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Rahm Neighborhood Fed Wish List: Agents, Green Line Fix, After-School Help

By Heather Cherone | February 14, 2017 7:23pm | Updated on February 15, 2017 11:51am
 The victory of City Clerk Susana Mendoza in the comptroller's race embodies the values of Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.
The victory of City Clerk Susana Mendoza in the comptroller's race embodies the values of Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.
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DNAinfo/Heather Cherone

CHICAGO — More federal agents to combat crime in violence-plagued neighborhoods, after-school help for Chicago's kids and renovating mass transit that runs through the South and West Sides are on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's wish list for help from Washington.

On Tuesday, Emanuel told reporters that in meetings with Trump administration officials this week said he renewed his plea for more agents to be assigned to Chicago to help fight the gang and gun violence sweeping the city.

More agents from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms should be permanently assigned to Chicago, Emanuel said while touting the decision by exp, a design and consulting firm, to move its headquarters from Canada to Michigan Avenue.

"We don't have what we need," Emanuel said.

In addition, Emanuel said he urged the Trump administration to fund afterschool and summer job programs as well as efforts to help ex-offenders and to mentor teens and young adults.

"This is what we mean by federal help," Emanuel said.

Emanuel said he also urged federal officials to help the city renovate the CTA Green Line, which runs through the South and West sides.

“But, what would be greater economic opportunity and job creation than helping us revitalize the Green Line as we have seen in other communities?” Emanuel asked, referring to the city's efforts to rebuild the Blue Line and modernize the Red and Purple lines.

However, Emanuel said he made it clear in meetings with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Senior Adivisor Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, that Chicago would remain a Sanctuary City despite a crackdown on cities that protect undocumented immigrants from deportation by the Trump administration.

"I told them we are a welcoming city, and we are going to stay a welcoming city," said Emanuel, who also met with Gary Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council and Dina Powell, senior counselor for economic initiatives.

An executive order signed by President Donald Trump moved to yank all federal grants "except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes," which could cost Chicago millions of dollars.

Trump threatened Jan. 24 in a tweet to "send in the Feds" unless Chicago officials "fix the horrible 'carnage'" in the city.

After surging in 2016, violence in Chicago has shown no sign of slowing in the first month of 2017, with just as many shootings and murders in January 2017 as in January 2016. Despite Trump's focus on Chicago, more than a dozen American cities have a higher per capita murder rate.

The mayor said he urged the Trump administration help the city expand its use of technology to track — and prevent crime — from two South Side police districts across the city.