A new allegation of gross misconduct has been raised against Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Democratic Illinois Governor candidate Chris Kennedy alleged Wednesday that Emanuel is pushing a twisted gentrification plan to rid Chicago of Black residents, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“I believe that black people are being pushed out of Chicago intentionally by a strategy that involves disinvestment in communities being implemented by the city administration, and I believe Rahm Emanuel is the head of the city administration and therefore needs to be held responsible for those outcomes,” Kennedy, nephew of the late John F. Kennedy and son of the late U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy, said during a recent news conference about gun violence.
Kennedy continued: “This is involuntary. That we’re cutting off funding for schools, cutting off funding for police, allowing people to be forced to live in food deserts, closing hospitals, closing access to mental health facilities. What choice do people have but to move, to leave?” Kennedy added. “And I think that’s part of a strategic gentrification plan being implemented by the city of Chicago to push people of color out of the city. The city is becoming smaller, and as it becomes smaller, it’s become whiter.”
Emanuel responded by turning the attention back on Kennedy, tying him to Trump.
“It’s sad to see Chris Kennedy joining President Trump and Gov. Rauner in using cynical, politically motivated attacks about Chicago’s communities for his own personal gain,” Emanuel spokesman Matt McGrath said in a statement. “His divisive comments today are a direct assault on one of this city’s greatest strengths — our diversity.”
Emanuel has fought to regain favor among African-American residents, who called for his resignation over his court battle to keep video of Laquan McDonald’s fatal police shooting under wraps in November 2015. The accusations aimed at Emanuel also highlight a decline in the city’s Black population to 793,852, representing about 29.3 percent of the city’s population, according to census data released last year.
The mayor has been working to “improve the quality of life” for Black residents in the wake of McDonald’s death, McGrath said. Emanuel greenlit a plan to put “at least” five more advanced life support ambulances on Chicago streets to serve Black communities and reduce response times to medical emergencies Thursday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported after Kennedy’s disparaging speech.