The Daley name has been an icon for Chicago since the former Richard J Daley first took office in 1955. His 1st term of office ran from 1955-1959, the 2nd term was from 1959-1963, a 3rd term from 1963-1967, the 4th term from 1967-1971, his 5th term was from 1971-1975, and his final 6th term: 1975-1976 (died in office).
The former Mayor Daley was known as the political machine that had his focus on segregation for the city of Chicago. He was a Chicago Icon, well loved and respected up until his untimely death in 1976. Richard J Daley was a shrewd manipulator who approached every issue, every conflict, as either a threat to his power or an opportunity to consolidate it. Daley was always intensely focused on his prime objective which was to preserve political power at any cost whatsoever.
Richard J Daley was referred to as the “Boss” by news reporter Mike Royko, who also penned a book about the infamous politician. Royko states that Daley’s ways may have been unorthodox, but he got things done for Chicago in a way that a non-boss would have been unable to do.
Richard J. Daley was the 3rd mayor originating from the Bridgeport, Illinois area. Though he was a Democrat, he first was an elected a republican official of the legislature, quickly returning to the Democratic Party. As the “Boss” of the Political Machine in Chicago, Daley and his administration has been considered by many to have been instrumental in helping to elect John F. Kennedy in 1960. Although the boss of a machine, Daley was not inaccessible, as he would meet daily for a news conference, taking any and all questions – answering what he could respond to. He remained in office from 1955 until he died in his office in 1976. Daley’s sons have all followed in his footsteps in the political scene and in 1989 Richard M. Daley has become the Mayor of the city of Chicago and still serves in that position. Another son of the former Mayor Daley, Sr., William M. Daley served as Secretary of Commerce from 1997 – 2000, in Bill Clinton’s second administration, while John P. Daley is a member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.
Come this December, 2010, Richard M Daley will have equaled the length of office as his father. The Daley family is one of America’s best known political families and a true icon for the city of Chicago. Richard M. Daley has had his ups and downs in office, and was credited at one time by Time Magazine as America’s best mayors back in 2005. City Hall corruption and illegal airport demolition caused some disdain among some people. Yet he was overwhelmingly re-elected by over 70% in 2007.
The main focus on Mayor Daley since September 11, 2001 seems to be focusing on security efforts with Homeland Security, such as installing security and safety cameras to deter terrorism and address issues of gangs, guns and drugs, adapting a new airport security and safety enhancement, including a fingerprint identification system for airport access, license plate recognition cameras and a state-of-the-art video management system, and integrate a camera network into 911 operations, which greatly enhances the City’s Homeland Security strategy and its ability to fight crime. These are just to name a few of the efforts that have been enforced.
The Daley administration also has the biggest challenge of working with the city’s $600 million dollar plus deficit and finding ways to save money to tax payers and making more money for the City of Chicago. Some of the efforts already put into place are the privatizing of certain lakefront festivals, implementing the parking meter programs, taking salary cuts among city officials (including his own salary), canceling some of the fireworks displays which are quite costly, and being extremely grateful to the cast and crew of the “Transformers 3” as much of the movie was filmed here in our great city for over 3 months, generating $20 million dollars and 1200 plus jobs. Chicago is by no means out of the black as far as the deficit is concerned but Mayor Daley is continually working to save and/or generate money for our great city.
Our infamous Richard M Daley has won the 2010 U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Award, which is a program sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Mayor Daley (along with the Mayor from Little Rock, Arkansas) is recognized for innovative practices in their cities designed to increase energy efficiency and curb global warming. Though the administration does have its’ ups and downs, most would agree that Mayor Daley does an optimal job, like his dad, to get things done for the city of Chicago.