Emanuel won’t limit public outreach despite shootings
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter January 11, 2011 12:32PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
As architect of the 2006 Democratic takeover of Congress, Rahm Emanuel helped recruit and re-elect Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
He also pioneered “Congress on the Corner,” the outreach program that saw Giffords greeting constituents at a grocery store when she was shot in the head Saturday.
On Tuesday, Emanuel said the Arizona massacre has done nothing to alter his desire to create a local version of the program if he’s elected mayorthat would allow him to greet Chicago voters in the neighborhoods where they live and shop.
“Do I worry about security? Yes. [But] I will not change the way I do stuff in the sense of a level of relationship and conversation and dialogue with the public” because of security concerns, Emanuel said.
“I would never want to remove myself from hearing directly from people so I can, in one way or another, fix something.”
Emanuel noted that many of his best ideas — including the so-called Elder Justice Act and the simplified financial aid form for the parents of college students — originated from suggestions made by constituents who stopped to talk to him when he was in Congress.
On Tuesday morning, he was shaking hands at a South Side L stop when a young man came up to him and showed him a parent-teacher contract. Emanuel, who has made a similar proposal, has his staff examining the idea.