Rahm Emanuel: ‘Chicago Is the Most American of American Cities’

By Patrick Burke | December 3, 2012 | 10:51 AM EST

Chicago skyline (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Chicago, a city plagued by gangs, murder and a failing public education system, is the most American of cities, says Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“Chicago is the most American of American cities," Emanuel said in talk last week to political science students at Northwestern University. "It's not just any city. If you want to come and see America, you come to its heartland. And what is the capital of that heartland? Chicago."

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"There are about one hundred cities in the world that drive the intellectual, economic and cultural capital and energy of the world economy. Chicago is one of them," Emanuel said. "I actually believe the decisions I make in the next 2-3 years will determine what the city of Chicago will look like for the next 20 to 30 years and will also determine whether Chicago stays in that class (top 100) or veers off into kind of the next hundred," he said.

In Chicago, on average, more than one person is murdered per day. According to the Chicago Police Department, the city has recorded 462 murders as of November 18th, an 18 percent increase from 2011 and a 16 percent increase from 2010.

As CNSNews.com reported in September during the teachers' strike in the Chicago publics schools, 79 percent of the 8th graders in those schools are proficient in reading and 80 percent were not proficient in math.