• Juanita Barajas
  • Missing is the “Sale Pending” sign: Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he’s made a deal to privatize the port of Chicago for 62 years.

With Governor Pat Quinn at his side, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced at a Sunday press conference a couple weeks ago that the city and state were ready to privatize another public asset: they would turn over control of Chicago’s port to a Denver-based firm for 62 years.

“We are taking what was an underutilized, run-down port and turning it into an engine of opportunity,” Emanuel promised.

These are the times we live in: the city has to sell off pieces of public property so it can invest in them. At least that’s the narrative that Emanuel is advancing out of City Hall, like Mayor Daley before him. When they say it over and over it almost makes sense, like it’s not paradoxical after all. It certainly sounds a lot better than coming out and saying that the city is for sale.