Chicago, IL – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced that he will not seek re-election for a third term, amid outcry from protesters who have repeatedly demanded that he step down from his position.
“As much as I love this job and will always love this city and its residents, I’ve decided not to seek re-election,” Emanuel said during a Tuesday press conference, according to FOX News. “This has been the job of a lifetime, but it is not a job for a lifetime.”
Emanuel has held the Windy City’s mayoral position for over seven years.
“I’ve given my all every day and left everything on the field,” he said. “We have more to do and from now until then, we will do everything in our power to get it done and walk out the door hopefully leaving Chicago and Chicagoans in a better place.”
In July, Coalition For a New Chicago President Reverend Gregory Livingston called a press conference to announce that the group would cause massive unrest throughout the city if their list of demands were not met.
Among their demands was the resignation of Emanuel.
“We are planning a major act of civil disobedience in the Chicago business district because Chicago’s unbridled violence will not end unless and until we deal with the corruption that breeds it,” Livingston said.
“We are demanding, again, the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel,” he continued. “He will never be the people’s mayor. He is the downtown mayor who has destabilized our neighborhoods and delivered on empty promises. He is a Washington, DC power broker who needs to go back to DC.”
Livingston demanded a meeting with city leaders to “undo Mayor Emanuel’s corrupt practices,” and referred to Chicago Superintendent Eddie Johnson as the mayor’s political puppet.
Calls for Emanuel’s resignation amped up again in mid-August, after he urged residents to “speak up” and help police who were trying to make their neighborhoods safer, FOX News reported. He also blamed a lack of morals in certain neighborhoods as a factor in the city’s violent crime surge
“This may not be politically correct," Emanuel said at the time, "but I know the power of what faith and family can do…Our kids need that structure…I am asking … that we also don’t shy away from a full discussion about the importance of family and faith helping to develop and nurture character, self-respect, a value system and a moral compass that allows kids to know good from bad and right from wrong.”
On Monday, Livingston and 11 other protesters were arrested near the Kennedy Expressway as they prepared to block traffic traveling to O’Hare International Airport, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“I honestly think in the long run we got our message across,” Frank Coconate, who helped organize the protest, told the Chicago Tribune. “I think it took where this was being held, in ‘cop land’ up here in this part of the city, for people to think about why it’s beautiful up here and why on the West and the South sides things are so bad…There’s a lot of money that’s really not reaching those neighborhoods.”
The following day, Emanuel announced he would not seek re-election.
"At the end of the day, what matters most in public life is four more years for our children, not four more years for me," he said.