Despite most Aldermen opposing cuts to library workers and the closure of mental health clinics, they ultimately supported it, calling it "honest". At a news conference in November 2012, Emanuel listed his top three priorities for the state legislature as security and pension reform, adding a casino to Chicago, and equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. At a press conference with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, who previously vetoed legislation to put a casino in Chicago, the two were "very close" to reaching a deal.

Emanuel won his second term during the run-off re-election campaign. He defeated Jesus "Chuy" Garcia. Emanuel won 56.76% of the votes.

In November and into December 2015, Emanuel has been criticized for his handling of the Laquan McDonald shooting, mainly for covering and allowing Chicago police to get away with excessive use of force on black minorities. Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass wrote that the Emanuel administration withheld from the public the police dashboard camera video of the Laquan McDonald shooting in order to secure the re-election. Since December 2015, over half of Chicagoans believe that Emanuel should resign with such support from the New York Times, Al Sharpton, Black Lives Matter, U.S senator Bernie Sanders and Illinois governor Bruce Rauner.

Despite growing disapproval ratings, Emanuel announced his candidacy for re-election in the 2019 mayoral race, though there are petitions seeking for a two-term limit for Chicago mayors. However, on September 4, 2018, Emanuel reversed this decision and stated he would not seek a third term.

Personal life

While a high school student working part-time at an Arby's restaurant, Emanuel severely cut his right middle finger on a meat slicer, which was later infected from swimming in Lake Michigan. His finger was partially amputated due to the severity of the infection.

Emanuel married Amy Merritt Rule in 1994. They have three children. They live in Ravenswood, Chicago.

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