Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and challenger Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia will both take part in a forum Wednesday night at Chicago State University on the city's South Side.
But Emanuel's decision to participate apparently took some public prodding.
Earlier today, the university released a statement saying that Emanuel was not going to take part in the forum, which raised eyebrows and sparked conversation on social media and WVON radio, a black-owned station in the city, the Sun-Times reported.
In an effort to give both students and voters in neighboring communities an opportunity to have their voices heard in the electoral process, CSU invited both Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Commissioner Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia to a Mayoral Forum. However we were recently informed that Mayor Emanuel has chosen not to attend the forum.
On behalf of the CSU community, we feel Mayor Emanuel is missing an important opportunity to address the needs and concerns of a community that is often underrepresented and under-served. CSU prides itself on being a beacon of education and civic engagement, and because the issues of the day are too important to ignore, we intend to move forward with the forum.
Later in the afternoon, however, the university released a second statement saying both candidates will take part in tonight's forum:
Chicago State University is pleased to announce that both Mayoral candidates will be in attendance for a candidate forum tonight. We are very thankful to both Mayor Emanuel and Commissioner Garcia for making themselves available to the students and community members of CSU. We look forward to an informative and substantive forum.
While some Chicagoans are likely pleased to learn that Emanuel will participate in the forum, particularly those who plan on attending the event, the damage may have already been done in the eyes of others.
One former Chicagoan following the mayoral runoff likened Emanuel's actions to that of his predecessor, Richard Daley:
Instead of facing off against one another, the candidates will each be grilled by a panel that will be moderated by ABC7's Charles Thomas, for an hour each.
The forum will take place at 6 pm at Chicago State University's Jones Convocation Center, located at 9501 South King Dr.