WILL SWEEPING REFORMS SOLVE CHICAGO'S CORRUPTION-CHALLENGED SYSTEM?
By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA
(© 2019 Journal GlobaLinks)
CHICAGO (JGL) – Less is more.
William “Bill” Michael Daley says if he has his way he only needs two terms for a maximum of eight years as Chicago mayor to make the city that works “function quiet well” during an endorsement press conference with former Vermont Governor and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean last Tuesday (Jan. 22) at a Loop luncheon with community members. The plan of the 70-year-old lawyer with a political pedigree is a far cry from the combined 43 years in power between his father (Richard J.) and his younger brother (Richard M.) who held the mayoral reins of Chicago.
In a sweeping anti-corruption proposal that will transform city hall, the former Commerce Secretary under the Clinton Administration and the former Chief of Staff under President Obama, responding to the question posed by philamessenger.com, Mr. Daley said, “I’ve stated that I am in favor of term limits for mayors of Chicago for two terms of eight years, and I will introduce it when I am mayor and I am also in favor of term limits for aldermen for 12 years, which is longer because it’s a different decision-making process. I think it is healthy for our system.”At the same time, Mr. Daley, possibly in keeping with the truism that too many cooks spoil the broth, has proposed to pare down to size the number of aldermen of Chicago from 50 to 15 if his referendum for redistricting the city map will be on the ballot in November 2020 presidential elections. To be placed on the ballot, the proposal would need the endorsement of 80,000 voters' signatures.
FORMER BILL CLINTON Commerce Secretary Bill M. Daley responds to philamessenger.com's question on how he feels about term limits for Chicago mayor and aldermen during an endorsement press conference by former Vermont Governor and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean (left) of Mr. Daley on Tuesday (Jan. 22) at a Loop luncheon with community members. Mr. Daley said he wants a term limit of two-terms for eight years for the mayors and agrees with a legislative measure that is making its way to Springfield, Illinois which limits the term of office of aldermen to 12 years. (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)
He did not conduct any study behind the downsizing of the number of aldermen from 50 to 15, but he cited that “the only two other bigger cities larger than Chicago in the country’s 10 largest cities, Los Angeles with 17 (15 currently) council members and there are 4 million people, 1.3 larger than ours; New York is three times as large as ours, there are 50 (51 currently) council members. It seems to me, we can draw a map that will well represent areas with diversity of the city. Me, obviously, is making sure that Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts are all protected. Obviously, these will be challenged in its constitution. I think 15 can represent the city and function quiet well.”
ASK FIRST ALDERMEN
As to criticisms that aldermen may not agree to the reduction measure, Mr. Daley said he will first ask the current aldermen if they are in favor of such reduction. If not, he will lead a signature campaign to put such proposal in a referendum to coincide with the 2020 Census program.
“If we get this on the ballot, trust me this will pass.” he assured.
When told that this proposal has been foiled in the past including under his brother's administration, Mr. Daley said, “But I will be the mayor and I will veto anything that someone is going to put that I believe is being on the ballot in order to stymie the voters really participating. So, I think, we should not be afraid of the voters, let them make a decision.”
CHICAGO ATTORNEY BILL M. Daley (left) and former Vermont Governor and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean share a lighter moment during an endorsement press conference by former Vermont Governor and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean (left) of Mr. Daley on Tuesday (Jan. 22) at a Loop luncheon with community members. (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)
As to Via Times' columnist Elsie Sy-Niebar's question how Mr. Daley is going to address the problem of the youth involved in violence, Mr. Daley said, “First thing we can do is to get them ready for their career so they can have an opportunity for a job in the future.
“Too many kids right now don’t have that opportunity. Under my proposal, we have to give them more jobs. We have to make the city more inclusive. Wherever the jobs are, the people in any neighborhood, they should be prepared for those jobs. We will try and work hard and I have some ideas in getting economic development in the neighborhood."
As to the question from Pinoy NewsMagazine's Anong Santos regarding Chicago losing population because of higher taxes imposed on suburbanites working in the city, Mr. Daley admitted Chicago has been “losing population for many years because of crime, bad schools and lack of economic opportunity. So, we got to address those root causes why people are leaving. We have under 40,000 moving in the city the last four years. I will set a goal to add 300,000 population in the last 10 years. That will add about $300-M a year in new revenue and activity of the city, which would go to the bottom line and help the city financially. That’s what we need to do.”
In solving the gun violence in the city, Mr. Daley said there is a need to toughen penalty when someone is caught in possession of gun illegally. Right now, penalty for such offense is a misdemeanor.
ERMINA VELJACIC (extreme left), Deputy Media Relations of the daleyformayor.com campaign, smiles during the endorsement press conference of Bill Daley for Chicago mayor by former Vermont Governor and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean last Tuesday (Jan. 22) at a Loop luncheon with community members. (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)
He said the city, needs a “better police department that is better trained; hiring more police; to use technologies with every camera in every street in the city; but just is as important in violence prevention and reduction plan where we can reach out to these young men who had gotten into trouble.
“The part of the same and get down to change their lives; there are programs led by (former Obama Education Secretary) Arne Duncan's Chicago CRED (Creating Real Economic Destiny) (by Emerson Collective run by Laurene Powell Jobs) in the southeast side and Heartland Alliance's READI program on the west side, where they use predictive analyses to determine who are these young men who commit these crimes and try to get them in a young age and change their ways.
“So I will put there $50-M to be run by a deputy mayor in the net program because this cannot be solved under this present policing. Very complex but this issue will have an enormous impact in our community that is the most insidious in the city right now.”
Daley cited Dean's positive record on ethics as governor and presidential candidate as a big boost to his endorsement.
ELECTIVE SCHOOL COUNCIL?
AN ADVOCATE (left) has suggested about the elections of members of Chicago Public Schools for Local School Councils or LSCs, which are due to be held on April 18 and 19 this year. Mayoral candidate Bill M. Daley, however, questions the due process of such elections because it will disenfranchise many parents of “non-citizens” who are not allowed to vote in an election. Mr. Daley favors appointed school council members who will determine how a school's funds are allocated and whether to hire or fire a school principal to make their recommendation to the mayor's office, which will have a staff to study the recommendation. Photo shows Via Times Elsie Sy-Niebar and Pinoy NewsMagazine's Anong Santos. (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)
Dean also highlighted Daley's proposal, saying, “I'm here to support my friend Bill Daley and salute his ideas for reform. The government needs to modernize for the new century. Progressive leaders in Chicago should embrace these kinds of changes.”
Other sweeping reforms that Mr. Daley would like to introduce are as follows: making alderman a full-time job, by prohibiting a second job; banning immediate family members of aldermen from doing business with the city. Daley also bans himself, if elected, and his extended family members from doing business with the city;
Requiring city employees to report all contact with members of the City Council; broadening the authority of the Chicago Inspector General so oversight of the executive and legislative branches is identical; shifting administration of the Workman's Compensation Program from the City Council Finance Committee to the Executive Branch; prohibiting campaign donations to the mayor from lobbyists or city contractors; prohibiting any member of the mayor's campaign staff from lobbying the city; suspending fundraising activities during his first three years as mayor and refusing political contributions from lobbyists registered with the city in the current election.
SELFIE WITH THE NEXT CHICAGO MAYOR?
FORMER OBAMA CHIEF OF STAFF Bill M. Daley obliges a selfie with philamessenger.com's Joseph G. Lariosa during the endorsement press conference of Bill Daley for Chicago mayor by former Vermont Governor and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean last Tuesday (Jan. 22) at a Loop luncheon with community members. (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)
Under the law, Chicago can put a referendum on the ballot in November 2020 to shrink the council and create an independent redistricting commission. If it passes, the commission would form in 2021. Based on the 2020 census, the commission would create new ward boundaries, which would go into effect for the 2023 municipal election.
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