Guess what. Rahm Emanuel didn’t show up. We all predicted that. He’s got his own style of campaigning and corporate Los Angeles fundraising – we’ll see where that gets him when no one knows why they should vote for him. Andy Shaw, an excellent moderator, explained how he called Rahm’s campaign office and basically was brushed off: “Thanks for telling us how to run our campaign” they said.

I brought my friend’s Apple iPad to the Marriott ballroom for the Community and Environment Mayoral Forum last night so I could “liveblog” the messages from the three candidates, Carol Mosely-Braun, Miguel Del Valle, and Gery Chico. But that didn’t happen because Marriott Magnificent didn’t provide “complimentary wifi” (as the staff member called it) to the attendees. I could have brought my laptop, but then you would have delayed updates and we couldn’t have that!

So instead I sent tweets to my 500+ followers on my dumb phone with 9 keys on its keyboard. Here are the 35 short messages about the forum, mostly unedited [edits/additions in brackets], in reverse order (last to first):

  • This was the best mayoral forum [I’ve been to] so far. (final tweet)
  • Braun: this election is about the future direction of the city and we need a city Council that is a real legislative body. [I think she was alluding how the city council has been a group of pushovers under the M. Daley administration]
  • Del Valle says we can’t achieve perfection but we have to continue reaching for it [that seems realistic]. Make neighborhood schools the anchor of the community. [He explains that he doesn’t want parents to have to struggle to decide if they should send their children to the school down the block, or the school across town. All schools should be good.]
  • Chico says running for mayor is the highlight of his life. “I want my grandson to be proud of Chicago.”
  • Chico wants to make a city where families want to stay.
  • Del Valle thinks the next mayor will be a one term mayor. It will be painful as the next mayor makes a lot of tough decisions. [I think he was really serious about this. If he believes it, then I think this says something about his rationale for becoming the next mayor.]
  • Braun: someone on Wall Street decided to make $10 billion the failure of Chicago city Council approving parking meter deal [this one was really hard to put into 140 characters – the way she spoke this message was much better than how I summarized it]
  • Chico looks better [in my eyes] with every new word he utters.
  • I like what Del Valle says but the way he talks needs to be refined.
  • Too many people are leaving the community and environmental forum and We’re talking about green jobs.
  • We need to educate the public on role and function of Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. Make water meters mandatory. [Del Valle]
  • Chico wants audit on water supply to ensure we have the cleanest. Water meters should be installed at every home and business to conserve.
  • Del Valle says he will liberate the 50 aldermen and demand open deliberation [open meaning that he would invite and encourage the public to come].
  • Del Valle says fast track park development to take the place of vacant lots and abandoned homes.
  • Chico agrees with Del Valle. Must talk to Springfield and Washington (filled with Chicagoans) more often.
  • Del Valle: Mayors need to go to Springfield more often. Gun control. Pensions. Transportation formula.
  • Braun says more bike lanes and pedestrian zones so people don’t have to compete with dangerous traffic.
  • What 3 priorities do you take to Springfield? Braun: address school & transit funding formulas. income tax. state not paying for teacher pensions.
  • Del Valle says if the candidates’ proposals are so good, why didn’t we do it before?
  • Chico says get rid of Ward based recycling and switch to grid. [Note: Recycling is based on which Ward you live in, but pickup within the connected Wards is based on a grid.]
  • Chico on downtown: In the summer you run into the flip flop crowd. 20 years ago you’d have seen tumbleweeds.
  • Andy Shaw is a good moderator. Environmental forum.
  • Braun says shut down the plants. Del Valle says City Council needs to vote on Clean Power Ordinance [which includes cleaning up or shutting down]. Chico says clean up or close down. [My favorite part of the forum. I’ve lived in their polluting domain for four years, in Pilsen and Bridgeport.]
  • Fisk and Crawford plants: What steps would you take to clean them up? This is my question of the year as I’ve lived near there for 4 years.
  • Chico talking about his rep as school board president. Oversaw building new schools and rising test scores.
  • Chico also telling us how much of a Chicagoan he is. Talking about Neighborhoods Alive, living on South Michigan Avenue.
  • To be a world class city, we need world class neighborhoods. Can’t happen until we do away with food deserts. -Del Valle
  • Del Valle says all candidates tonight will have same answers. But Del Valle talking about how true a Chicagoan he is.
  • Del Valle ribs Rahm for not showing up at forums. Forums are a very good way to meet Chicagoans.
  • Braun says the earth is “all of our mother”
  • Braun talking about her environmental chops as state legislator and senator.
  • Andy Shaw warns of tough, green questions ahead. At the environmental forum.
  • Tomorrow will be 4th forum of Andy Shaw that Rahm Emanuel will miss.
  • Brendan Reilly gives “a big downtown” welcome to Braun, Del Valle, Chico. (first tweet)

I tried to give equal attention to all candidates, but there’s obvious bias in all of the tweets because of my limited space to write and also because I only tweeted what I thought would be interesting to readers (“sound bytes,” I guess).

Lastly: Both Mosely-Braun and Del Valle want to build more bike lanes and “pedestrian zones” (not sure what they meant by this) to ensure these users’ safety. Awesome! Del Valle even went so far as to say that he would like to see bike lanes on Grand Avenue at Milwaukee Avenue (an intersection he sees often and alluded to wanting to improve it). This is in addition to him bringing up how the parking meter deal sucks for Chicago because it removes the City’s ability to control its own streets.