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Past Event

Rahm Emanuel: How Mayors Run the World

At a time of anxiety about the effectiveness of our national government, Rahm Emanuel believes local government offers a clear vision, for both progressives and centrists, of how to get things done in America today. 

In his new book, The Nation City, Emanuel, the former two-term mayor of Chicago and President Obama’s first White House chief of staff, offers a firsthand account of how cities, rather than the federal government, stand at the center of innovation and effective governance. Drawing on his own experiences in Chicago, and on his relationships with other mayors around America, Emanuel shows how cities are improving education, infrastructure, job conditions and environmental policy at a local level.

Emanuel argues that cities are the most ancient political institutions, dating back thousands of years, and have reemerged as the nation-states of our time. Emanuel argues that mayors are accountable to their voters to a greater degree than any other elected officials and that progressives and centrists alike can best accomplish their goals by focusing their energies on local politics. Join us as Rahm Emanuel maps out a new, energizing and hopeful way forward.


Emanuel photo by Steven E. Gross


March 5, 2020

The Commonwealth Club
110 The Embarcadero
Taube Family Auditorium
San Francisco, 94105
United States

Image - Emanuel

Rahm Emanuel

Former Mayor, City of Chicago; Former White House Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama; Author, The Nation City: Why Mayors Are Now Running the World; Twitter @RahmEmanuel

Image - Ashley

In Conversation with Dan Ashley

ABC7 TV News Anchor; Member, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors; Twitter @DanAshleyABC7


5:30 p.m. check-in
6:30 p.m. program