Sneed exclusive: Emanuel picks Zopp to be a deputy mayor

SHARE Sneed exclusive: Emanuel picks Zopp to be a deputy mayor

Andrea Zopp | Sun-Times file photo

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel has offered a slice of the power pie to former Urban League powerhouse Andrea Zopp, a highly respected Chicago attorney who lost her Democratic primary bid for the U.S. Senate to Tammy Duckworth.

Sneed has learned Emanuel asked Zopp, who has strong ties to Chicago’s African-American political and fiscal power players, to become Chicago’s deputy mayor in charge of overseeing major city projects.

“Rahm can talk a good game, but he needs to get his projects completed,” said a top Sneed source familiar with the Zopp appointment.

• Translation: Emanuel feels Zopp’s moxie and magic can get things done.

“Rahm hasn’t had an easy go of it and Zopp isn’t looking at a future political career . . . she just wants to help,” the source added.

Sneed is also told Zopp, who was eager to serve the community in some capacity, accepted Emanuel’s proposal — but an expected announcement due over the weekend was postponed.

Zopp couldn’t be reached for comment.


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It will be Emanuel’s second pick as deputy mayor. Steven Koch also serves in that capacity handling overseas finance.

“As he has done for the past five years, the mayor frequently engages a wide variety of community leaders to gather feedback and hear their thoughts on policies, strategies and the path forward for our city,” mayoral spokesman Adam Collins said. “Andrea Zopp has long been among those he has turned to as he values her insights on everything from education, which led to her service on the Board of Education, to economic development, where she worked closely with the mayor to ensure the Red Line South project created jobs for South Side residents.”

“If and when there is some personnel news to make we won’t be shy about making it.”

Zopp’s Dem primary loss to Duckworth was a stunner to a cadre of Chicago’s African-American political powerhouses furious Duckworth was endorsed for the job by Washington insiders at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee — rather than listening to what the City Council and black legislative caucuses had to say.

“This is a smart idea for Rahm,” said a top Dem source. “He’s always making project announcements — but he needs to get them done. Zopp’s credentials are amazing.

“The air is being sucked out of the African-American community by violence and guns and poverty and lack of jobs and this job seems like a perfect fit for Andy.”

Contributing: Fran Spielman

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