The big story in Chicago yesterday was the announcement that Mayor Richard Daley will not be running for a seventh term. This should not come as a surprise to anyone who has been following city politics or who reviewed the gang members' press conferences last week.
For those of you who did not get a chance to witness the brazen challenges by gang members to Mayor Daley, and the Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weiss, it went kind of like this: "Pres. Obama said during the campaign that he would sit down with terrorists without any preconditions, and we expect them to sit down with us without any preconditions." The gang members told the city officials to bring out your best stuff, and let the best man win. An interesting ultimatum from street gang leaders! Can you imagine Sam Giaconda, or Al Capone, making such brazen statements to the mayor of their era?
In my humble opinion, I think this was the coup de grace for Mayor Daley and his puppy dog loyal administration. The people of Chicago have gone along with Mayor Daley and his many faux paus and gaffes for over 21 years. There was a statement released by Sen. Dick Durbin that said the mayor's legacy would be in education, neighborhoods, and the city. This is one time that I have to agree with Sen. Dick Durbin. The education system is in shambles, urban terrorists control our neighborhoods, and the city is in world-class chaos.
Let's visit each of these topics briefly:
1. Our educational system is one of the worst in the nation, with an over 50% dropout rate of school-age children, poor test scores, school killings in the national news, and educators forced to be bilingual;
2. Our neighborhoods are decaying, people are losing their home equity values, people are afraid to come out of their homes, we have an increase in home invasions, citizens are being overwhelmed by shootings and violent crimes;
3. As far as the city goes, it is out of control: numerous Daley appointees are serving jail sentences, jaywalking on city streets is ignored, the embarrassment of the 2016 Olympic committee in Copenhagen, the overturning of the Chicago gun ban by the US Supreme Court, the parking ticket scandal, the Truck for Hire scandal, the parking meter sell off, the Chicago Toll way sell off, the attempted privatization of Midway Airport, and the hundreds of millions of dollars in missing money for contracts.
Now, mind you, I have not mentioned the huge city government budget deficits that the city faces for the current year, or future years. More importantly is the lack of revenue to meet the financial needs of the city.
We have a mayor who has stated time and time again, that he cares for the citizens in this great city, and that he wants to do the best he can for all citizens. Well, I find that hard to believe given several facts as they relate to the black citizens. The facts are that black contractors, in a city that's 42% black, went from 22% of city contracts to less than 3% under Mayor Daley's rule. He has consistently put people in charge of the Chicago public school system who are non-educators, passing over qualified educators. In terms of protecting his citizens, I was always taught that actions speak louder than words.
In the Supreme Court case McDonald vs. Chicago, Justice Alito stated that the mayor has failed to protect citizens in high crime areas, namely black and brown communities. However, earlier this year, when four white men were robbed in Lincoln Park, a predominately white area, over 300 police personnel were dispatched to the area -- contrast that with the South and West sides, where over 10 people were killed and numerous people wounded, and there was no increase in the deployment of police protection. We can discuss the creation of the Hispanic Democratic organization, and its mission, per the admission of former Streets And Sanitation Commissioner Al Sanchez, "HDL was created to increase Hispanic empowerment in city government... and yes I fired black people, to hire Hispanics, and some of them were illegal."
You will notice during this brief discussion, I have not brought up the "sanctuary city" issue, the mayor's pet project. People are leaving, let me rephrase that, illegal immigrants are leaving, Arizona and heading to Chicago and its suburbs, because we are a sanctuary city. Please don't talk to me about giving illegal immigrants an opportunity for jobs, education, and rights when American citizens of all creeds and colors do not have access to quality education, well-paid government jobs, and the freedom to pursue happiness in their own country.
If I were writing Mayor Daley's legacy, it would have to include his tenure as the Cook County State Attorney, where on his watch innocent men were given death sentences, and tortured, many believe with the knowledge of state and local prosecutors. I remember Mayor Daley's callousness about the destruction of human life: a man who was exonerated from a death sentence asked him to apologize for signing his death warrant. The mayor came on televised press conference and said, I'm not apologizing, I signed dozens of those things, and just laughed it off.
I realized at that point that Mayor Daley was a man of questionable honor, morality, and common decency. The more I reviewed his record and the results, the more I realized this was the only intelligent conclusion one can reach given the facts. And I think the observations in Judge Alito's majority opinion clearly support my analysis of Daley's administration.