Emanuel Family Spends King Day Volunteering At Local YMCA

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his family took part Monday in a day of service on the West Side for the Martin Luther King holiday.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine got a tip that the Mayor and his family would be among hundreds of volunteers in North Lawndale. At first, mayoral aides didn’t want to let a news crew in, but they gave in.

Emanuel, arm in arm with his daughters Leah and Ilana and his wife, Amy, posed for pictures with the girls’ friends and other volunteers for the day of service at the West Side YMCA.

Volunteers at the day of service swarmed like an army of worker bees, painting walls and door frames, getting the athletic and day care center ready for students and preschoolers who’d be coming here each day.

“I think on this day, on Martin Luther King Day, it’s better to have a day on than a day off,” Emanuel said as he pitched in. “There’s nothing more important than giving back to the community.”

The mayor worked side by side with other volunteers, from grade school students to the cast of the Goodman Theatre production “Race” – including actor Geoffrey Owens and director Chuck Smith.

“They (cast members) don’t follow directions too well here,” Smith joked.

The event was organized by City Year, a group which caught the mayor’s eye during the campaign.

“We have a 145 of these young people in the red vests that are currently serving as tutors and mentors in 16 Chicago public schools. Every year, we take a day on King Day and just come do physical service,”

More than 900 people signed up to volunteer at the Y and two schools in North Lawndale, as the Y’s lone engineer, Jay L. Hunt, looked on in amazement.

Asked how long would it take him to do all that work himself, Hunt said, “a long time; months and months.”

The participation of the Mayor and his family – just four of the hundreds volunteering – was largely symbolic.

“Now the kids that are gonna be here are gonna have a totally spanking-new building, for early childhood (and) other activities,” Emanuel said. “Everybody that contributed made their city much better.”

While the City Year event was just a one-day deal, the city actually has a year-round volunteer program. The website, OneGoodDeedChicago.org matches volunteers with community activities.

More from Jay Levine
  • Afro


  • Jack

    Of course rahm only helps minority communities. The kids’ parents probably don’t have to pay for these programs either.

  • malcom

    propaganda. so MLK day is be a slave to a black day?

  • Steve

    Will he shovel the sidewalk too?

  • Afro
  • Civilized

    I wonder what you 4 lazy oafs above did today besides sit on you fat lazy @sses.

  • WDGBeasT

    Why would Rahm help white communities that already receive tons of city funds!!! Its a shame in this day and age that minority communitites continue be the most undeserved and under funded! The least he could do is paint a wall or two!

    • What a clown

      I’m white and I live in a black neighborhood. This area is the first to get new street lights, newly paved roads, sewer lining, new sidewalks, new parks, etc.

      And I’m sure you meant to type “underserved”, but you didn’t – you typed “undeserved”…maybe a typo, maybe the truth spilling out from your subconscious!

      • THEE Yard Ape

        “I’m white and I live in a black neighborhood.”


  • Larry Horse's Arse Horse's Arse

    This is so fake. Jay Levine got a “tip” that Rahm was doing this? That’s hilarious.

    Without media coverage, Rahm doesn’t do this. Same deal as to what Jess Jackson Jr. did.

  • Micheal Savage

    Nothing like supporting a troublemaker like MLK,troublemakers themselves.

  • http://travel2chicago.us/chicago-news-stories-forjan-17-2012/ Chicago News Stories for Jan 17 2012 : Travel tips, hotels, restaurants, jobs and news | Travel 2 Chicago

    […] recycling to help finance next year’s Christmas tree drive. CBS 2′s Mike Parker reports.Emanuel Family Spends King Day Volunteering At Local YMCAMayor Rahm Emanuel and his family took part in a day of service on the West Side on Monday for the […]

  • Afro

    Whit Tee shirt, no gloves using a paint roller with no extension and has not one spatter of paint on him. You make the call LOL!

  • Miguel Rivera

    Did Mayor Emanuel said last year. Something about him not using his children to help his political carrer? Well, look a family pose.

  • http://cityyearchicago.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/mlk-day-of-service-recap-monday-montage/ MLK Day of Service Recap! | Monday Montage |

    […] Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his family even made an appearance at the North Lawndale […]

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