Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What Would Rob Mier Think?

"Mier and Washington shared many of the same values, and the result was that development in Chicago during the mayor's tenure was marked by a social justice-based local development strategy."

Moira O'Donovan, "Remembering Rob Mier: Impact in Chicago, Past & Present," CUPPA Magazine, Spring 2009.

The late progressive planner and teacher, Rob Mier, loved to count performance -- jobs created, businesses visited,continuous days of exercise. He would have loved commenting on President Barack Obama's 100 Days. Legislation passed, uptick in the markets, projected jobs.

Like Obama, Mier was a progressive pragmatist who had a core set of social equity values and liked the idea of building a big tent. A graduate of Notre Dame, Mier responded to redbaiting when named Chicago's Commissioner of Economic Development by saying his politics were catholic.

Mier edged into national and international work as Richard M. Daley took power in Chicago -- and continued his teaching at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Who knows if he would have made peace with the Daley Machine over the past 15 years. No doubt he would have joined the movement to elect Barack Obama president while raising questions about the 2016 Olympics and other such things.

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