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Calls grow for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to resign amid Chicago violence

Frustrated by continued violence in Chicago, activists are calling for the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who plans to run for a third term in 2019. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The city of Chicago has struggled for ages with high rates of violent crime. Now, there's a renewed cry from residents who are saying their mayor of seven years hasn't done enough to stop the crisis — and that it's time for him to go.

What's going on?

Ahead of an anti-violence rally planned on Thursday, event organizers made it clear that Mayor Rahm Emanuel was not invited, and that he should instead, step down beforehand.

Protester Rev. Gregory Livingston told the Chicago Sun-Times, "We're not looking for any kind of help from Mayor Emanuel because, Jesus said, 'How can Satan cast out Satan?' He's divided against himself."

Livingston explained to the Chicago Tribune that asking for Emanuel's blessing or support to hold the upcoming rally wouldn't make sense, considering his group is openly calling for both the mayor and superintendent of police, Eddie Johnson, to resign.

"The call of the people is 'Resign Rahm,'" Livingston said, "so how, then, can you back your own regime change? How do you sanction your own termination? How dumb, naïve and self-hating do you think we are?"

Livingston's comments come as other critics have made public pleas for Emanuel to relinquish his position in recent days.

Who else called for the mayor's resignation?

Hip-hop star Chance the Rapper announced a few weeks ago that he bought the Chicaoist website, and through lyrics in one of his songs declared that he would use the outlet against the mayor, vowing to Emanuel that he would "run you racist b**** out of business."

He goes on to address Emanuel further, rapping, "And Rahm, you done, I'm expectin' resignation...an open investigation on all of these paid vacations for murderers."

Fox News analyst Gianno Caldwell stopped short of directly calling for Emanuel to quit in an op-ed published two days ago, where he asked for President Donald Trump to step in and help Chicago since "Mayor Emanuel has no strategy that could save the people of Chicago from the architects of violence."

But Emanuel —who has faced calls for him to resign for years — waved off the criticism from activists. Laughing to the Sun-Times, he said, "If people want to say the superintendent and I should resign, that doesn't influence my position except for one thing: I think Superintendent Johnson does a fabulous job."

What else?

As of July 22, Chicago had seen 288 murders in 2018. That number is 108 less than 2017's annual total, with five months to go in this year.

Emanuel, a Democrat, plans to run for re-election in 2019, and he faces seven challengers so far. Emanuel was first elected mayor in 2011, and reelected on April 7, 2015

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