This summer, CSP students had the opportunity for a day to go visit city hall, courtesy of the generous Institute of Politics. The visit was definitely one I will never forget.
Us scholars, all dressed up, first filed into a large room resembling a smaller version of the senate floor one always sees on television. As the tour guide described what was around us, we gradually realized that we were in an important room. Instantly 7 or 8 of us made a beeline for the elevated floor at the front of the room which held Mayor Rahm Emanuel's chair. We took about a thousand pictures, and with each student that took the seat, it became easier and easier to imagine a future former CSP student holding that seat officially.
Next we went to the back of this room, where there was a small meeting space and a media room. Then, we went up to the building's roof, where they held a huge garden. The cool thing about this garden is that it allowed the city to harvest honey from the bees that live up there, as well as kept the building cool and saved them $900,000 in energy costs in it's first year of installation!
Last, we had a Q and A session with some of the teams who work for the city. These people were all successful lawyers with extensive years of work experience or multiple degrees. CSP students like rising senior Robert Wilson and rising senior Ross Floyd made us proud by asking hard questions about our city's gun violence, citizen relationship with the police, and the power (or lack thereof) of local school council, and definitely making them squirm.
All in all, this was a pretty amazing trip for us to take. Even for those not interested in politics, it was interesting to see how our city's decisions are made and be assured that we have good people representing Chicago within state affairs. Thank you Institute of Politics!
Sabrina Sawyer, Class of 2016