The [Tuesday] Papers
"Lori Healey, who most recently ran Chicago's NATO summit committee, is leaving real estate development firm The John Buck Co. to become chief executive of Tur Partners, former Mayor Richard M. Daley's new investment firm," the Tribune reports.
It's also a genus of mites, so that's about right.
"In a city in which no single racial group makes up more than a third of the population, almost two of every three City Hall department heads is white. Of 30 Emanuel appointees to the highest-ranking city government positions, only five are black, and three Hispanic, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis shows."
Governor Pat Quinn, on the other hand, "has tapped African Americans and whites to serve in top state posts at a rate that roughly mirrors the size of their communities in Illinois, though Hispanics are relatively scarce in Quinn's cabinet despite their growing population."
And Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle? "Preckwinkle has 15 whites and 13 blacks in the 34 top posts in her administration. As in the Quinn and Emanuel administrations, though, few Latinos occupy top positions under Preckwinkle. She has four Asian cabinet members and two Hispanics, even though Hispanics are four times as numerous as Asians in the county's population."
A couple other findings before I get to Rahm's cynical, disingenuous response on Monday:
* Rahm's own office, which is staffed entirely by political appointees, is about 57 percent white. "Only the Fire Department, the inspector general's office and the city's Law Department have a higher percentage of white workers, according to city records."
That would be a Democratic talking point if, say, Mitt Romney's governor's office in Massachusetts was staffed similarly (for all I know, it was).
* Only five of Rahm's appointments to the city's highest-ranking jobs have gone to blacks; just three to Hispanics.
* The top seven salaries in the mayor's office go to white people.
In today's paper, Rahm responds, saying "he's as concerned about 'diversity of experience' as he is about achieving racial balance."
That's a Republican white guy answer.
"I look at diversity of experience, diversity of race and diversity of ethnicity as well as diversity of results," Rahm told the paper.
He's got a point: If diversity of results is what we should really be looking at, Barack Obama has been a miserable failure.
As usual, though, Rahm can't just own his boo-boo. Instead, he attacks the Sun-Times.
"The mayor called the Sun-Times story 'one way of looking at it.' But, he argued that the newspaper neglected to mention several salient points that paint a dramatically different picture.
"'Sixty percent of my appointments to boards and commissions are minority,' Emanuel said, noting that, reporters can 'slice and dice' racial data in different ways."
First, the paper isn't looking at board and commission appointments, many of which are positions of little to no real responsibility, but at the most influential people around Rahm who serve in his cabinet and in other top city jobs.
Second, how else can you slice and dice the data, Rahm?
"You can also look at my staff. Of the fourteen most senior people, ten of 'em are women. That also is diversity."
Noted, though the Sun-Times also reports that "Of Emanuel's 30 department heads, 17 are men and 13 are women. But the only woman in charge of a large City Hall department is Rosemarie Andolino, his Aviation commissioner. Departments led by women represent less than 15 percent of the city's budget."
Back to Rahm:
"[O]f the three largest sister agencies, they're all run by African-Americans. And the Fire Department . . . has a Hispanic [commissioner] and the second [highest-ranking] person is African-American . . . That is one take, that story. But, it's not the whole story. And I just gave you three data points that were not in that story that are all relevant to the facts in that story."
Actually, the paper did report that African-Americans run the city's three largest sister agencies - the Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Housing Authority and City Colleges.
"Instead of measuring him on the racial make-up of his City Hall cabinet, the mayor urged reporters to judge him on the impact of policies - like eradicating food deserts - that impact African-American voters who helped put him in office."
Wow. That's an embarrassing reach.
"The mayor's explanation did not sit well with African-American aldermen, who started raising concerns about the mayor's all-white public safety team two weeks before Emanuel's May 16, 2011 inauguration.
"'We've had meetings with the mayor and we've expressed our displeasure with' the shortage of blacks in policy-making jobs, said Ald. Anthony Beale."
In its first story, the Sun-Times also quoted Ald. Howard Brookins saying "We brought it up to him within the first month of his administration. That was when we started noticing a trend."
Given Rahm's rhetoric, the real question is this: Mr. Mayor, do you support or oppose affirmative action? Do you believe that government should practice affirmative action and/or seek diversity in its top ranks? Then why haven't you?
If Rahm resorts back to his talking points, this: So you side with the typically conservative position on this, the one that tends to be held by Republicans?
It's okay if he does, even if we all don't agree with it. It's not okay if he doesn't admit it.
* Great Lakes Warriors. They are tugboat men.
* On The Anniversary Of The Freedom Of Information Act. Sunshine, the disinfectant.
* About That Pulitzer Fiction Jury. Epic fail.
* The Chicago International Teleport. Not as cool as it sounds.
* All-Star Game post
The Beachwood Tip Line: Teleportable.
Posted on July 10, 2012
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