Mayor Emanuel Considers Renaming Balbo Drive

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Emanuel said he would consider Chicago renaming Balbo Drive, because it honors a Fascist.

Aldermen Edward Burke and Gilbert Villegas are urging that Balbo Drive’s name be changed, because it commemorates Italo Balbo, an Italian Air Force Aviator who later helped Fascist Dictator Benito Mussolini rise to power. WBBM’s Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports.

“I already talked to Alderman Burke and the other aldermen and we are going to work through it as a City Council,” Emanuel said.

“I will work with the City Council of making sure the City of Chicago – in what we have recognizes people that also recongnizes value.”

As the Mayor said “values” a reporter pressed him for his personal opinions and Chicago’s first Jewish Mayor seemed to get annoyed.

“Ready…I’m against Fascism, Ed. Take a chill pill, will you,” he said.

Some local activists have also suggested renaming Washington and Jackson parks on the South Side because President George Washington and President Andrew Jackson both owned slaves. The Mayor is not considering that.

“There’s a lot of blemishes to either record, but I’m not changing – that’s true about any President – I’m not changing the names of them,” Emanuel said.

He said both presidents worked at liberty and perfecting the union.

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