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Mayor Rahm Emanuel signs an executive order earlier this month requiring city contractors to pay a $13 minimum wage. | Brian Jackson/Sun-Times

Single moms need a minimum wage hike

A new report by the U.S. Census Bureau found that even as the national poverty rate declines, it remains more than two points higher than before the start of the Great Recession. But it gets worse. The report also found that children under the age of 6 whose mothers are single live in poverty at more than five times the rate for children whose parents are married. If there was ever a time to raise the minimum wage, it is now.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel talks about Great Lakes water quality, pot and other topics at a news conference at the Shedd Aquarium last week. | Michael Schmidt/Sun-Times

Time to grade mayor’s performance

Where does the time go? It’s been more than three years since we sat down with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to review the promises and progress of his first 100 days in office in an interview that was broadcast live on the Better Government Association’s website. Well, this is a good time for the BGA to hold the mayor accountable on a few of his “good government” goals.

Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) said this sign operated by Bruce Rauner’s company was illegally installed over the city sidewalk at 1062 W. Chicago. | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

Rauner’s digital sign biz thrives under Rahm City Hall’s rules

THE WATCHDOGS: Nearly two dozen brightly lit signs barrage people from Bridgeport to Lake View with a 24/7 rotation of digital ads featuring attacks on Gov. Pat Quinn and praise for his Republican opponent Bruce Rauner, an owner of the business that got city approval to put up the signs. More than two years after the Emanuel administration began issuing permits to Rauner’s company, City Hall changed the rules for digital signs, following complaints — but the ones already up can stay.

Holder's Justice Department highlights Rahm in departure post

WASHINGTON--Attorney General Eric Holder is stepping down and his Justice Department is highlighting--in one handy post--upbeat statements about the Holder tenure from lawmakers, civil rights leaders and figures such as Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Including Emanuel's comment in the roundup is a touch, because Emanuel and Holder clashed while Emanuel served as President Barack Obama's chief of staff. But it turns out that Emanuel, up for re-election next year--and wrestling with crime in African American parts of the city--and low support from African American voters--needs Holder more than Holder ever needed Emanuel. Holder did Emanuel a favor in coming to Chicago in July to praise the mayor for how he is dealing with crime in schools.


Off Message: Rahm's pot proposal and Bruce Rauner's rough week



Natasha Korecki is joined by Mary Ann Ahern, Mick Dumke and Mark Brown to discuss Rahm Emanuel's proposal to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, but rejecting the idea of legalization. They also take a look at a rough stretch for the Bruce Rauner campaign over the past week and a half.

From January to August 2014, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, 580,000 flights took off or landed at O’Hare. | Sun-Times file

Blink and you may miss O'Hare's 'busiest' moment

“Busiest airport in the world,” the mayor said Wednesday. “O’Hare International Airport has regained its status as the world’s busiest airport for flight operations,” the Department of Aviation announced. Which is odd, because just last week, CNN reported that Atlanta’s Hartsfield is busiest for the 16th year in a row, with 94.4 million passengers passing through in 2013.

Mayor Richard J. Daley marches with members of the janitors' union in 1957. But over the last two decades, mayors Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel have privatized or cut hundreds of custodial jobs. | Sun-Times library

Can Rahm clean up the mess he's made with school janitors?

The latest cost-cutting deal at CPS is off to a rocky start.

As Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis continues to ponder a run for mayor, CPS employees have been reminded that school district policy means that prohibits improper political activity on the job. | Chandler West/For Sun-Times Media

CPS reminds employees of restrictions on political activity

As petitions began circulating to add the president of the Chicago Teachers Union to the mayoral ballot, the head of Chicago Public Schools reminded employees that engaging in improper political activity on the job could cost them their jobs.

Second Ward Ald. Bob Fioretti’s Sept. 13 announcement of his candidacy marked the unofficial kickoff of the 2015 mayoral campaign. | AP file

Look for a Fioretti & Lewis tango

Fioretti can’t take City Hall on his own. Right now, his standing in the mayor's race is limited to his old base and hyperactive progressives who will take “Anybody but Rahm.” Fioretti could raise $3 million-plus. Count on Emanuel to pull in $20 million-plus. If it’s mano a mano, it’s over. Fioretti needs another contender: Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis.

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