A look at challenges Chicago mayor faces beyond police abuse

AP News
Posted: Dec 09, 2015 6:18 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been dealing in recent weeks with street protests, a Justice Department investigation and other fallout from a video that shows a white Chicago police officer fatally shooting a black teen. But that's far from the only crisis he's facing. A look at some of the other issues that have confronted the nation's third-largest city:



Chicago has seen an increase in shootings and homicides this year over 2014. The deaths include a 9-year-old boy who, according to police, was lured into an alley and shot in the head as part of a months-long gang feud.



Emanuel pushed through the largest tax increase in Chicago history to help close a budget deficit and address a pension system that's the worst-funded of any major U.S. city.



The mayor also needs help from state lawmakers to fix a budget crisis at Chicago public schools. His administration has said that without relief, officials could be forced to lay off hundreds of teachers midyear. At the same time, the school district and the Chicago Teachers Union are in the midst of tense negotiations over a new contract. Union members are voting this week on whether to authorize a strike. A walkout could happen as early as March.

Adding to the district's woes was the indictment of Emanuel's public schools CEO, who oversaw closings of about 50 schools — a decision that angered many residents. Barbara Byrd-Bennett pleaded guilty in October to helping steer $23 million in no-bid contracts to education firms for $2.3 million in kickbacks and bribes.