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New Emanuel TV Ad Spotlights Chicago’s $13 Minimum Wage Law

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's new minimum wage ad.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s new minimum wage ad.

(Chicago) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s re-election campaign on Sunday unveiled a new TV ad featuring Chicago’s recently enacted $13 minimum wage law.

The 30-second commercial entitled “Minimum Wage” highlights Emanuel’s successful but controversial effort to increase Chicago’s minimum wage to $13 per hour by 2019, a move that helped derail a push in Springfield to increase the state minimum wage to $10 or $11.

“There’s been a lot of discussion about raising the minimum wage at the federal and state levels, but it was the Mayor’s leadership that led Chicago to actually get it done,” said Emanuel campaign manager Michael Ruemmler.

The new $13 minimum wage law is the centerpiece of the mayor’s strategy to appeal to Chicago progressive voters who view Emanuel as more concerned with the city’s big business and financial service interests, earning him the moniker “Mayor 1%”.

The new ad features Sharita Wilson, an African-American 27-year-old single mother of two and resident of the Hyde Park community, who praises the Mayor’s wage initiative.

Wilson, who currently earns the minimum wage as a cashier and salesperson at a store downtown, details her struggles of trying to pay her bills on $8.25 per hour.  At $13, she says that she’ll be able to afford Christmas gifts for her kids.

Emanuel’s new commercial follows the same message strategy as campaign’s first three ads that spotlight how Chicago residents have benefited from mayoral policy initiatives from closing a coal-fired power plant, opening a new Whole Foods grocery store, to improving academic outcomes at Chicago’s Community College system.

As in the other spots, Emanuel, whose personal approving ratings have been dismal in polls, appears only in a non-speaking, cameo role, allowing Chicago’s minority residents to make a personal case for his record rather than pitching statistical improvements that the mayor himself rattles off in his speeches.

The ads have so far avoided any clever message stunts and have instead relied on solid story telling that answer a key question about Emanuel’s tenure for the average voter: what’s in it for me?

The answer will determine the mayor’s fate on February 24, 2015.

The new spot will begin airing on Chicago broadcast television on Monday, December 15.

davidormsby@illinoisobserver.net

Twitter @DavidOrmsby

(*Note to Political Insiders: The Illinois Observer also offers our exclusive, subscriber-only e-newsletter – The Insider – to, well, Illinois political insiders. Each Tuesday and Friday at 6:00 a.m. The Insider, whose Consulting Editor is Capitol Fax Publisher Rich Miller, arrives in e-mail boxes with the choicest Illinois, Cook County, and Chicago political gossip, insider information, and news tips. For more information and a free, 4-week trial subscription to The Insider, please go here).

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