Photo by Patrick Pyszka

Weekly Roundup: Mayor Emanuel Outlines His Comprehensive Strategy To Address Public Safety

This week, Mayor Emanuel delivered a speech that outlined his comprehensive strategy to address public safety.

The strategy, which includes an increase to the overall police department by 970 officers over two years and significant investments in youth mentoring, will include a focus on enforcement, economic opportunity and prevention — as well as restoring the two-way street of trust between police and the communities they are sworn to protect.

A number of faith leaders, community advocates and City officials joined the Mayor on stage, including Nate Pendleton, Monsignor Michael M. Boland of Catholic Charities, Reverend Lou Ramos of Storehouse Church, Torrey Barrett of the K.L.E.O. Center, Urban Prep student and former mentee to the Mayor, Martell Cowen, Superintendent Eddie Johnson, and DFSS Commissioner Lisa Morrison-Butler.

Marci J. Richards of Fierce Women of Faith delivered an invocation before the Mayor spoke.

The Second-Ever Chicago Architecture Biennial Is Set To Be Back And Better Than Ever!

Mayor Emanuel announced the dates, new artistic directors, new executive director and lead sponsors of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Following a resounding success of the first edition in 2015, the 2017 Biennial will be open to the public and on view at the Chicago Cultural Center next fall.

In fact, the inaugural 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial was the largest international exhibition of contemporary architecture in North America, which attracted more than 530,000 visitors from around the country and around the globe. Through the unprecedented event, Chicago secured its spot on the international map for design and architecture, featuring the visionary ideas of 120 participating architecture and design offices from more than 30 countries.

Next year’s Biennial is expected to continue this success, attracting more thought-provoking designs and ideas from artists around the globe and more praise from international critics — at the same time making the Mayor’s vision for Chicago as a global destination for arts and design a reality, and accomplishing priorities set forth by the Chicago Cultural Plan.

For details and updates, visit

Wilson Sporting Goods Is Rolling Downtown!

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that Wilson Sporting Goods is doubling down on Chicago and relocating its global headquarters downtown next year. The move will bring approximately 400 employees downtown from the company’s current office near O’Hare.

Wilson, the leading global manufacturer of high performance sports equipment, apparel and accessories, has been a Chicago-based company for its entire 102-year history, and is currently located near O’Hare International Airport.

The move will help them continue to grow and thrive for the next 100 years.

Another Day, Another Record Set By CPS Students!

Mayor Emanuel and CPS announced that last year’s juniors achieved a record-high score on the ACT exam!

Juniors last year achieved an average score of 18.4, a. 2 point jump from last year and a significant 1.2 point increase in the district-wide average ACT score since 2011. This rapid growth is especially significant when compared to the five year period before Mayor Emanuel took office, in which the average ACT score rose just 0.2 points between 2006 and 2011.

The continued growth in ACT scores is just the latest in a series of recently-announced record-high academic achievements at CPS:

  • graduation rate (73.5 percent),
  • freshman on-track rate (87.4 percent),
  • attendance rate (93.4 percent),
  • college scholarship offers ($1.16 billion), and
  • all-time high NWEA assessment scores that show CPS students on average scoring higher than their national peers.

These key indicators show more of Chicago’s students are positioned for success in the next steps of college and career than ever before.

Positive Outcome of Youth Violence Prevention Strategies

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and Chicago Police Department (CPD) shared new data demonstrating that a series of safety reforms beginning in 2011 are continuing to improve safety outcomes for CPS students attending district-run schools across the city.

The data released suggests that a series of reforms and investments to enhance citywide coordination on behalf of youth have been effective in improving safety outcomes both in- and out-of-school, and keeping CPS students safer than before.

Three key indicators of youth safety show significant improvements over the past four school years. 
• 33 percent reduction in the CPS student shooting victimization rate, with no such incidents taking place on school grounds through the entire period.
• 33 percent reduction in criminal incidents along Safe Passage routes during school hours when Safe Passage workers are on duty. 
• 38 percent drop in the rate at which Chicago Police were summoned for in-school incidents involving students

‘Animal, Vegetable, Miracle’ Is The 27th One Book, One Chicago Selection

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Library announced that the 27th One Book, One Chicago selection is “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver.

One Book, One Chicago is a citywide program that, for 15 years, has helped bring communities together around one central book and theme through diverse programming.

From October through May 2017, One Book, One Chicago will explore a central theme — “Eat Think Grow” — with citywide programming focused on cultural cuisine, cooking, eating, sustainability and urban farming. One Book, One Chicago is made possible by the Chicago Public Library Foundation, funded through generous support from The Chicago Community Trust and BMO Harris Bank, with travel support provided by United.

Programming will take place in all 80 branches of Chicago Public Library. Joining with over 25 community partners, the Library will offer Chicagoans a variety of events and programs, including culinary walking tours, bee-keeping workshops, beer brewing and coffee roasting talks, author visits, cooking and nutrition workshops and other food-related events. Free citywide programs will launch in early October.

A New Dry Ice Pilot To Combat Rodents

Mayor Emanuel and the Department of Streets and Sanitation announced a new dry ice pilot to combat rodents.

In the pilot program, crews place dry ice directly into a rodent burrow and cover the hole. As the dry ice melts and turns into carbon dioxide, the rodents suffocate.

Although the pilot is still underway, preliminary results indicate a rodent reduction of more than 60 percent after treating an area with dry ice.

This is the latest step in a series of enhancements DSS has undertaken to help combat rodents in Chicago, including the redirection of 10 crews to the Bureau of Rodent Control in April.

The Second City Is First For Cyclists!

This week, Mayor Emanuel accepted an award from Bicycling magazine, which is naming Chicago the nation’s top city for cyclists.

Chicago is receiving the award due to the City’s efforts to improve safety for cyclists and invest bike infrastructure that reaches all corners of the city. Since Mayor Emanuel took office the City has created 50 miles of bike lanes, and is working to create 50 more.

The national publication also singled-out the extraordinary growth of Chicago’s Divvy system, which in a little more than three years has become the geographically largest bike-share system in North America.

Chicago seized the title “Best Bike City in America” after being named number two behind New York last year.