Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=179308
Story Retrieval Date: 6/20/2013 1:55:33 AM CST
“The big plan for tonight: We’ve got a champagne fountain from the top of the ballroom to the stage. I’m going to f*ing ride down it.”
That was the original victory plan, according to @MayorEmanuel, a fake twitter account that thousands of Chicagoans followed throughout the mayoral campaign, eerily detailing the real Rahm Emanuel’s campaign adventures in an unconventional way.
Crowdsurfing was the second option.
The real Emanuel was much more staid in accepting the verdict of Chicago's voters, sparing him a runoff in his victory Tuesday night, but those first two fantastical options more accurately reflected the celebratory mood that echoed through the party.
A range of supporters attended the event at the Stephen M. Bailey Auditorium in the West Loop, chanted his name and cheered loudly when the results were released. For many, Emanuel’s garnering 55 percent of the vote meant more than their favorite candidate being elected.
For 13-year-old Summer Hale, who said she feared Carol Mosley-Braun would win and close down her charter school, that meant the potential for “more after school and in school programs … and keeping kids off the streets.”
The promise of an improved education system was also the reason Megan Mathias celebrated. Mathias, an attorney and single parent, said her 6-year-old son, who attends CPS, will benefit.
“I think everything’s going to change because he’s not the type of person that’s going to cave to the typical local pressure. He’s bigger than that,” Mathias added.
Emanuel will be sworn in on May 16. He will become the first new mayor in Chicago since Richard M. Daley took office 22 years ago.
For people like Grace Leon, an attorney who volunteered for the campaign, the Daley era has ended at a crossroads: “Rahm is the person who can make sure we take the right fork in the road and don’t end up the way a lot of depressed cities in the Midwest have.”
Leon said she likes Emanuel’s vision for the city. “Rahm can do pretty much anything he wants in the world, and I was really inspired by his love for the city and his desire to come back and make this an even better city than when he left it,” she said.
Having left his post as President Barak Obama’s White House chief of staff, Emanuel overcame residency and ballot issues to sweep to an outright victory. Gery Chico came in second with 24 percent of the vote followed by Miguel Del Valle, Carol Mosley-Braun, Patricia Van Pelt Watkins and William "Dock" Walls, respectively.
As for tomorrow?
Emanuel visited more than 110 El stops during his five months of campaigning. Although he no longer needs to make those stops, Emanuel ended his acceptance speech with: “Tomorrow morning, I’m going to see you at that El stop.”