Morning Spin: Mayors from around the world descend on Chicago Wednesday
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, seen here last month, will host the annual Global Cities conference this week in Chicago. (Antonio Perez/ Chicago Tribune)
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More than a dozen world mayors will be here beginning Wednesday at a forum that will give Mayor Rahm Emanuel another platform to situate himself at the forefront of municipal leaders trying to address big issues.
The three-day Chicago Forum on Global Cities will feature meetings on balancing “the tension between progressive urban policies and increasingly insular national agendas” as well as other pressing concerns for city leaders. There will also be tours of local corporations and plenty of evening hobnobbing at dinners and “night owl” cocktail parties, according to the event’s agenda.
Following the forum on urban waterfronts he held for a group of mayors in March, along with his outspoken position with other American mayors in opposition to President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, this week’s third annual Global Cities event is a chance for Emanuel to raise his profile among urban bosses.
It’s also a way for the mayor to showcase some of his efforts to improve Chicago’s standing on favorite progressive items like public transit upgrades, cultural diversity, technology access for residents and environmental policy without having to contend as much with the local media’s fixation on such day-to-day problems as violence and school funding shortfalls.
Wednesday will feature a reception in the stock exchange room at the Art Institute, along with a meeting on globalization and an Art Institute dinner. Thursday promises a full slate of meetings, with the event wrapping up Friday afternoon following sessions on sustainability, cities dealing with the refugee crisis and other topics. (John Byrne)
What’s on tap
*Mayor Emanuel will participate in a Chicago Council on Global Affairs roundtable that’s closed to press. He’ll introduce Department of Planning and Development Commissioner David Reifman at a City Club of Chicago luncheon. And the mayor will "file an executive order formalizing Chicago’s commitment to adopting the guidelines of the Paris Agreement after President Trump withdrew the United States, reneging on a consensus with 196 countries on environment protections," according to Emanuel’s press shop.
*Gov. Bruce Rauner will continue pushing his property tax freeze message with homeowners in Poplar Grove and Peoria. In the evening, he’ll welcome home veterans at Midway Airport.
From the notebook
*Talk about timing: State Rep. Scott Drury’s entrance into the Democratic primary race for governor came the same day union leaders endorsed J.B. Pritzker, making Pritzker the early front-runner.
The endorsement came hours after Drury posted a video and sent out a news release announcing his bid. The former federal prosecutor from Lake County has taken votes contrary to union positions in the past.
Drury touted his independence from House Speaker Michael Madigan, including refusing to vote to keep him in the post. When Madigan doled out gift clocks to his members in January marking his record tenure as speaker, Drury grumbled that he did not receive one.
In making his announcement, Drury took a shot at Pritzker by noting he did not inherit "billions of dollars" and that "money cannot buy character or judgment."
"While my colleagues at the U.S. attorney’s office and I were fighting to rid Illinois of public corruption, the current presumptive front-runner was cozying up to corrupt Gov. Blagojevich for an appointment," Drury said in a statement. "That type of small thinking is the polar opposite of what Illinois needs right now."
Campaign finance reports on file with the state Board of Elections show Drury had nearly $285,000 in his political fund at the end of March and has raised $6,600 since. (Rick Pearson)
*Mayor returns to Washington: Mayor Emanuel will take the podium at a National Press Club luncheon on June 20 for an hourlong discussion on education and other issues.
His speech is entitled “Moving Forward in Chicago” and he will take questions afterward, the club announced.
One topic he’ll raise is his bid to require public high school seniors to provide a college or trade school acceptance letter, proof of military enlistment or a job offer in order to graduate, the announcement said.
The event is scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. Chicago time.
To suggest a question for the mayor, email email@example.com with “EMANUEL” in the subject line before 9 a.m. that day. (Katherine Skiba)
*Illinoisan up for top Army post: President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced his intention to nominate Ryan McCarthy to be under secretary of the Army.
McCarthy is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and served in the 75th Ranger Regiment during the invasion of Afghanistan, the White House said.
He is a former Hill staffer who later was a special assistant to then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
McCarthy, who has an MBA from the University of Maryland, most recently was a vice president at Lockheed Martin, working on its F-35 fighter jet program. (Katherine Skiba)
What we’re writing
*Illinois labor group endorses Pritzker, cementing Democratic front-runner status.
*Emanuel, Trump Justice Department mum on who backed away from CPD court oversight.
*Illinois Democrats in Congress ask Rauner to speak up on health care overhaul.
*A major Chicago Tribune investigation into Cook County property tax system, "The Tax Divide," is now online. Read it here. And here’s a preview video.
*Federal judge weighing whether Illinois needs to prioritize paying Medicaid bills.
*CPS to detail plan for new high school at elementary building in South Loop.
*Bottled Blonde, River North bar with lengthy dress code, has liquor license revocation hearing.
*Illinois overhauls its 529 college savings plans, reducing fees and adding choices.
*Major video game group sues Chicago over online game tax.
What we’re reading
*Doctor depression, suicide slowly coming out of shadows.
*This summer’s solar eclipse is Southern Illinois’ chance to shine.
*Taproom boom: In a slowing craft beer industry, Chicago brewers build locally.
Follow the money
*Track Illinois campaign contributions in real time here and here.
Beyond Chicago (Holy cow, D.C. edition)
*Coats told associates Trump asked him if he could intervene with Comey on Russia probe, WaPo reports.
*Trump, furious and frustrated, gears up to ‘punch back’ at Comey testimony, WaPo reports.
*Comey asked Sessions to keep him from being alone with Trump, AP reports.
*Sessions offered to resign after tension with Trump, WaPo reports.
*What’s known about the Mueller probe so far.
*Trump takes credit for Saudi move Against Qatar, a U.S. military partner, NYT reports.
*Fear of deportation drives people off food stamps in the U.S.
*U.S.-led coalition strikes pro-Assad forces in Syria.