Mayor Daley is throwing in the towel after 20 years of being Chicago's mayor. At a City Hall news conference on Tues., Sept. 7, Daley announced that he would not be running for re-election in 2011. With the recent disapproval ratings for Daley's political performance, this may come as a shock to some and not so much to others.
Mayor Daley has been hit with much public scrutiny after being responsible for the privatization of 36,000 parking meters, which left Chicagoans with higher rates, parking tickets, broken meters and private companies not answering their phones.
Then there were complaints about privatizing the Taste of Chicago in 2011 while Daley wanted to figure out how to handle Chicago's $654.7 million debt.
Some Chicagoans are still holding a grudge against Daley for signing off on 2016 Olympics papers that could've left Chicago in more debt had it been chosen as the host city.
With all of the criticism, that left Daley with an approval rating of 37 percent, according to a Tribune poll.
After Superintendent Weis made the decision to have a secret meeting with gang leaders and threatened them with the RICO statutes, which would leave gang leaders without homes and cars purchased from illegal money, some Chicagoans believed that Weis was just doing what Daley ordered him to do.
Daley has been vocal in news conferences about his distaste for gang life and getting guns off the street with several Chicago gun turn-in programs.
"He does what Daley tells him to do - that's his biggest mistake - but that's how he keeps his job, I guess," said an anonymous web commenter about Weis.
But if Weis was only doing what he was "told" to do, then how will Chicagoans explain Weis' future decisions dealing with gangs? The results of the RICO threats remain to be seen, but under Daley's watch, 4,050 weapons were turned in this year--55 assault weapons and 3,335 handguns. There were even two hand grenades added to the weapon pile.
Daley was also a lead supporter for the opening of 30 of a projected 80 "College and Career Academies" for the CPS Career and Technical Education programs. Twenty-three thousand students will attend classes through these 2010 programs. He was known for helping young people when it came to jobs and education as a supporter of the "Youth Ready Chicago" program that gave 14,000 summer jobs this year to youth ages 14 to 24.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel both voiced interest in being Chicago's mayor earlier in the year if Daley didn't run. It's unclear at present time who wants to take Daley's place.
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