Return to Transcripts main page

CHICAGOLAND

CHICAGOLAND: Finding Inspiration, Hope for the Future

Aired April 24, 2014 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NARRATOR: Previously on "Chicagoland":

RAHM EMANUEL (D), MAYOR OF CHICAGO: If you want to see America, you come to its heartland. And what's the capital of that heartland?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chicago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anything is possible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right here in Chicago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no city like Chicago. Then you start to coming out into the neighborhoods, it's a little different.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's too many guns in our community.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to at least be the one that make it out.

ELIZABETH DOZIER, PRINCIPAL, FENGER HIGH SCHOOL: Everything that we have built the last four years is at stake.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My job, your job. Ain't nobody here is safe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today, we send a message to the world.

EMANUEL: Show them who we are.

NARRATOR: Visionary Chicago architect Daniel Burnham has been quoted as saying: "Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood."

That's been the essence of modern Chicago, the city of big shoulders built on big ideas and big movements. They often didn't make an impact without a fight. This is the place where people die for an eight-hour workday and fair wages. The black power movement turned up the heat on the fight for civil rights.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am a revolution.

NARRATOR: In 1968, the whole world was watching when anti-war radicals pushed for peace against major Richard J. Daley's police force.

RICHARD DALEY, MAYOR OF CHICAGO: There will be law and order in Chicago as long as I'm there.

(APPLAUSE)

NARRATOR: In 2008, the whole world was watching again.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hello, Chicago.

NARRATOR: As the struggle for equal rights led to what was once unthinkable, the election of an African-American as president of the United States.

Today, there's a new struggle.

RICHARD M. DALEY (D), FORMER MAYOR OF CHICAGO: America's becoming rich and poor. You see that in New York, Miami, Washington, D.C., rich and poor, people getting poorer and poorer. We have to rebuild the middle class. So, the mayor better deal with that as quickly as possible.

NARRATOR: There's some real irony here. Emanuel got his start raising money for Daley, and now he has to pay the bills Daley's administration left behind.

EMANUEL: Don't tell me this is how it was done for 40 years. Ask yourself, is this the best we can do, should we still do this, and if we are going to do it, is there a better way to do it?

NARRATOR: At City Hall, Mayor Emanuel presents his 2014 budget to the City Council.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Father God, we ask a blessing upon this council. But more than that, Father God, we ask you for a blessing upon this mayor, Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

NARRATOR: Chicago is facing a looming crisis, underfunded pensions. The city failed to make required payments, and now its workers have the most underfunded pensions of any major U.S. city.

EMANUEL: Over the last four decades, the government has made promises to its employees. But, in the years since, payments never kept up with that promise. And, today, the bill is due.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A doomsday scenario, a ticking time bomb of public employee pensions, which already account for 42 cents of every property tax dollar you pay in Chicago. That could double next year without pension reform.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rahm Emanuel, you have to go. If you vote to change our pensions, you are going to be gone.

NARRATOR: About $1 billion in pension payments are due in 2015. And that could lead to huge property tax increases, slash city services and cuts to city worker benefits.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And just lean on it. You only need like 100 feet.

NARRATOR: Chicago firefighters are among the city workers caught in the crosshairs of the pension crisis.

CAPT. JOEL BURNS, CHICAGO FIRE DEPARTMENT: Let's let that burn up a bit and then we will hit it again. Let it burns through a little.

NARRATOR: Fire Captain Joel Burns is 50 years old, spent 25 years on the job. And now he is five years away from retirement.

CAPT. JOEL BURNS, CHICAGO FIRE DEPARTMENT: When you are young, you are not thinking of your pension. That's the old-timers worry about the pension. There was more of a guarantee. You just assumed that the pension was always going to be there.

You have got -- there's a fire up in the bow string there.

I showed up for work every day. And I expect that that's going to be honored, their end of the bargain. And if that wasn't, at this late stage of the game, yes, I would consider that a betrayal, absolutely. And I would be very honest. It would piss me off.

NARRATOR: The city's looming financial problems also could lead to fewer cops on the street, and that could threaten the police department's recent success.

EMANUEL: How many people have family relatives that have been police before? Great tradition, man. That's great.

NARRATOR: At the academy graduation, the mayor and superintendent welcome new officers.

GARRY MCCARTHY, CHICAGO POLICE SUPERINTENDENT: Good morning, everybody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALES AND FEMALES: Good morning, sir!

MCCARTHY: God, I love when they do that.

(LAUGHTER)

MCCARTHY: You have heard that you have to go back to the early '60s to find the levels of violence that we have now created in partnership with our community here in the city of Chicago. The fact is, that's progress, not victory. And we still have a long way to go.

NARRATOR: Some of these new officers will serve under Deputy Chief Leo Schmitz in the Englewood district, where McCarthy's violence- reduction strategy helped reduce shootings by 20 percent in 2013.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guy come cans out of a gangway spraying a handgun and shoots. Well, we have already got the offenders in custody.

MCCARTHY: At Fenger High, the innovative restorative justice program run by Robert Spicer also has had an impact.

ROBERT SPICER, DEAN, FENGER HIGH SCHOOL: My role is to support you, to work with you. I'm here.

MCCARTHY: But thanks to budget cuts, the school could lose that program, and Spicer could be out of a job.

SPICER: No, we need to stay the course on using these practices, on really holding everybody accountable to what we say we are going to do as a school community.

DOZIER: OK. Even if we don't have as much, I think there's things we could do. There's always hope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Spicer. Come in, Mr. Spicer.

NARRATOR: Liz is organizing a fund-raiser that could save those programs and Spicer's job.

DOZIER: Hey, Sonia (ph). This is Liz Dozier from Fenger.

First of all, I'm excited about you joining the fund-raising committee. That's going to be awesome, and to also let you know that I'm looking in to the 501(c)(3) as well.

If our funding doesn't come through, we don't get some replacement, I won't be able to do this, especially when you consider the needs of our kids and first-time college-goers and kids who are trying to navigate the complexity of the college process. And I think the reality is, kids get lost.

NARRATOR: Without that money, she won't be able to help kids like Lee and Pete, whose lives were turned around at Fenger and now plan to go to college.

PETE GREEN, FENGER HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE: My dream is to work in an office. I know that sounds crazy. But, like, I want to be the type of person that wakes up in the morning, kiss my wife and son, and put on my suit and go to work. I don't know. I just watch movies and see people doing that. Like, man, that's what I want to do.

NARRATOR: For many people, that's an obtainable dream. But in Roseland, too many kids don't live long enough for it to come true.

GREEN: Darian Alba (ph), Darron Blare (ph), Rashad Robinson. No one on this board is over 25. There's 25 and under on this board.

NARRATOR: Pete left for college as scheduled.

DONNA WILSON, MOTHER OF PETE: I'm real proud, because I'm a single mother of three. And it was hard with a teenager boy, but he had it together.

GREEN: See you all.

NARRATOR: Lee never made it to college.

DOZIER: Lee fell off the radar. And that's very concerning.

When you start to naming off the kids that have graduated they didn't the get off to college, you just kind of tick off the names of different kids that have passed away. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lee McCullum.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

DOZIER: We had a lot built around Lee. He was attached to us. He graduated. And then we don't have that safety net of like him being in the school, but he's never fallen off the radar, like we can't get ahold of anybody and no one knows what the heck happened to him.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRAD KEYWELL, CO-FOUNDER, GROUPON: How is America doing? What are we failing at? How can we improve?

NARRATOR: Brad Keywell founded Groupon and launched Chicago Ideas Week, a conference attended by big thinkers, entrepreneur and political leaders.

KEYWELL: The starter ethic in me said, I have got a great idea. I'm going to start it. It is called Chicago Ideas Week. Who's in?

Hebru Brantley is in. He is a graffiti artist who grew up on the South Side and rose to international acclaim.

HEBRU BRANTLEY, ARTIST: I'm going to add the moon, the background over here, and then the Hebru message for the day. It's a character that I have created. It's called the Fly Boy. It comes from the Tuskegee Airmen.

Tuskegee Airmen were a platoon of African-American soldiers and pilots in World War II. There aren't many characters within popular culture, cartoons, comics, et cetera, that are African-American, Latin or of any color, so sort of to give us identity.

NARRATOR: As Chicago Idea Weeks' artist in residence, Hebru has been commissioned to create a public art installation that is inspired by these teenagers' stories.

BRANTLEY: I lived in Chicago. I grew up on the Low End. I couldn't wait to get out of Chicago.

So, in your neighborhood now, how do you feel?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I kind of feel kind of nervous walking down certain streets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going to stopped a lot, handcuffed a lot for no reason because of your skin color.

BRANTLEY: Are you hanging out in your area, in your neighborhood?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not trying to go outside. I would rather stay in the house than get shot, because that seems like what everybody else is doing.

NARRATOR: The everyday street violence these kids endure often gets ignored.

But unexpected acts of violence in big cities can capture the whole world's attention. Six months after the Boston bombing, Chicago's the first city to host a major marathon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The marathon is taking place almost six months to the day of the bombing in Boston. What have we learned from that?

MCCARTHY: We are going to have eyes on the ground on just about every foot of the marathon route.

NARRATOR: The Chicago Marathon is one of the biggest events of the year, with 45,000 runners and a million people lining the streets.

MCCARTHY: It's my job to worry about what could happen. We are talking about a 26-mile route. So, it is going to be a lot more challenging to make sure we get it done.

EMANUEL: I still want you to be vigilant. And I know you will, but I'm telling you.

NARRATOR: With the marathon coming to town, the mayor is pushing Superintendent McCarthy to make sure nothing goes wrong, and he never lets up.

MCCARTHY: Mayor Emanuel is a bullfighter on steroids. He kind of takes it to another level.

It's not me, is it?

NARRATOR: The Chicago Marathon brings international attention and tourism dollars to Chicago. That's a top priority for Chicago for the mayor. He likes reminds people that he is also a triathlete.

EMANUEL: I swim three times a week. I have been doing it for 30 years. And then, you know, I run, and then I decided, you know what? What a way to challenge your midlife crisis.

(LAUGHTER)

NARRATOR: Over in Edison Park, Captain Burns faces a midlife crisis of his own, his personal finances.

BURNS: If you can get it in there and two more -- two more towards the front.

If my wife saw me doing this, she would (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

I got it. I got it. I got it.

NARRATOR: Like a lot of firefighters, Joel works a side job to make extra cash. BURNS: It takes a lot of discipline to work a second job when you are dragging your ass out of the firehouse after getting an hour's worth of sleep for the 24-hour tour.

I'm getting told for that (EXPLETIVE DELETED). But you know what? That's all I know. That's all I ever did. And it's what I do.

NARRATOR: A recent study by the Brookings Institute shows that Chicago has one of the fastest-shrinking middle-class populations in the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think that Chicago is still labor friendly for the blue-collar working man?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think it is very labor friendly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know (EXPLETIVE DELETED) election time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Until it's election time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what? Everyone is a Democrat, but guess what?

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly. What have they done for labor?

BURNS: You said you look out for organized labor. Now, all of a sudden, organized labor, we are vilified. Because we're union, now we're the bad guys?

JOSEPH MCDERMOTT, FIELD REP, TEACHERS UNION: Chicago is still the union town. We're stick of being mistreated.

NARRATOR: Chicago Teacher Unions organizers like Joey McDermott predicted that, after the mayor closed 50 neighborhood schools, he would open charter schools. In fact, the mayor-controlled school board approved seven new charter schools this year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Chicago Board of Education moving forward today with seven new privately-run charter schools.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a battle between quality charter schools and quality neighborhood schools. It's a battle that has divided this city.

NARRATOR: Some parents like having the choice to send their kids to charter schools, but many are concerned about the city's commitment to public education.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm here with some other moms to fight for neighborhood schools. And it is very frustrating just to find out basic facts about how funds are being allocated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Charter schools do not outperform neighborhood public schools. They are investment opportunities and tax shelters for rich people.

NARRATOR: At Fenger, the charter school movement has had a real impact. Charter schools recruit away some of its best students, which decreases enrollment and affects funding.

DOZIER: We are now competing with a whole bunch of other schools, like charter schools.

It's really clear to think. If you look at our school and you add the charter schools that opened up, add all of our enrollments together, that used to be the enrollment of Fenger. I mean, those are our kids.

You got some new boots?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

DOZIER: Me too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

DOZIER: You are welcome.

NARRATOR: Despite its turnaround, Fenger still underperforms academically, which makes it even harder to compete against charter schools.

DOZIER: I don't know if we will be here in five years.

How was your day?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was good.

DOZIER: Part of getting a job is you have to come to school every day. So keep coming to school.

NARRATOR: But Liz hasn't given up. She is always pushing to keep her kids engaged and connected to Fenger with events like this one. It's wrestling day brought to Fenger by rock star Billy Corgan.

BILLY CORGAN, MUSICIAN: Hi.

DOZIER: Hi.

CORGAN: How are you?

DOZIER: It's very cool. It's so nice to meet you.

CORGAN: Thank you for having us. We're real excited. I think it is going to be really good.

DOZIER: The kids love wrestling day. I was shocked. I didn't think I wanted wrestling there.

NARRATOR: This wrestling exhibition may seem counterintuitive in a school struggling with violence problems, but four of these wrestlers also are teachers, who see a lesson here. MARSHE ROCKETT, TEACHER, ALAN B. SHEPARD HIGH SCHOOL: These days, you can't really go outside like how it was in the past. You are afraid to even go down the street to the park. Some kids, well, be it -- they grow up a little angry.

So, when they can find something like boxing, MMA or professional wrestling, then you start to see like a change, because now they are not so aggressive. A lot of the students you see end up in trouble only because they don't have that outlet.

NARRATOR: Like Lee McCullum, who is still missing, but resurfaced talking rivals in this rap video posted online. Police say videos like this could lead to violence on the street.

DOZIER: You believe this? But do you see all of the kids? Those are all..

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything's OK, but like I kind of expect that out of Lee.

DOZIER: Well, don't expect that, though.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. But I'm just saying, after four years of having them here, and then things that they have been suspended for, like, they all got...

(CROSSTALK)

DOZIER: I don't want to hear it. I don't think -- because I think that means we are not doing enough. Don't you think?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree.

DOZIER: I think that means we have got to do more, because, at the end of the day, they can do all of this stuff. These are still kids.

DOZIER: Lee?

COMPUTER VOICE: We're sorry. The number you have reached is not in service. Please check the number or try...

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NARRATOR: It's marathon Sunday in Chicago and the start of a long day for Superintendent McCarthy.

MCCARTHY: I haven't seen sunrise over the lake in a while.

Based on what heard in Boston, we can't take any chances. So it's a lot of attention.

What's going on? Any issues? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: None.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many marathons, Skinny, for you?

JAMES "SKINNY" SHEEHAN, SPECIAL OLYMPICS CHICAGO: This is 43.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forty-three. Wow.

NARRATOR: That is James "Skinny" Sheehan, and today he's running the marathon to raise money for his favorite charity, Special Olympics.

SHEEHAN: It's the best export ever to come out of the city of Chicago.

NARRATOR: Chicago is a member of the Beverly Sheehans, one of Chicago's most influential South Side Irish families. His brother Michael was 19th Ward alderman and Cook County Sheriff. And for years, Skinny worked as Daley's special events coordinator.

Today is his 43rd marathon. And he's running with a group that hopes to win six fixes for Special Olympics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many of you are running for the first time?

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The thing that's great about the Chicago Marathon is the fact that you go through a tremendous amount of neighborhoods in the city of Chicago, starting with the Gold Coast, and Chinatown, Greektown.

SHEEHAN: Most of the people who live here are from Mexico. They go to mass in the morning, and everybody comes out and screams for the runners. It's just a great day.

I'm feeling good, but I still got another hour.

MCCARTHY: Give that a change for me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No problem at all.

MCCARTHY: Thank you. Is that mine? Is this mine?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got the big bag.

MCCARTHY: I'm hungry.

(LAUGHTER)

NARRATOR: So far, so good. Garry even has time for lunch, until he gets a phone call.

MCCARTHY: Oh, Jesus.

We didn't find them, right? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not yet. They are backtracking all the cameras to see what was what. So, there's so many over there. She must have ducked into a building somewhere, so.

MCCARTHY: OK.

NARRATOR: McCarthy gets word that his officers tried to stop a suspicious woman with a backpack, but she got away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They go to the alley and she's gone. They said, the only way she could have been gone is if she ran, is what they're saying. But who knows. We got 100 people down there, though.

NARRATOR: The mayor checks in for an update.

EMANUEL: I might only do my four miles. I have never felt like a bigger wimp than that.

MCCARTHY: Yes, to do four miles, right?

EMANUEL: Yes. Everything good?

MCCARTHY: Yes. We got one thing going on. We got to figure it out. Somebody saw somebody. And we're trying to figure out if they ran away from us or if she just disappeared in the crowd.

EMANUEL: What has she got?

MCCARTHY: Well, a female carrying a backpack.

EMANUEL: Do we know where she is?

MCCARTHY: No.

MCCARTHY: We have 100 police. It's just extra precaution.

EMANUEL: OK.

MCCARTHY: It could be nothing. It's probably nothing.

DOZIER: Listen, do you have two like with minutes? I just need to just run something by you really quick.

NARRATOR: Liz Dozier is running an endurance race of her own to keep Fenger alive.

DOZIER: I thought I could run this building. I thought I could be a full-time fund-raiser, do the other things I do out in the community for the school. And I thought I could do all that and then just I -- and then have -- and have, I don't know, maybe a personal life.

And I feel just really hopeful, and then kind of like all right now back to reality.

NARRATOR: Liz can't raise the kind of money she needs with bake sales and raffle tickets. She has to think bigger. DOZIER: Thank you for arranging this, for real. I really, really appreciate it.

BILLY DEC, BUSINESS OWNER: Don't thank me yet. It might not turn out at all.

(CROSSTALK)

DOZIER: No, it is.

NARRATOR: She turns to her friend Billy Dec for help with a fund- raiser.

DOZIER: How are you? Nice to meet you.

NARRATOR: Billy introduces Liz to Juanita Jordan, Michael Jordan's ex-wife and a Fenger alumnus.

DEC: You are from that neighborhood, right?

JUANITA JORDAN, EX-WIFE OF MICHAEL JORDAN: Yes, pretty much. And it was a very different neighborhood then, but it was also a different time.

DOZIER: Yes, way different.

DEC: The first step, where do you start, is really just meeting the right people. But she's focused out there and doesn't know any of that community here.

So, my thought was if you were into it, like, maybe we would host a little reception of some sort between my friends and your friends.

JORDAN: People are going to be ready to get involved, because they already see the progress. And I think people will be very excited to continue that progress with you. And I would be happy to be part of that. I think it will be fun.

DOZIER: I'm so excited.

NARRATOR: As the marathon leaders round the final turn, that woman with the backpack appears to be a false alarm.

MCCARTHY: He's doing four-minute miles? So I could meet this guy at the turn, and he would beat me to the finish.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's nonstop across the finish line here today on a beautiful day here in Chicago.

NARRATOR: Skinny crosses the finish line in just over four hours, not bad for an old guy.

And when it was over, Skinny and the group he ran with raised over $100,000 for Special Olympics.

As the last runners cross the finish line, McCarthy can finally relax. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a great town.

MCCARTHY: Amazing. Look at how pretty that is, right, that skyline? It's like Manhattan on a lake.

DOZIER: Hello. Lee?

LEE MCCULLUM, FENGER HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE: How's it going, Ms. Dozier?

DOZIER: Good. How are you?

MCCULLUM: I'm doing fine, but I could do better.

NARRATOR: From Lee's point of view, Chicago is not so pretty.

DOZIER: OK. So, everybody went away to college. And I heard you were not gone, and so I'm just concerned.

MCCULLUM: Right now, I'm not even in Chicago. I'm -- right now, I'm -- basically, what I'm doing is, I'm trying to surround myself around some positiveness.

NARRATOR: Lee fled the city because he's broke and his life might have been in danger. He is staying with a family member on a farm outside Chicago.

MCCULLUM: I left Chicago because of danger issues. A lot of people starting things in their own hands.

DOZIER: You know how we monitor Facebook. We talk to -- you know, I know -- I might not know everything, but I know enough to know that that's a good idea that you are not staying in Chicago.

But I think we all have to think of, what is the long-term plan for your life and who you want to be as a man?

MCCULLUM: Ms. Dozier, to be honest with you, I -- actually, I don't have a plan.

DOZIER: What do you think about, maybe in January, what do you think about going away to college or to a trade school?

MCCULLUM: I wouldn't mind going away.

DOZIER: Give me your word we will meet up at some point next week.

DOZIER: Give me your word we will meet up some point next week. You know me. I keep it 100 percent real. You know how I am. I don't want to hear about anything bad happening and I don't want to be going to your funeral.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think, man? Yes.

NARRATOR: Bieber (ph) puts the finishing touches on Chicago ideas Weak Heart (ph) project, "The Watch."

BRANTLEY: Kids from all areas of Chicago, and obviously the common denominator is violence.

The story that the kids are telling me. These kids are 14, 15, 16. They're horrifying. Given this opportunity I thought I'd take it and try my damndest to draw some attention to what's going on. Like my wicked army of kid clones.

What determines who you are? Your goals, your hopes, your dreams, your aspirations. Fundamentally it's the experiences we have had, the places we have been. The things we have seen, the people we have been around and experiences give us the language of our dreams.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: You have to be able to envision a different life for yourself, right, to know what's out there, to know what's going on downtown in order to know what you want to work for.

NARRATOR: First lady Michelle Obama shares her story to encourage promising young students.

BRIANNA MILLER, INTERIM URBAN ALLIANCE: Like yourself, I come from a modest background. I was raised in subsidized housing on Chicago's South Side. Being admitted to the school where the majority of students are from the opposite side of the spectrum. What words of wisdom might you have for a young lady who is dedicated to success but sometimes not so sure of herself?

OBAMA: The thing that got me through was what got me in. Don't feel like you have to change anything fundamentally about yourself. And use your voice.

And what you will find is that you have so much more to contribute than you think. Your perspective on life will be different from your classmates. So you don't want to suffocate that voice. You want to go in owning your experiences and your background.

That's one of the reasons as first lady I talk about my background because I am proud of it. You can do this, girls. You can do this.

NARRATOR: Downtown Hebru Brantley Unveils his Chicago Ideas Week instillation, "The Watch," which was inspired by Chicago's student.

BRANTLEY: Imagine if you were 15 years old and got your breakfast from a gas station every day, a bag of chips or a honey bun if you were one of the lucky ones. Right?

Imagine if you were 16 or 17, and you didn't know a person who had ever gone to college, right, but you could name ten people who are in jail right now. Almost proudly. If you were 15 years old and you had already buried so many of your friends because of gun violence, you have chest drawers full of T-shirts with friends names on them, rest in peace. What would our expectations be, what would our dreams be if this is a fabric from which we are stitching together our identity and our expectations and our hopes?

NARRATOR: Lee's back in the city, and he's kept his promise to come back and see Liz.

DOZIER: OK. Can you come down for a second real quick?

NARRATOR: But before she can meet with Lee she still has to make a few final arrangements for the fund-raiser.

DOZIER: Hopefully it all goes well and my speech goes well and I'm bringing kids some with me. It's nerve-racking, you know. I don't know the people there. It's like a little scary, you know?

Copy that. He's here. I'm glad you're back. Come on back. I want to show you something real quick. Just you and me one on one. I was on-line this weekend and you know what I saw?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know.

DOZIER: Lee, I couldn't believe it. You know what I'm saying, I was embarrassed. Those are my kids. What do you have to say for yourself?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously, I'm sorry you've seen it.

DOZIER: You need to apologize for yourself. You can't be getting involved in this nonsense. Because the reality is this is going nowhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was looking back through an old picture book. I really am the only one left now.

DOZIER: Yes. It's been a hard year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My father's in jail, and I just don't have any people in my corner.

DOZIER: I appreciate you shared with me, because you know what I hear? I really think that Lee is just scared to go. It's OK to be scared, you know, but you'll be fine. If your family won't take you we can take you. There's no problem. We got you.

We'll find you financial aid. We'll drive you up there and fix you up with classes and get your housing set up that so that way you're set to go with housing and stuff like that.

Try to use good penmanship, and then off to college you go.

What's wrong? Are you OK? Don't cry. It's OK. It's all right. It's OK. It's going to be good. I'm telling you, it's going to be good. Come on in for a hug. Come on in for a hug. We got you. We got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NARRATOR: There's no denying that Mayor Emanuel's first term has ruffled quite a few feathers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I especially hate our mayor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rahm (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He doesn't care.

EMANUEL: The mayor is a real jerk. Ain't he?

NARRATOR: And when it ends in 2015, some hope to see him go.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We'll be coming up on him full force.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rahm Emanuel needs to go. He is like Emperor Nero playing with his lighter while Chicago burns down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one's ever going to run against the mayor for as long as he wants.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's nobody on the landscape who can beat him.

NARRATOR: With more than $6 million in his campaign fund, the mayor says he's not worried about his election.

EMANUEL: I don't try to govern to say what would this be for my reelection? I try to act. I'm done with running for politics. What would you do that's right?

FRAN SPIELMAN, REPORTER, "CHICAGO SUN-TIMES": Yet you're raising money like a frenzy. Why?

EMANUEL: Because the elections are about tomorrow, and I plan on expressing and reminding people we've done a lot of things.

SCOTT WAGUESPACK, ALDERMAN, THIRD WARD: Every one us of us has had some kind of run-in with him. The D.C. version of the dead fish.

NARRATOR: Members of the city council progressive caucus talk about taking on Rahm.

WAGUESPACK: It went from Mayor Daley to Mayor Emanuel, things didn't change. They actually got progressively worse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's going to be a big change the next time around. It doesn't matter how much money you have. These folks that are out there kissing the mayor's ring and probably kissing his butt, too, it doesn't matter. The people of this city agree with us on our agenda.

WAGUESPACK: Has the city reached this tipping point? I think anybody can be beat.

EMANUEL: Everybody outside is yelling at you. I'll give you an example. A year ago, people occupied Piccolo School. Their kids' math scores up, like, 25 points, reading scores are up 18 points. Their science scores are way up. Where are the screamers? No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no. Where are they? They've moved on.

NARRATOR: Rahm's future political plans have become a topic of national interest. DAVID GREGORY, JOURNALIST, NBC NEWS: So Mr. Mayor, let's talk about Washington.

EMANUEL: Let's not and say we did.

GREGORY: Let's talk about you. Let's talk about Chicago. When you wake up in the morning and you look at challenges that you face as mayor, at this point, what troubles you the most?

EMANUEL: If we don't fix our pension problem fairly and equitably, the city of Chicago is going to pay interest on the debt pension payments and public safety. We're going to become a mini version of everything that people laugh at out in Washington right now. I think that's wrong for a city.

NARRATOR: What's fair and equitable to the mayor might not be fair to guys like Joel, who put their lives on the line every day.

JOEL BURNS, CAPTAIN, CPD ENGINE 123: I always said that I would continue to do this job as long as I enjoyed doing this job. And when it became a chore to come to work, then I would consider retirement. I still love this job.

Unfortunately, now with the uncertainty in our pension, that's going to dictate a lot of what I do. And do I plan to retire in four years? In a perfect world, yes, that would be great.

Who's this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is me. This was me.

BURNS: If I don't have the security of the pension that was promised to me, I may not have that opportunity.

We've had this place since 1988.

We are an hour northwest of the city, which is pretty rural. We've got ten acres out here. The kids are running around. Everybody's having a good time.

I love this place.

That rain is coming. Rain is coming.

NARRATOR: At River North at Billy Dec's restaurant they're getting ready for the big Fenger fund-raiser.

BILLY DEC, RESTAURATEUR: We have some tuna here. This is some smoked salmon. So it's really up to you guys what you want to put in your roll.

NARRATOR: Billy hires Fenger students to lend a hand.

DEC: I'm going to pick the best one and name it the Fenger Roll.

DOZIER: I am truly, truly moved by all of you tonight and of your support of Fenger High School. We believe our kids matter. Kids are standing right there, who are no different than your children you tuck in at night just come from extraordinary circumstances.

And so the dollars that you give tonight will go to support college enrollment. It will go to support reading programs. It will go to support those things that really matter in the lives of our kids. And from the bottom of the depths of my heart and soul, I just want to tell you thank you for showing up.

Thank you so much to everyone.

JUANITA JORDAN, PHILANTHROPIST: It means a lot that you are guys here with us tonight. Really. I attended Fenger High School, and I graduated in 1977. And we had good times. Those were the good old days.

But these are different times. And our youth face a lot of problems now. So that's why we are all here. I think with your help tonight, I think Billy said we raised about 30...

DEC: Thirty-four thousand.

JORDAN: Thirty-four thousand. I'm going to personally match that with a $35,000 grant. And while I know that this is just a portion of the funding that was lost, I know it's a step in the right direction. And we hope all of you continue to work with us. Thank you.

DOZIER: Thank you. Thank you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NARRATOR: There's always been a big-time rivalry between Chicago and those know-it-all New Yorkers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New York is actually getting the bragging rights for having the tallest sky scraper in the U.S., beating out Chicago.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The spire on top that makes it the tallest building in the United States.

JON STEWART, HOST, COMEDY CENTRAL'S "THE DAILY SHOW": Oh, yes.

NARRATOR: Funny man Jon Stewart takes it to new heights.

EMANUEL: It looks like an antenna, acts like an antenna. Guess what? It is an antenna.

STEWART: You know what, Chicago, what are you so mad about? We already gave you guys murder capital of the United States?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Although Chicago still leads the country in homicides, there has been a significant decline in the murder rate. In 2012, there were 506 murders in Chicago. In 2013, there were 415. That's an 18 percent decrease.

MCCARTHY: So far this year we have had 90 fewer murders and almost 750 less shooting victims. While there's been less crime, one victim is one too many, and no one will rest until everyone in this city enjoys the same sense of safety.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you doing? Hi, sister.

NARRATOR: At a peace march in Englewood, church youth read the names of those who lost their lives to gun violence in 2013.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Victor Vega, Damian Barnes, Gregory Brady.

MCCARTHY: The hardest part of my job is the fact that we're accountable for reducing crime but we're not in control of the factors that cause it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Theodor Joseph, Willie Wilkins, Norman Faust (ph), Dmitri Buford, Antonio...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we want to reduce crime in Chicago, it has been proven interventions in the earliest years actually end up preventing incarceration, preventing the commission of violent crimes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kartria (ph) Duncan, Deshawn (ph) Williams, Donald Price, Ricardo Rivera.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's so easy to pull a trigger when the whole world is dogging you. And you treat me like a criminal, I'm going to be a criminal. But if you treat me like a child and you show them love, guess what? It's not as easy to pull that trigger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dante (ph) Howard, Elliott Frazier, Aurelio Willborn (ph), Jeremiah Milsap.

DR. ANDREW DENNIS, TRAUMA AND BURN SURGEON: You can't pluck every kid out of harm's way, so you do what you can do and you can do it.

Try to affect change when you can, if you can.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jessie Clark, George Anderson, Frederick Tallis.

ERIC WILKINS, FOUNDER, BROKEN WITNESS: We've got to stand up and be neighbors. We can no longer point the finger and say it's not my kid. We've got to be involved; we've got to be hands on. We all have got to say I will be my brother's keeper.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Denise (ph) Walker, Kendrick White, Kevin Ambrose.

ROBERT SPICER, DEAN, FENGER HIGH SCHOOL: It's going to take everybody coming together to rally around our children. Like, wake up, our children are dying.

DOZIER: How are you? How's your sister?

NARRATOR: At Fenger, it's never been easy, but they have had some small victories.

SPICER: Do not hesitate on anything, reference, anything.

NARRATOR: Thanks to the fund-raiser Dean Spicer keeps his job, and Fenger keeps an important part of its turnaround: restorative justice.

DOZIER: Step it up like you've got purpose. You have it. Because we've got stuff to do.

NARRATOR: Liz gets ready for a visit from the mayor. He's a coming to talk to some of Fenger's college-bound seniors.

DOZIER: I think I'm pretty much covered. Thank you.

Hi. Good to see you. How's it going?

EMANUEL: All right. How are you?

DOZIER: Good.

EMANUEL: Hey, guys.

Here's the deal. The only thing constant your life is going to be what? Change. OK, and a leader has got to be able, in that process of change, give people something they can hold onto. Changes people can take in doses, so they say, and sometimes I can even listen to that advice.

You guys are an example of the great things that are happening. How many people here are going to college? OK. I can tell you out there they don't think that. And they're wrong. They're full of it. You're guys are doing great things, and I want people to know it.

You have something, Liz?

DOZIER: What do you think about the importance of civic service in our communities?

EMANUEL: OK. Here's the deal. You all raised your hand you're going to graduate. Right? You know you stand out. So run for a local school board. Take on an issue. Do an after-school program for kids. You don't have to be a mayor. You don't have to be a congressman. You don't have to be chief of staff, but you have to give something back.

DOZIER: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

DOZIER: Thank you so much.

I'm not sure why this frustrates us, like why don't people care more? We're not educating the kids. They're not becoming productive members of society. Then what are we essentially setting them up for: jail, unemployment, and all things that cost exponentially way more than what would have cost to just, you know, do an investment in the beginning.

You look nice in your suit.

And I feel like we all know it. The city knows, the country knows it. Like people know what's happening. But no one's really choosing to do anything.

I want you all -- 41 seconds. Let's go, 41 seconds. Let's go! Let's go! Let's go!

You can change the course of someone's life in high school. This is why I stay in this work. We're just -- you know, we're just scratching the surface of what is possible for our kids.

Did the bell ring?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't hear it.

DOZIER: Did we clear before the bell?

Are the bells working?

Oh, come on now.

Here we are making progress. That's what we do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not just in the hood. The world is a mess. We all need a purpose.

NARRATOR: In the city of Chicago, there's a ton of work to be done.

MCCARTHY: We're pleased with the progress, but we're not satisfied.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel like I've got a future. I feel I've got something to live for.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I proclaim hope for the city of Chicago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My company is great. We identify the problem. We take care of the problem. And that's that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you continue to squeeze the middle class, there will come a time when there is no middle class.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Always have hope.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When people are happy, they don't have room for violence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're all sisters and brothers.

DOZIER: You are your own woman, all day, every day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chicagoans do not put up with the bullshit.

EMANUEL: It's people who make the city better.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Chicago.