A new era began in Chicago this morning, when Rahm Emanuel was sworn in as the city’s 47th mayor. Emanuel is the first new mayor in Chicago since Richard M. Daley took office 22 years ago, and the former White House chief of staff made clear to the city what his first priorities will be.
“Today, more than any other time in our history, more than any other place in our country, the city of Chicago is ready for change,” Emanuel said during his inaugural address at Millenium Park.
The 51-year-old father of three said he plans to tackle Chicago’s biggest problems: education, violence, the city’s financial problems and creating more jobs.
“New times demand new answers; old problems cry out for better results. This morning, we leave behind the old ways and old divisions and begin a new day for Chicago. I am proud to lead a city united in common purpose and driven by a common thirst for change,” Emanuel said.
“To do that, we must face the truth. It is time to take on the challenges that threaten the very future of our city: the quality of our schools, the safety of our streets, the cost and effectiveness of city government, and the urgent need to create and keep the jobs of the future right here in Chicago.”
Said Emanuel, “The decisions we make in the next two or three years will determine what Chicago will look like in the next twenty or thirty.”
As he took office, Emanuel also praised the work of his predecessor, whose father, Richard J. Daley, served as Chicago’s mayor from 1955 through 1976. “Nobody ever loved Chicago more or served it better than Richard Daley,” Emanuel said.
Most of Chicago’s top officials were in attendance at this morning’s event, as was Vice President Joseph Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden.
You can watch the inauguration and Emanuel’s speech below, courtesy of WLS Chicago News ABC 7, or check out WBEZ’s coverage here.