Inauguration Day

Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Rahm Emanuel is the new mayor of Chicago. He was sworn in as the 46th mayor just before 11:25 am on Monday, May 16, 2011.

“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 in his inauguration speech.

He pledged to take up the challenge of improving the city’s schools, making the streets safer, cutting costs and improving efficiency in city government, and doing his part to improve the city’s economy in order to create more jobs.

“As your new mayor, it is an honor to fight for the change we need and a privilege to lead the city we love,” said Emanuel.

The road to becoming mayor was long for the son of Israeli immigrant, pediatrician Benjamin Emanuel, and X-ray technician, Martha Smulevitz.

Emanuel served as senior adviser to then President Bill Clinton from 1993-1998. In 2002, he was elected to the House of Representatives from Illinois’ 5th Congressional District.

In 2008, he was named President Barack Obama’s White House Chief of Staff. Emanuel resigned his post in October 2010, and formally announced his candidacy for mayor of Chicago on Nov. 13, 2010.

Despite residency challenges, Emanuel persevered and won the right to remain on the ballot. On Monday, May 16, 2011, Richard M. Daley’s 22-year run as mayor of Chicago ended, as Mayor Rahm Emanuel took over.

“None of what we must overcome will be easy, but in my heart I know this: The challenges for the city of Chicago are no match for the character of the people of Chicago,” said Emanuel.

Rahm Emanuel has appeared on Chicago Tonight 39 times since 1989. Watch our exclusive archived videos.

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