Rahm Emanuel on Environment

Democratic Rep. (IL-5); Chief of Staff-Designee


Let every child have 10-minute walk to park or playground

Q: How is governing different in Washington versus Chicago?

EMANUEL: One you can actually run, and the other you don't have a chance.

Q: Is it easier to set goals as mayor than in Washington?

EMANUEL: Let me give an example. We are redoing every playground in the city of Chicago. It is all paid for. All new equipment. Done. [Claps hands.] I believe in parks as a dramatic improvement in the quality of life in the city. We are adding parks everywhere. We are trying to get the Interior Department to designate a local park to be a national designation, and it is like a 3-year process. They have interest in doing it, but my God. In Chicago, I wanted to make sure every child in four years time was a ten- minute walk from a new park or playground. It's done. We are going to get there one year ahead of time.

Q: You don't have a Congress that prohibits you from passing the smallest thing.

EMANUEL: We have 50 aldermen but we do have a...can-do spirit.

Source: The New Republic 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Apr 6, 2014

Gentrification can be done right, with active zooming laws

Q: What do you think when you hear the word "gentrification"?

EMANUEL: There is an area called Fulton Market. You would think it was a typical area that is on fire. Google is moving in. But there are restaurants in that neighborhood. It has exploded. It is one of the hottest areas in the country from a real estate perspective. We designed it in a way to protect the manufacturing, too. I know there are a lot of bad connotations. High rents and people being forced out who have been there for years. And there is a reason it has that connotation. But if we are smarter about it, we can do things that allow improvements.

Q: What is the role for government in dealing with these issues? How active should the city be?

EMANUEL: Very active. Zoning laws, land use, all kinds of things. It can't be the Wild West.

Q: Are you putting any pressure on the president to move his library here?

EMANUEL: Chicago is where he started his career in public life, and I think it is only fitting that it should be here

Source: The New Republic 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Apr 6, 2014

Voted YES on environmental education grants for outdoor experiences.

Congressional Summary:

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. JOHN SARBANES (D, MD-3): This bill creates a new National Capacity Environmental Education grant program for which education associations apply competitively for grants that would fund model programs that get children into nature and really have them experiencing the environment.

Rep. BUCK McKEON (R, CA-25): This bill incorporates scientifically-based and technology-driven teaching methods into environmental education. Unfortunately, the new National Capacity Environmental Education Program is duplicative of the existing environmental education program already being run by the EPA. Still, I do not intend to oppose its passage.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. MICHELE BACHMANN (R, MN-6): H.R. 3036 continues our Nation down the ill-fated road of shifting control of school curricula away from the parents and teachers and local school boards who best know what their children need into the hands of Federal Government and its one-size-fits-all approach. To best serve our children's educational needs, local school boards need flexibility to target resources where they are needed most. The needs of individual school districts are not homogenous and are most certainly not best understood by bureaucrats in Washington. This bill represents a step in the wrong direction. Forcing local school districts to direct scarce resources away from core curricula to serve a political agenda will only further suppress the academic performance of America's next generation.

Reference: No Child Left Inside Act; Bill H.R.3036 ; vote number 2008-H614 on Sep 18, 2008

Voted YES on $9.7B for Amtrak improvements and operation thru 2013.

Congressional Summary: