The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Meet The Man Who Refused To Shake Rahm's Hand

By Kate Shepherd in News on Sep 1, 2015 10:01PM


There was no shortage of protestors at Monday night's public city budget meeting but this video of a man somberly refusing to shake Mayor Rahm Emanuel's hand stood out.

The man who rebuffed Emanuel is Isaac Krantz-Perlman, a special education classroom assistant at Hanson Park Elementary School and a member of the Chicago Teacher's Union, according to In These Times. When Emanuel approached Krantz-Perlman, the teacher said, "I don't want to shake your hand," before quickly looking down at his phone.

"I think every time he walks around shaking the hands of the people whose lives he is intentionally trying to ruin, he is wondering how soon he can wash the working-class sweat and grease off his hands," Krantz-Perlman said to In These Times. "He was probably happy he had one less person's hand to shake."

Emanuel has gotten the cold shoulder from Chicagoans before, as In These Times chronicles in their piece on the shade-throwing teacher.

During the contentious runoff with Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, an employee at a South Side health food store posted a picture of him standing with Emanuel with the caption "The Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel came by my job, still can't stand this muthafucka tho." He also said that Emanuel is a bad tipper.

Love him or hate him, these pictures are reflective of the serious issues Emanuel is facing. Since he won his difficult reelection battle on April 7, the political landscape has forced him "onto the political equivalent of a desert island" the Sun-Times' Fran Spielman wrote in July. His troubles are plentiful, his allies are scarce and his uphill battle is steep and lonely, according to Spielman.

The double-downgrade by Moody's to a junk bond rating, the city pension fund crisis, the fight over hundreds of millions in CPS budget cuts, the state budget crisis and the Barbara Byrd-Bennett scandal might all be much more than he bargained for heading into his second term.