Ogilvy and Rahm Emanuel Push Back Against Trump-Era Immigration Rhetoric with ‘One Chicago’ Campaign

By Patrick Coffee 

Ogilvy has a very visible spokesperson to promote its latest work: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

On Sunday, the former Obama chief of staff and several other officials kicked off the effort with an event at the DuSable Museum of African American History, where Emanuel discussed his own father’s journey from Moldova to the United States at age 13.

You may recall that candidate Trump frequently made specific references to Chicago and its crime in various digs at President Obama during his campaign. He also threatened to rescind all federal funding to so-called “sanctuary cities” including Chi Town, though this week AG Jeff Sessions backed off and clarified that he only plans to pull grants related to crime and terrorism.


The campaign is a specific effort to push back on this and defend both Chicago’s identity as a city of immigrants and its decision to continue sheltering undocumented refugees.

Here’s Oscar C. discussing his trip into the U.S. from Mexico and the life that followed.
The official campaign site features several such stories, including that of its first Jewish mayor.
Amal Darwish’s clip is especially relevant given the president’s executive order immediately and indefinitely forbidding the settlement of Syrian refugees in Chicago or any other American city. (That order is currently in legal limbo.)

Earlier this week, Ogilvy ECD David Hernandez told The Chicago Sun-Times:

“My dad’s family were immigrants from Mexico seeking a better life. My mother was a Latvian refugee, born in the camps in Germany at the end of the war. And I’m 100 percent Chicagoan.”

Beyond the sharing of these immigrants’ stories, the campaign plans to help “ensure the City is delivering comprehensive services to immigrants, refugees, and other disenfranchised communities.” Those services include legal representation, immigration/naturalization assistance, mental health care, basic city resources, etc.

The work will include more than 200 OOH placements in the form of signs, billboards and train banners along with radio/TV spots and a social media presence under the #ChicagoIsOne hashtag.

Yesterday Emanuel told Reuters he wasn’t worried about upsetting the Trump administration, “because we’re not only on firm legal ground but firm moral ground.” He also shut down one potential opposition talking point by noting that the campaign will only use city-owned spaces and employ Ogilvy on a pro-bono basis. This means it will cost resident taxpayers a total of zero dollars.

This fact, of course, will not quell the controversy.