East Garfield Park woman to challenge Emanuel for mayor

Clout Street

A 31-year-old municipal consultant from East Garfield Park will officially launch her campaign against Rahm Emanuel for mayor of Chicago next week.k

Amara Enyia said she's running to give voice to the frustration in Chicago neighborhoods like hers where residents feel like they have been left out of Emanuel's vision for the city's future.

Scheduled to be on hand at her Monday event is Blaine Elementary Principal Troy LaRaviere, who became a face of anti-Emanuel sentiment when he spoke out recently about what he said is a policy by the mayor's administration to silence principals who disagree with his education policies.

LaRaviere confirmed in an email that he will speak at the event at the Co-Prosperity Sphere in Bridgeport.

Enyia worked for about two years as a public policy fellow in Mayor Richard M. Daley's administration before opening a firm that has worked on housing and other issues with south suburban municipalities. She said she's aware she faces long odds against the well-funded incumbent, but that she can tap into deep dissatisfaction with Emanuel around the city.

"People see the projects he pushes in and around downtown, and they feel like there should be an intentional focus by the mayor on bringing these same types of investments to their communities," she said. "It isn't happening."

"He's got this mythology around him that he's invincible. I simply reject that," she added.

Former Chicago alderman Robert Shaw has also entered the race against Emanuel. As for the possibility that multiple challengers could split the anti-Emanuel vote and make it tougher to defeat him, Enyia said that calculus doesn't drive her. "For me, the decision to run was not about making the politically motivated move," she said.

If another candidate, like Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, were to join the race, Enyia said she would then consider her options about how best to defeat Emanuel.

Twitter @_johnbyrne

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