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Pullman Officially Designated A National Monument

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 19, 2015 11:00PM

Sen. Mark Kirk, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and President Barack Obama at the ceremony declaring Pullman a National Monument Feb. 19, 2015. (Photo credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

As reported previously, President Barack Obama returned to Chicago Thursday to declare the Historic Pullman District a National Monument. The proclamation ceremony at Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep in the historic neighborhood, near where Obama first worked as a community organizer, also served as a boost for Mayor Rahm Emanuel's re-election campaign, with voters set to head to the polls in five days.

The president, in his own inimitable way, threw his full support behind Emanuel.

“He was an essential part of my team at the White House during some very hard times for America. And I relied on his judgment every day and his smarts every day, his toughness every day,” Obama told the crowd.

“Rahm hasn’t just fought for a national park in Pullman. He’s fought for new opportunity and new jobs in Pullman and for every Chicagoan in every neighborhood, making sure every single person gets a fair shot at (the) success they deserve, and I could not be prouder of him and the extraordinary service he’s providing,” Obama said.

The ceremony was not without controversy given as it seemingly ran counter to the White House's stated policy of not appearing with candidates running for election. But recent polls have shown Emanuel falling short of the 50 percent plus one vote necessary to avoid a runoff election and the mayor has been courting African American voters as the campaign is in its final week. White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said the policy applies only to foreign politicians and that Obama "has supported the mayor’s elections in the past - campaigns in the past - and he supports this one as well."

[Tribune, Sun-Times]