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Young Chicagoans Weigh In-Rahm Looks Like a Sure Bet

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In an informal survey conducted last Monday in the South Loop, young Chicago residents favored former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for mayor of Chicago.

Those interviewed said the qualities they look for in a mayor are: strong leadership, experience, honesty and interest in the public. Many said they thought Emanuel embodies those qualities.

However, some said Gery Chico, former chief of staff for Mayor Richard Daley, and City Clerk Miguel del Valle have a better understanding of what Chicago actually needs.

Jack Pigozzi, 21-year-old city resident, said Emanuel is “strong and has a lot of experience.” Pigozzi said he plans to vote for Emanuel because he is more qualified and has received more press coverage. He also said he thinks Chico is equally favored among Chicagoans.

“Chico is going to get 35 percent of the vote. I guarantee that,” said Pigozzi.

Andrew Lloyd, another 21-year-old Chicagoan, said he looks for leadership in a political figure. Lloyd plans to vote for Emanuel because he thinks Rahm will direct more federal aid towards Chicago.

“He’s got a good machine,” said Lloyd.

Residents said they are also looking for a candidate who has financial experience.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Emanuel has raised nearly four times more money than other candidates. The Chicago Tribune reported that Emanuel has collected about $11.8 million to date.

Andy Margeolas, 22, said he wants someone who is fiscally conservative.

“He [Emanuel] has got a good political background,” said Margeolas.

“Being a Chicago resident for my whole life, I’m ready to see change outside of the Daley era. Emanuel seems to have the best ideas for what Chicago needs to progress economically,” said Alexandra Rose, a 22-year-old resident of Uptown.

According to Emanuel’s website,, fiscal stability is one of his major priorities. Rahm also said he wants to invest in health care for Chicago workers and families to reduce costs of healthcare for citizens.

“Emanuel’s plan will cut the overall sales tax rate and broaden the tax base by including luxury goods, transition the natural gas tax from a percent-based tax to a per-unit tax, and eliminate the head tax,” his website stated.

Mayor Daley has been criticized in the past for taking on more debt. Also, according to city budget records, the city has lost 6,000 people from its payroll.

Colin Michaels, a 21-year-old Lincoln Park resident said, “I feel like he’s going to help the city that Mayor Daley made a mess of.”

So far, young Chicagoans’ hopes are high for Rahm Emanuel winning this election. The most recent Chicago Tribune poll had Emanuel at 44 percent of the vote and Moseley Braun with 21 percent of the vote. Chico had 16 percent.

Emanuel was officially put back on the ballot Thursday evening after a ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court, which stated that Emanuel had satisfied the residency requirement.

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