Monday, May 9, 2011

Daley 2 and Willie Don

The three fundamental components of this program (i.e. Richard M Daley's) include promotion of Chicago as a global city, the reorganization of a variety of municipal and and independent agency functions, and social inclusivity at the elite level.

Larry Bennett, The Third City: Chicago and American Urbanism

This is part of the adulation of Daley2 as a "new progressive" and the exemplar of a new crop of pragmatic mayors like Stephen Goldsmith, John Norquist, Ed Rendell, etc., "who play down their commitment to a broad social vision in favor of emphasizing thier 'mastering the details." I'll comment more on this agenda in later posts, only saying now that the budget mess Chicago finds itself in is certainly not an example of 'mastering the details.' Like others, Daley rode the economic boom of the 1990s and the housing bubble. And so it goes.

I had a minor brainstorm after experiencing a few days of Chicago's pre-inauguration fever last week. Why not compare Richard M. Daley to recently deceased Mayor William Donald Schaefer of Baltimore who reigned supreme in the 1970s and 1980s before becoming governor? Schaefer came up politically in Baltimore politics and loved the details of running a city. He was a supreme growth advocate who steered Baltimore's waterfront rebirth while surrounding himself with some top flight socially-minded bureaucrats who led the nation in planning, housing, and employment and training. Baltimore was the "comeback city" of that era. Of course, some dubbed Baltimore's comeback as a tale of two cities as I'm sure someone will do for the Daley era soon enough.

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