Emanuel announces transition team

February 24, 2011 8:26:14 PM PST
Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel's transition team includes two former top aides to Mayor Richard M. Daley and a South Side minister.

The seven-member team includes David Mosena, who is president and CEO of the Museum of Science and Industry; Sarah Pang, senior VP of corporate communications for commercial insurer CNA; and Byron Brazier, who is pastor of Apostolic Church of God.

"Their diversity of experience, their diversity of background, I think gives us a chance to have a new start and a fresh sense of how I want to, as I said during the campaign, turn the page and bring an era of reform to city government and how it delivers its services to the taxpayers," Emanuel said.

Also named to the team of co-chairs were Felicia Davis, currently the VP of administration at Kendall College; Judy Erwin, who represented the 11th District in Chicago from 1992 to 2003 in the Illinois General Assembly; Steve Koch, a vice chairman at Credit Suisse and a presidential appointee to the Independent Advisory Panel of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board; and Rebecca Gonzalez, who currently serves as the VP of programs and operations for Casa Central, one of the leading social service networks in the nation. Background Info: Rahm's Transition Team

Emanuel said the goal of the transition team is to ensure that government is transparent. He said he hopes to reach out to everyday people to figure out how government can better work for them.

"Their diversity of background I think gives us a chance to have a new start and a fresh sense of how I wanted, as I said during the campaign to turn the page and bring an era of reform to city government and how it delivers its services," said Emanuel.

Emanuel -- who was supported by most of the elected officials in his former North Side congressional district -- won his 55 percent citywide majority with virtually no help from politicians elsewhere in Chicago.

"He doesn't come from a ward organization, he really doesn't have any great history in the wards. He's probably freer than most in who he owes, what he owes," said Prof. Paul Green, Roosevelt University. "The situation now is probably as critical as it's ever been in the city going back to the 1930s."

When asked Emanuel how politics would play a role in who eventually would be appointed to key positions in his administration, Emanuel said what's become part of the 'Chicago way' is no more.

"I don't want to meet nobody that nobody sent. I got that culture. These are the people, the people that sent these people, the people that sent me are voters. Very clear," he said.

Since winning Tuesday's election, Emanuel has been in mayor mode. He has been clear and direct about his vision for the city of Chicago and how he wants to solve the city's problems, but he could be facing a city council that could challenge his power.

Emanuel thanked supporters at the CTA's Clark/Lake and Southport stations Thursday morning. On Wednesday, Emanuel mapped out his priorities for when he takes office in May.

"We need more safety in the streets, quality education in the schools and [to] make sure the economy is creating jobs for all residents to participate in the city's future," Emanuel said.

Emanuel confirmed Wednesday at his first news conference his promise to reform while focusing on several issues he faces, including the budget deficit. His first battle will be building a coalition in the City Council. Twenty-six is the magic number Emanuel needs to control the council that has been nicknamed the Go-Along Gang for supporting Mayor Daley's agenda.

"It cannot be a rubber stamp. That is unacceptable. Challenges are too big. They can't be what they were in the last few years," Emanuel said.

Emanuel also said he will use some of the millions left over in his campaign to help some aldermen facing April runoffs.

Emanuel's first moves will be most likely finding a new chief of staff, a new superintendent of the Chicago Police Department and a new CEO of Chicago Public Schools. Emanuel has also said that nobody is immune to this change.