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View Poll Results: Will Daley still be the mayor after the next election
yes 29 67.44%
no 14 32.56%
Voters: 43. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-15-2007, 12:13 PM
Location: Metro Milwaukee, WI
3,198 posts, read 12,537,118 times
Reputation: 2239


I am a Milwaukeean, but am often going to or through Chicago, and am more and more intrigued with Chicago.

One person in particular of late that is somewhat intriguing to me is Chicago Mayor Daley. I don't know a great deal about the guy outside of stories and anecdotes I have heard up here from folks more familiar with Chicago (just tibits, etc.) and the Daley family.

I would thus be interested to hear from Chicagoans here...what are your thoughts on Mayor Daley overall? What do you like about him? Do you like him? Do you think he's a great Mayor? Why? What don't you like about him? Do you not like him as a Mayor for Chicago? What are interesting tidbits about him? His history? The Daley family?

I am more looking for insights into who you think he is, how he is as a leader, etc., more legacy-related things, rather than what his stance is on individual issues, if that makes sense.

I would love to hear your insights!
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:28 PM
Location: Indianapolis, IN and Muncie, IN
101 posts, read 405,837 times
Reputation: 41
Richard M. Daley - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

That article has remained fairly neutral, which is odd because he's been involved in some passion invoking events and that was written by the people. Should give you a pretty good idea of what he's been a part of.
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:42 PM
Location: Metro Milwaukee, WI
3,198 posts, read 12,537,118 times
Reputation: 2239
Yep, I saw that online article from Wiki, it has some good bio info, but I guess I am looking more for opinions, thoughts, observations, etc. The "juicy" or "meat" of the legacy of Daley.

Obviously he's wildly popular in Chicago with his re-election totals, trying to see why that is. Is he more popular than his dad? How does he compare with his dad?, etc. Stuff like that.

Another example: In Wiki, he comes across as a pretty darn staunch liberal. Very in-line with most mainstream US liberal ideals. However, up here in Milwaukee, even some prominent conservatives seem to like Daley, or at least to respect the guy. Part of that is because mayoral-level politics often do not deal as much with the push-button lib v. conservative topics of the today (for example, abortion), but part of that is really interesting to me. These same conservatives that detested John Norquist when he was a very liberal Mayor up here actually like or respect Daley.

Just looking for thoughts and insights I guess more than just the biographical info (which is good too).
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:59 PM
75,433 posts, read 57,724,178 times
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My opinion is that Daley has kept Chicago running by greasing the wheels well over the years. This means that the Aldermen get their perks etc. and the right peoples relatives get the right jobs and promotions etc.

The only real backlash to this has been that property taxes have become a problem issue in the city.

He has done a nice job with the parks.

My biggest knock against Daley is that he has (in my opinion) not done much to help impoverished with schools\housing and crime infested areas. Ah, but you might cite Cabrini Green....where he worked to close down the projects there so he could have developers put up condos.

I think he's gotten a pass on this by keeping the right wheels greased and they control a lot of votes....I think if he were Republican he'd have been roasted by now for his "racist policies".
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Old 10-15-2007, 01:38 PM
2,329 posts, read 6,529,239 times
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Well, you could write entire books about the politics of Richard M and Richard J, of which there have been.

As for what I think of the mayor personally, its a mixed relationship. With a city the size of Chicago, its helpful to have a mayor who has clout and can muscle through projects that would normally take years, if not decades in other cities to materialize (if they ever did). However, this could go for the better or worse. An example of the better would be Millenium Park: once a gaping eyesore of railroad yards, turned into the model for what a 21st century urban park should be; a project which has completely rejuvenated the entire downtown area, and made it into one of the most desirable living zipcodes in the country. On the other hand, that power can be abused: see Miegs Field being torn up in the middle of the night. He is passionate about Chicago, and I think thats evident to anyone who has ever seen him talk. His emotions are genuine. However, it would be nice to see him get fired up about issues that really matter: police brutality, public transportation funding, etc. , rather than things like trying to force the childrens museum into Grant Park.

However, when all is said and done he has guided Chicago into the new century, and most importantly managed to avoid the problems that have plagued other rust belt cities by turning Chicago into a desireable global center.

its funny, there was just an article in the sun times today about this photograph of nelson algren:

In it you see the Chicago of yesteryear: the hooker hitting on Algren, the drunk sliding down the wall, the gritty feel of the streets. For better or worse, that world has been paved over by Starbucks and condos. And if you remember the city of 20-30 years ago, and compare it to the city of today, theres one man who has made that transformation possible.

Last edited by via chicago; 10-15-2007 at 01:46 PM..
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Old 10-15-2007, 01:59 PM
233 posts, read 693,036 times
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I'll take Algren's Chicago over the Chicago of today. Sandburg's Chicago too.
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Old 10-15-2007, 03:47 PM
2,329 posts, read 6,529,239 times
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Originally Posted by SAI126 View Post
I'll take Algren's Chicago over the Chicago of today. Sandburg's Chicago too.
I think people tend to look at the past through rose colored glasses.

Last edited by via chicago; 10-15-2007 at 04:04 PM..
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:20 PM
4,626 posts, read 13,913,972 times
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I recall Chicago in the 1980's, for better or for worse, I prefer it now (granted I can see why people have nostalgic memories of the past).

Although, I feel like Daley is starting to lose his way.
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:38 PM
Location: Chicago
38,706 posts, read 101,369,793 times
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Things I like about Daley:
  • He recognizes that business is the engine that drives our city's economy and that without business growth the city will die; consequently his economic and fiscal policy decisions weigh the benefits and likely effectiveness of any such policy versus the costs and long-term impact of making it more difficult to do business here;

  • He recognizes that the "small things" matter. The beautification of the city such as new parks, clean streets, planters in the center of 4-lane boulevards, landscaping intersection islands, removing graffiti ASAP, etc., add to the aesthetic charm of the city. It's easy to write these things off as a waste of money only because it's difficult to quantify in monetary terms how it has made a noticeable impact on the quality of life here, how that had a positive impact on the city's image, and consequently how many more residents and/or visitors have brought their money here.

  • On a similar note, the police have also started to take quality-of-life violations seriously. Instead of responding to a call of people drinking alcohol in a public park by showing up, telling them to move along and then leaving (that is, if they respond at all), the police are now actually detaining people, issuing citations, and checking for outstanding warrants. There's still a lot of work to do to clean up some of the parks, especially at night, but they have become a lot more tolerable in the daytime. And taking the time to find out who these people are has given them the opportunity to yank a lot of "wanted" folks off the streets.

  • He is not a partisan. He is willing to make allies with anyone if he thinks it's in the best interest of the city. That means he has no qualms about working with Republicans and makes no apologies for it either.

Things I don't like about Daley:
  • Don't even get me started on the appallingly draconian and utterly ineffectual gun control laws in this city.

  • While the beautification thing is nice, enough is enough. At some point we need to re-examine our priorities, and I think that point comes when we're trying to turn every last little bit of shoreline into parks when we already have plenty of shoreline park space and we're in the middle of a budget crunch.

  • Speaking of budget crunch, I'm tired of this city sending wave after wave of tax and fee hikes at us. Where the hell did all the money go from the last several waves of tax and fee hikes? When you have a budget of 5.6 billion dollars and 80% of that is payroll, it might be time to get the bureaucracy under control. Just a thought.

  • And speaking of lakefront park space... this city has the most overburdened aviation system in the country. So what does he do? He digs up the runway Meigs Field, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, without any advanced warning to parties that had planes stored there (the remaining planes had to take off on a taxiway -- that's real safe), without asking or telling the FAA or bothering to find out if there were any planes en route to the airport that might need, you know, a RUNWAY to land on. Luckily, an incoming flight did get word in time to be diverted. And you know what? He got away with it. The FAA let him off with a fine of about 30 grand. Of course, did he pay it? No. We the taxpayer did. Plus we had to give back about a million dollars in FAA grants. What an absolutely stunning display of arrogance. And all this so that we could have one more tiny bit of lakeshore park space, as if 20-some miles of shoreline park space wasn't enough.
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:20 PM
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
14 posts, read 55,834 times
Reputation: 18
Default Daley Legacy

*I wrote my college thesis on the Daley Legacy of Chicago and through my many months of research realized what an important role that he and his father have played in making Chicago what it is today.
*Daley is really running the last politcal machine in the country, his power and clout cannot be matched anywhere. Just look at the Chicago Spire that is being built downtown. The site that the building is being constructed on was originally zoned for a 60 story building. Daley wanted this building in Chicago, not in New York, Atlanta etc. Daley did not ask, or request that the zoning commission re-zone the site but told them that they were going to. End of story... So now Chicago will retain the title of having North America's tallest buidling This is the amount of power that this mayor has.
*His father Richard J. Daley did the same thing with the Sears Tower. While the Sears was being built so was the World Trade Center in New York. The WTC buidlings were actually proposed to be taller than the Sears. Richard J. was always thinking of ways to showcase his city and one up New York, Daley requested that the designer of the Sears Tower surpass the height of the WTC, and it happened. This was not public knowledge and stunned New York.
*Mayor Daley was recently named the Best Mayor in America. His efforts to make Chicago the greenest city in the country has other cities such as L.A., NY, and Philly watching with envy. Just recently the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange merged to form a global economic powerhouse CME. Atlanta based ICE was bidding on CME as well, Daley saw this as a game of must win. He knew that if the Atlanta based group bought the CME it would be a huge blow to Chicago's economy, especially after many local banks had merged or been bought out. Daley was very vocal and adiment on keeping Chicago the comodities capital of the world.
*Another intersting aspect of the Daley adminstration is that his name is tagged on everything in Chicago, and I mean everything. Garbage cans, city vehicles, welcome signs, special events, etc. it's all adorned with Richard M. Daley. I have travelled to other Metro areas and have never seen this. It still amazes me everytime I am in the city.
*Richard M. Daley inherited his father's old and decrepit political machine that was almost extinct. Since serving as mayor he revitalized the machine, bringing it up to speed with 21st century ethics and making sure it was more politcally correct than his father's. Daley is the greatest mayor of our time, he has taken a great city and made it even greater. He is always trying to keep Chicago one step ahead New York and L.A. He understands what it takes to run a city in the 21st century. He defiantley takes "free speech" to the next level... there is no communications director in the world that could keep Daley in check, it's always fun to watch his press conferences. Daley is Chicago; up in your face, semi rough around the edges, vocal, and proud to call the "City that Works" his home.
*I hope this gives you some insight on Richard M. Daley. He is truly an amazing politician. If you want to learn more on the amazing political history of Chicago I recommend the book "American Pharaoh" by Cohen and Taylor.
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