Skip to main content

Chicago Political Heavyweights Hold Historic Town Hall Meetings Using Social Media

President Barack Obama tweets a response to one of several thousand questions fielded to him at the first ever Twitter Town Hall meeting.

AP Image/Twitter Town Hall Meeting

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? This age-old, rhetorical question took a similar position between Twitter and Facebook and President Barack Obama and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Earlier this week, Chicago native, President Barack Obama, became first sitting president to host a Twitter town hall meeting, tweeting about pertinent issues from the economy and jobs to education and healthcare.

Questions were read live to the President by Twitter’s Executive Chairman Jack Dorsey and then retweeted by the President.

It is estimated that tens of thousands questions were tweeted to the President.

But here in Chicago, just a week earlier, Mayor Rahm Emanuel held the first ever Facebook town hall meeting at Kennedy King College.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel addresses audience members at Kennedy King College at the first ever Facebook Town Hall meeting.

Ernest Sanders

The Mayor's forum leveraged Chicago's current Smart Communities (Auburn Gresham, Chicago Lawn, Englewood, Humboldt Park, and Pilsen) and solicited online and video recorded input from many participants across the city of Chicago. The Smart Communities Initiative is a project funded by the federal government's BROADBAND USA: Connecting America's Communities.

The Chicago forum was co-hosted by WGCI's radio personalities, Tony Sculfield and Nina Chantele.

These digital forums are President Obama's and Mayor Emanuel's attempt to illustrate their commitment to the social media space to inform their constituency about issues concerning the country and city.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel discusses political concerns with WGCI's Tony Sculfield and Nina Chantele.

Ernest Sanders

Similar to President Obama, Mayor Emanuel took questions from online participants. He discussed important issues as City Hall budget cuts, casinos in Chicago, jobs, the Taste of Chicago, and stimulating the economy, especially for small business owners.

718 people submitted 525 questions and cast 8,699 votes for Mayor Emanuel.

Click here to see photos of Mayor Emanuel's historical event at Kennedy King College.

Follow the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation (GADC) on Twitter and Facebook.

Keywords: City of Chicago, Facebook, Kennedy King College, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama, Twitter, White House

Posted in Business, Housing, Economic Development


To foster and promote revitalization of the community by designing and implementing programs that improve the community’s economic viability; increase availability of quality housing to people of different income levels, while maintaining and improving existing affordable housing; and enhance delivery of social services, particularly to senior citizens.

Learn more about us »

Support us

Improve and enhance the delivery of community and economic development in Auburn Gresham, Englewood, and West Chatham.

Make a donation