CHICAGO – Chicago’s Mayor Richard M. Daley has declared that he will not run again. This is both a blessing and curse for the Chicago. The blessing is that the people of Chicago can stop Chicago’s downward slid by finding a mayoral candidate who is strong enough to say, “Help me rebuild this city by changing the system.” Unfortunately, they’ll have to stand up to Chicago’s traditional royalty, the career Alderman, the unions and the city’s entrenched civic leaders to do it.
The new mayor will have to be strong when branded a racist as they dismantle these miniature fiefdoms created by Chicago’s career Alderman. They’ll have to tell union leaders to be honest with their members and tell them the truth about their pensions. It’s something we all know deep down. Future pensions can’t be paid because no one has bothered to fund them. Where were the union leaders when that was happening?
Why does each Alderman need a ward office paid for by the taxpayers? We have yet to hear about staffing or salary cuts from these Ward Princes. The city is having budget problems and instead of encouraging businesses, they’re driving them away to Indiana or other neighboring states. Their anti-business rhetoric and promises of higher business taxes are killing Chicago.
The curse of Mayor Daley’s retirement is that everyone who has thrown their hat into the ring is a career political prince. If you recognized their name in Chicago politics then they’ve already had their chance to prove themselves. Let’s see some fresh candidates. If the old guard really cared about the city, there wouldn’t be a school, job, gang or budget problem. Unfortunately, all they’ve cared about was personal power and financial gain.
Just look at the health of Chicago. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statics, Chicago’s unemployment rate as of July 2010 was 10.5 percent. Those still lucky to have a job had their wages and salaries rises only 1.1 percent compared to an inflation growth that rose .06 percent in material goods and 8.6 in energy costs for 2010. How much money is your career Alderman making this year?
To make matters worse Mayor Daley’s new 2011 budget indicates that the funds generated by the hundred-year contract that leased the Chicago Skyway and the 75 year contract that leased the city’s parking meters have been spent down to save city services. Why do the tax payers have to suffer? Have the Alderman or other city executives received a pay or benefit cut to save the city?
Judge your politicians not by the words that they speak but by their actions. Look to your local political representatives. Do they inspire you positively? If not, why?
It’s time to participate and vote, start Chicago businesses, run for office and encourage others in community to do the same. Martin Luther King wanted everyone to have an equal opportunity to prosper, but the America he grew up in has changed. Why? Because career politicians need you to believe that you need them to prosper.