In a war of words between heavyweight names in the national Democratic establishment, a Kennedy running for governor has slammed Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for his alleged complicity in a gentrification plan that critics say is forcing African-Americans and other minorities out of the country’s third-largest city.
“I believe that black people are being pushed out of Chicago intentionally by a strategy that involves disinvestment in communities being implemented by the city administration,” said Chris Kennedy, who is running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination ahead of a March 20 primary. “I believe Rahm Emanuel is the head of the city administration and therefore needs to be held responsible for those outcomes,” Kennedy said, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“This is involuntary. That we’re cutting off funding for schools, cutting off funding for police, allowing people to be forced to live in food deserts, closing hospitals, closing access to mental health facilities. What choice do people have but to move, to leave?” Kennedy was quoted as saying. “And I think that’s part of a strategic gentrification plan being implemented by the city of Chicago to push people of color out of the city. The city is becoming smaller, and as it becomes smaller, it’s become whiter.”