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De Blasio at U. of Chicago Institute of Politics on Thursday

WASHINGTON – New York Mayor Bill De Blasio hits Chicago on Thursday for a forum on “Leading America’s Cities” at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics where he will be joined by Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

It’s a big week for the U. of Chicago IOP: On Tuesday the Illinois GOP governor primary candidates duel at a forum co-sponsored with NBC5 at 6 p.m. Chicago time at the Logan Center, 915 E. 60th. CNN’s Jeff Zucker stops by the Quadrangle Club, 1155 E. 57th St.

De Blasio is new on the job–sworn into office on Jan. 1 following a campaign based on progressive Democratic politics. De Blasio and Emanuel are not strangers–they have met several times in New York and most recently, at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting here.

Other local connections– De Blasio and Emanuel share the same political consulting firm–the Chicago-based AKPD–even though they don’t seem to share the same politics, though both Democrats.

And on that point–Emanuel on Thursday in Washington for an event at the Brookings Institution–was asked by moderator David Brooks, the New York Times columnist about De Blasio–given Emanuel’s centrist Democratic background. Emanuel declined to engage and instead made a general statement about running the city in a way not “left, right, center,” but what he considers “good policy.”

And another connection–De Blasio’s campaign manager, Bill Hyers, signed on to be the top strategist for Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s 2014 re-election bid.

The forum is at 6 p.m. Chicago time, is open to the public at the U. of Chicago’s International House, 1414 E. 59th St.

From the U. of Chicago IOP: “If the post-World War II era resulted in pervasive suburbanization, the post-recession age has born witness to a vibrant urban revival. Metropolitan areas in the Great Recession’s aftermath are experiencing unprecedented population expansion, with growth rates surpassing that of suburban and rural areas for the first time since the 1920s. Yet in the face of twenty-first century urban renewal, urban leaders must confront uniquely twenty-first century challenges. Join Mayors Rahm Emanuel, Bill de Blasio, Eric Garcetti, and Kasim Reed for an insightful discussion about the most pressing issues facing today’s urban leaders, and how our great American cities can flourish in the twenty-first century and beyond.”