Democracy comes to Chicago? - Daley will not run for re-election
Submitted by pda_ill_admin on Tue, 09/07/2010 - 15:15
by Lorin M Klugman
As we have been reporting for weeks, Mayor Daley has made it official. He is not running for re-election. Therefore, Chicago after waiting for for years finally has a chance for real Democracy.
Special Note: Ald. Scott Waguespack to speak at PDA-Chicago Meeting - Mon. 9/13 . Alderman Waguespack is one of the few alderman who is considering a run for Mayor of Chicago. All are welcome.
"Mayor for Life", a barrier to democracy
On Labor Day, Democracy Now featured an interview with the film maker Michael Moore: "I’m trying to think about what we can do to use what’s left of the threads of our democratic process that we, the people—still says it on that piece of paper—still have." Michael went on to talk about how he and some of his neighbors took over the local Democratic party apparatus in rural northern Michigan and started to make small but real change. Michael used local politics as a glimmer of hope for progressives.
Of course Chicago is not northern Michigan. Our Democratic party engulfs even the Republicans. On the July 30 Democracy Now program, Chicago's mayor was referred to as "Mayor For Life". The weight of the Democratic Party "patronage" machine and a lifetime leader hinders Chicagoans from replicating what Michael Moore is doing in northern Michigan.
To make things worse the local media and even the New York Times, all declared that no matter what happens, Daley is a shoe-in for a next term as Mayor of Chicago. These types of media declarations and proclamations contribute to citizen and activist apathy.
I recall watching Chicago tonight on their Friday night "reporter" roundtable. Just a couple weeks ago all of the reporters chuckled that Daley would be relected, give himself a 40k raise and no Chicagoan would dare vote for anyone except Daley.
Again, listening to Michael Moore talking about the hope of local politics, the question arises, how do we apply that in Chicago? And then low and behold! WGN reports the Daley will not run for re-election.
Mayor Richard Daley says he will not run for re-election in 2011, saying it's "time for me, it's time for Chicago to move on."
"The truth is I have been thinking about this for the past several months," Daley said at a City Hall news conference that stunned the city. "In the end this is a personal decision, no more, no less."
His wife Maggie stood by his side with the help of a crutch, smiling broadly as the mayor continued: "I have always known that people want you to work hard for them. Clearly, they won't always agree with you. Obviously, they don't like it when you make a mistake. But at all times, they expect you to lead, to make difficult decisions, rooted in what's right for them.
"For 21 years, that's what I've tried to do," he said. "But today, I am announcing that I will not seek a 7th term as mayor of the city of Chicago.
"Simply put, it's time," said Daley, 68. "Time for me, it's time for Chicago to move on."
Rest of story here.
No matter how Daley and the regular Democrats try to spin this story, we need to look at the facts.
- Chicago's bond ratings lowered, cost of borrowing way up.
- Chicago Obtains Dubious Highest Sales Tax in Country
- Mayor considers "privatizing" festivals.
- Daley's poll ratings at all time low.
- Chicago home sales and real estate market tanking.
- Daley named in several lawsuites by wrongfully convicted Chicagoans. Law suites tie Daley to the Jon Burge torture case.
- Daley pushes for lower wages and elimination of local businesses in favor of the human right's violator "Walmart".
- Daley commercializes (aka privitize) Chicago schools, parking meters, and attempts on air ports and water.
- Chicago teachers fired and class room sizes increased while CPS head Ron Humberman gave himself a gigantic raise.
- Citizen group "Raise Your Hand Coalition" demands tax revenue of $275 million originally raised for the schools, be re-directed from TIFs back to the Chicago Public Schools.
All this spells one thing. Chicago is in need of major reform.
In addition, where was the accountability in the media. When Daley talked about privatizing additional Chicago assets, where were the questions about evidence? Why weren't the reporters covering Daley asking for studies that proved privatization worked?
The election of Karen Lewis to President of the Chicago Teacher's Union was a clear sign that Chicago was ready for real change. To me, local reporters are simply out of touch.
This is a chance for real democracy to come to Chicago. It's up to us to make it happen. Michael Moore:
I’m a citizen in a democracy, so that automatically implies I’m an activist, you’re an activist, you’re all activists. Anybody who decides to reside in the democracy is an activist. If you’re not an activist, if we’re not, then the democracy ceases to exist. So, there is no choice but for all of us to be active.
To summarize, let's remember the media and the Democratic Party "insiders" had this story wrong the whole time. They don't deserve to control the narrative. The narrative is whatever we as citizens do.