Rahm Emanuel was sworn in as mayor of Chicago Monday, ending the Daley family's control of that office for most of the last five decades. The former White House chief of staff for Obama pledged to "leave behind the old ways and old divisions" to "take on the challenges that threaten the very future of our city." The challenges Emanuel named are familiar to most cities--crime, education, jobs--but he can add to that list a $1 billion budget shortfall and a population that dropped by 200,000 in the last 10 years. But Emanuel made sure to clarify one way he wouldn't tackle the city's financial woes: going after unions.
Emanuel called the city's financial problems "difficult and profound" and "not just a matter of doing more with less." But referring to nearby Midwestern states recently passing laws curbing the collective bargaining power of public sector unions, he said, "I reject how leaders in Wisconsin and Ohio are exploiting their fiscal crisis to achieve a political goal. That course is not the right course for Chicago's future."
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