Daley's late announcement was made purposefully only weeks before the deadline for entering the race, in order to leave the field to a few well financed and organized contending machine bosses. But independents and groups in the black and Latino communities are already meeting to see if a viable coalition candidate can emerge. Calling themselves Chicago A.D., youth organizers are also trying to pull various groups together to try and energize the young activists who rallied behind Obama in '08.
Greg Hinz, the most informed and informative writer at Crain's Chicago Business, gives us some insights into why the city's business community decided it was time for Mayor Daley to go.
The city papered over smaller holes in recent years by selling the family silver: parking meters and the Skyway, parking garages and (almost) Midway Airport. That strategy worked for a bit, but it's not sustainable—not unless Chicago is to turn into a mini version of effectively bankrupt Illinois. The new mayor will have to slash and merge and rethink and say “no.” Emphasis on the “no.” There now appears to be no other option.Hinz writes that the new mayor will have to try seriously to end patronage and corruption.
Mr. Daley says he tried, but it said an awful lot when the man's own son a few years ago ended up with a piece of an inside city deal. Mr. Daley wasn't responsible for Rod Blagojevich, but Rod Blagojevich was a product of City Hall's “where's mine” culture.Looking at Chicago A.D. more from a community perspective is Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington who writes:
The city's population is about one-third white, a third African American and nearly as much Latino. It needs a mayor with a foot in at least two of three camps...Yet, Emanuel is a bulldozer, not a bridge builder. His roots in communities of color are as shallow as a wading pool. If he plays it right -- and Rahmbo is a consummate political player -- he could wade right into the fifth floor and leave blacks, browns and progressives, once again, high and dry.But Congressman Bobby Rush tells Laura:
"Whoever that person will be will have to come through my community -- and address my community and have an established record of working with my community on its many deep- seated problems."
Rush was talking about black folks, but the sentiment applies to a whole lot of other 'hoods. Latinos, Asians and independent voters all want a stake in this Daley-bereft city.For another look at Chicago A.D. from the big business side, see Crain's Paul Merrion's piece, "Chicago's corporate honchos wonder whom to support after Daley."