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Fuel

E / September 5, 2006 1:41 AM

He's the greatest Mayor ever. Let him be Mayor as long as he likes. I love how Mayor Daley has beautified the city. Who else is there anyway?

Y A J / September 5, 2006 7:10 AM

Of course he's going to run, though I wish he wouldn't. And he'll win too, though I wish he wouldn't.

avantchicago / September 5, 2006 7:12 AM

It's time for Daley to hang it up. Make room for someone like JJjr if he is interested. Chicago is a city built on Daley corruption and its time for a new drug.

Brian / September 5, 2006 7:26 AM

Let's take a look at the good he's done for this city. Compare the city today to the way it was back in the late 80's. For those of you that are newcomers, you don't know how much the city has turned around. Ask a longtime or lifelong Chicagoan. The mid-to-late 80s was the height of suburban flight, gang-related violence, neighborhoods everywhere in decline, and you could count on yearly CPS strikes. And you know that 3am L ride you take for granted now? Believe me when I say you wouldn't have considered taking the L anywhere after sundown. Not to mention that the city's infrastructure was literally crumbling.

So say what you will about Daley and corruption, but he's moved hell and high-water to get things done. Speaking of corruption, do you seriously think Jesse Jackson, Jr. wouldn't reward campaign workers with key city jobs? Get real. It happens in most major cities, the only difference with Chicago is the Fed, backed by the Bush Administration, is on a witchhunt here to prove corruption on a democratic mayor after the state put away their boy Ryan.

vit / September 5, 2006 8:06 AM

I've spent loads of time in and around the Chicago area since I was born in the south burbs in 1973 and remember the city as a child and teenager in the 80's (Unlike a lot of suburbanites, my family spent a lot of time in the city). Daley has done a lot for the place. I think he has one good term left in him. Oh, and JJjr is just as corrupt as the next guy.

J / September 5, 2006 8:30 AM

I just want him around for his fun quotes.

w / September 5, 2006 9:34 AM

If it ain't broke...

sarah / September 5, 2006 9:52 AM

in terms of issues that affect me personally, i'm very happy with daley. two examples: earlier this year, the entire front of my building was defaced by grafitti. it was clean within a week, done by the city, for free. also: millenium park is a wonderful public space and major improvement to the city. i've been there several times this summer for free concerts, and was very moved by the beauty of the experience. compared to these examples, which i feel directly impact my quality of life, whatever corruption characterizes the daley administration simply is not very important to me.

matty / September 5, 2006 10:01 AM

He's a crook with a good PR agent. That's about it.

matty / September 5, 2006 10:02 AM

Oh and nevermind the hiring scandal at his feet and the fact that for all his 'beautification' he can't even be bothered to get a recycling program together.

I won't vote for carol brown, but I'm not voting for daley this year. He doesn't deserve it.

NSH / September 5, 2006 10:09 AM

I think the only way daley won't run is because he was told not to by Fitz.

printdude / September 5, 2006 10:41 AM

I didn't think that dictator for life could be ousted until, well, his death.

Marilyn / September 5, 2006 10:52 AM

Mayor Daley is running. Go to www.beachwoodreporter.com for an update today.

Mayor Daley is incompetent, arrogant, and a complete disaster for the working people and poor of the city. He tried to deny that the city had any responsibility for helping the 800 people who died in the 1995 heat wave. He thinks the city should work for those smart enough to figure out how to make it work--and that's certainly not the poor. He has allowed developers to take of the city, making it unaffordable for many and destroying what affordable housing there is. His promise for mixed-income housing following the demise of Cabrini-Green has been a shame. He's completely corrupt. He turned the other way when torture was taking place in the police department. He destroyed Meigs Field in the middle of the night and still hasn't been brought to account for it.

Yes, the city looks great. But as Steve Rhodes of the Beachwood says, he's the Mayor of Chicago, not the president of the Garden Club.

If you are willing to through thousands of lives of disadvantaged people and the middle class away to have a suburbanized city, vote for him. I'm sure many will.

Marilyn / September 5, 2006 10:55 AM

Sorry for the typos. I always get like that when I think about Richie.

rev. dave / September 5, 2006 11:14 AM

I hope he runs. Corrupt or not, the city works. Plus, he's quite entertaining as a figurehead...

I'm all for change but now's not the right time. Another term or two and we'll be ready for some new blood in the mayor's office.

Emerson Dameron / September 5, 2006 12:50 PM

I won't vote for him, but I'm sure he'll keep running and winning as long as he likes, and I don't take his corruption personally. As a friend says, "He's a lot like Mayor Quimby."

MT / September 5, 2006 12:55 PM

Marilyn--

Cry all you want about the lack of affordable housing, but we are still a VERY affordable market for real estate. In the last forbes survey, Chicago came in 19th most expensive in the nation (see the slideshow of each market here). Not bad for the third largest city in America.

Some people are so hell bent on their own pet causes that they can't see the bigger picture. For instance, many don't see the connection between an urban improvement such as Mililenium Park and an improved economy. Urban amenities attract people, people attract businesses and businesses provide jobs. Or don't people here remember the economic stagnation of Chicago in the 80s?

I'm not saying that money shouldn't be spent on affordable/subsidized housing, but there are a lot of areas in which our city needs improvement and only a limited amount of money. Daley has done a good job of both making our city attractive to potential residents and employers and improving social service programs. We are not there yet, but progress is being made.

Mikey / September 5, 2006 1:00 PM

Yes, I think he should definitely run, if for no other reason, than to see his many ambitious environmental initiatives realized. And if the Beverly pilot program (residential plastic bins) is any indication, he'll eventually get the recycling initiative on the right track too...

This city may not be perfect, but it's a helluva lot better under Daley's leadership than most of the other big cities I've visited...

fhm / September 5, 2006 1:14 PM

When I look at those that would run against him I am thankful for the devil we know.

Marilyn / September 5, 2006 1:45 PM

When you're sipping your cosmo on a back porch, better hope it doesn't collapse and kill you because some crony of Daley's gave the inspector's job to his 18-year-old nephew.

Affordable to whom? Not to the people who used to have a place to live in Cabrini Green.

The recycling program was a giveaway to the mob. It has never worked.

And again, what about those 800 dead people in 1995 that the Mayor said were going to die anyway and the heat had nothing to do with it.

What do we care about North Lawndale as long as we can gaze at our own reflections for hours upon hours at the Bean?

vit / September 5, 2006 2:08 PM

Marilyn - I understand your concern about affordable housing and share it, but really, compared to the eastern cities of NYC and Boston where I have family and know more than a few people, Chicago is affordable indeed.

regarding the 800 dead people... / September 5, 2006 2:13 PM

While that was, obviously, a horrible and preventable tragedy, it was over ten years ago. Also, Chicago did the one right thing you can do in a horrible tragedy - learn from it. Now we have a ton of emergency plans, shelters, wellness checks, etc in the event of a heat wave, as evidenced this summer. (They even had city people out there literally dragging the homeless guys into cooling centers this summer!) I think, if anything, Daley should be commended in the way he reacted to what happened that year... and that's arguably a reason TO vote for him.

I'm not saying that should be the deal-breaker either way, I'm just saying I don't think that's a good example of Daley's foul-ups. Lord knows there's enough of them for us to choose from...

regarding the 800 dead people... / September 5, 2006 2:14 PM

While that was, obviously, a horrible and preventable tragedy, it was over ten years ago. Also, Chicago did the one right thing you can do in a horrible tragedy - learn from it. Now we have a ton of emergency plans, shelters, wellness checks, etc in the event of a heat wave, as evidenced this summer. (They even had city people out there literally dragging the homeless guys into cooling centers this summer!) I think, if anything, Daley should be commended in the way he reacted to what happened that year... and that's arguably a reason TO vote for him.

I'm not saying that should be the deal-breaker either way, I'm just saying I don't think that's a good example of Daley's foul-ups. Lord knows there's enough of them for us to choose from...

Marilyn / September 5, 2006 2:15 PM

Yes, it is more affordable than New York and Boston and D.C. I was contemplating a move to Hawaii and was staggered by the real estate costs there. But a city has to work for everyone, and this one only works for the "nice people," and maybe not even them. I'm going to quote liberally from Dennis Byrne's editorial in the Tribune today to let you know that I'm not the only person worried about the shape of the city under Daley and looking for an alternative:

"Despite Daley's self-acclamation and the "evidence" of student test scores (the abomination of today's education system), I don't know that anyone can really say just how much better or worse the schools are under Daley. But here's one reliable test: How many suburban parents say, "Oh, gee, Chicago's schools are so great, I'm going to move back into the city because I want my kids to get a good education"? If Chicago parents had real choices, such as school vouchers, tens of thousands would abandon the city's public schools. Here's a second test: How many businesses are fighting each other to hire the products of the city's school system?

As for public housing problems? He made them disappear, literally. The miles of high-rise projects by consensus had become so cancerous, and the need to tear them down became so obvious, that to pretend that they could be made safe and livable would have been politically disastrous. Presto, away they went, leaving behind the lingering questions: Where did everyone go, and are the lives of the former residents any better?

So, despite what Daley would have everyone believe, he has not taken the schools and public housing out of play in the upcoming mayoral campaign. He has made them a legitimate campaign issue, and one that might not rebound to his benefit.

But these are only two issues that can challenge Daley. Population and jobs still flow to the suburbs, a larger social trend that can't be blamed on any one big-city mayor. At least not entirely. Here, you have to wonder just how many people want to have nothing to do with Chicago because they understand that the Daley administration begets corruption, and corruption begets higher taxes and higher taxes beget people and businesses getting fed up with it all and moving out? Just how much better could Chicago be without all the corruption?"

no name today / September 5, 2006 2:30 PM

Maryilyn, if you dislike it here so much, than move! I work for the city and I work hard and I believe in the Mayor and his mission. (and fyi, I got my job from being an intern and working hard.) It's people like you that make it hard to come to work everyday...complain complain complain...it's a work in progress...like every major city. If you can't see that, than go to Hawaii.

Marilyn / September 5, 2006 2:37 PM

I'm so sorry I make it hard for you to do your job, anonymous. I like it fine here. I just don't like your boss for a number of very good reasons. If you refuse to see the problems, that's not my problem.

MT / September 5, 2006 3:06 PM

Yes, Mr. Byrne loves to ask questions. Too bad he doesn't have the answers to them.

"Presto, away [the public housing highrises] went, leaving behind the lingering questions: Where did everyone go, and are the lives of the former residents any better?"

I would like to know the answer to that question. And while your answer is likely a flippant 'no,' I myself wonder. We all know the horror that was our experiment with high-rise public housing. We know there were problems so bad that they just weren't fixable. I don't think any objective observer would have advocated keeping them up.

So then we come to the question of what solution to choose. I think the current plan of mixed-income developments combined with voucher programs is a sound one. The poor aren't grouped together and sectioned off from the rest of the city. The program encourages mixed class living. The fatal flaw in this program is easy to pin down: funding. Like our East coast counterparts, funding for public housing is dreadfully low. While it's convenient to blame our fair mayor, you might want to look at the federal and state funding figures before laying blame. Daley could allocate more here, but it would hardly put a dent in the problem. To fully fund such a program with tax dollars from the city of Chicago would put an unsustainable burden on the citizens of this city and spiral us into another 80s era. If you look at the books, the money just ain't there.

There are other areas where Daley could do better. Rent control could help slow the gentrification which some disdain. However, a big reason residents are priced out of a neighborhood has to do with the neighborhood businesses. When upscale residents move in, so do upscale shops. Rent control can't stop that trend.

The more I hear from you, the more I think you vote on this one issue. While looking out for the housing-challenged is indeed noble, it is also a complicated problem without easy answers or short term solutions. To think JJjr. is going to make those problems disappear is foolish. Looking at the mayor as a whole, I think he's done a fair job. JJjr. and the other challengers would have to present me with a pretty compelling vision to get my vote. Despite what you claim, Daley has made progress over the last 15 years. I am willing to give him more time and look forward to seeing what he can accomplish.

MT / September 5, 2006 3:10 PM

Marylin: "If you refuse to see the problems, that's not my problem."

I don't think anyone here is "refusing" to see the problems. I think that you, and Daley's other critics, have failed to clearly articulate what the problems are. That, or people don't think the problems are nearly as serious as you make them out to be.

From my point of view, Daley's shortcomings have not seriously hampered his ability to execute as mayor. Yes, he has problems. But he, and the city, seem to continually get better. That's all I'm asking for, and he's delivering.

MT / September 5, 2006 3:18 PM

MT - You have a reasonable outlook, but I don't think I can forgive and forget the human rights abuses the the mayor looked beyond or the cover-your-ass approach he took to the heat wave, when lives could have been saved.

Beyond that, I just don't believe in entrepreneurial government. I've seen what a disaster the business model for public institutions has been for people of modest or even moderate means. The people who know the system benefit in the market model. Those who don't lose out. I'm not laying this economic model at Daley's door exclusively. The entire body politic has been infected with Reaganomics, which has caused the gap to widen between the richest and the poorest, with the middle class squeezed almost out of existence.

As to the retailers jacking up housing costs, well that's just weird. If you can't afford to buy a condo or pay the rent, you can't. Both costs have gone up considerably. People on Gapers Block complained about it before in a Fuel question. Public housing became a disaster, but only after CHA liberalized its admission policies and doing away with most screening and after funding was slashed severely. I'd have preferred a less expensive Millennium Park that came in on budget and more money for social programs.

As to Byrne needing to come up with answers, you know, that's not his job. He's a journalist. His job is to shine a light. The job then is for people to demand that the decision makers come up with viable solutions.

Marilyn / September 5, 2006 3:36 PM

That was me, not MT. I don't know what happened.

s / September 5, 2006 4:39 PM

i thought journalists investigated and wrote about things. i didn't know they were professional light-shiners.

yes, what you say is true about *why* the housing projects turned into hell-holes... but once they were, something had to be done. I would very much like to know how it's going. i hear from a family member who is a social worker for some of the former residents that it is working fairly well, with some hitches. but that's just one 3rd hand story.

i think the mayor has done a lot of good. corruption sucks, and there is obviously a lot of work to do. but as people move to the city, stay in the city and work in the city, things are improving. the TIF thing is total bullsh!t, and I wish the recycling program worked, etc etc. but in order to fix problems you need a tax base. at least the city's not hemorrhaging people anymore.

hopefully the problems will get fixed, if not by Daley than by whomever comes after. but do you really trust anyone who is in city or county government right now? i think the stink of corruption is on everybody. maybe a real reformer will show up, but until then, i'm voting for daley.

Hal / September 5, 2006 4:40 PM

Yeah, he should run, so I can vote for him. Deeply flawed, but I believe that for the most part, he's been good for the city. Despite his backroom deal with Helen Shiller last time around that helped her to keep her grip on the 46th Ward and continue to run it into the ground, I fear the alternative.

Y A J / September 5, 2006 5:21 PM

Iím frankly surprised at how pro-Daley this Fuel is leaning. Hereís my purely personal analysis that will guide my own vote.

Things I like about the city under Daley
- the city is much more bike friendly
- the city is prettier, I like the flowers but not the ubiquitous black iron fences
- the Orange line! Connecting our second airport to the subway makes our town much more accessible for travelers and speeds my daily commute.
- the historic bungalow initiative preserves Chicagoís unique housing stock

Things I do not like
- the police force is still frequently at worst abusive and at least insensitive, but the mayor and latest Chief barely pretend to care
- lower income people are frequently displaced, public housing residents are still waiting for insufficient or imaginary scattered site housing, and the mayor still refuses to commit to any affordable housing set aside
- simultaneously, mayor promises to veto progressive big box wage law, making it even more difficult for working poor to afford housing in the city
- cuts in public transportation (cutting bus lines and night owl services)
- blue bag program a farce and a waste. I hope they expand the Beverly pilot but Iím still disappointed they didnít just do it 10 years ago when they picked the horrible blue bag project.

I love this city and I encourage everyone to live here or visit. Iíve never lived anywhere else so Iíve been through a few mayors. Iím not just complaining, Iím dedicated to constantly improving this city and I personally believe itís time for a different mayor.

Lawrence / September 5, 2006 5:49 PM

I'll tell you what he ought to do, man . . . two chicks at the same time, man.

Also,

To the No-Name douche whose answer to any reasonable criticism is: if you don't like it, move. You are the living embodiment of why today's public education system is a complete disaster. Because if a turd-sandwich like you can get a job in city government . . . well, that explains a lot of why things are so screwed up at city hall.

Brian / September 5, 2006 9:47 PM

Y A J: Daley isn't the one to point the finger at when it comes to CTA/RTA transit funding. That would be Springfield. And sadly, even though more of the state's population is in Chicagoland, it's the farmers and bumpkins downstate that keep voting it down in favor of their own pork projects.

While I agree that cuts in transit funding sadden me, as I rely on it exclusively now thanks to big oil, the city itself can't and doesn't solely fund it. The funding needs to be kicked up a notch so planned projects such as the 130th extension to the red line, the circle line and the mid-city line can get built, and (IMHO) all L lines having owl service. I keep these things in mind when voting on the state level.

Dean Rank / September 6, 2006 12:55 AM

I haven't as much to say about the mayoral election as I do about a PROTEST about Marshall Fields.
I am as sentimental about the history of this city as the next person but isn't there 9 billion more important things to protest than the name of a department store? Do I really need to name any?

amyc / September 6, 2006 8:56 AM

"As to Byrne needing to come up with answers, you know, that's not his job. He's a journalist."

Dennis Byrne is not a journalist. He's a right-wing columnist and a PR consultant. He's also been peddling for years the bullshit idea that abortions cause breast cancer, even though they don't. Don't expect the unvarnished truth from him.

MT / September 6, 2006 9:05 AM

amyc: "Dennis Byrne is not a journalist. He's a right-wing columnist and a PR consultant. He's also been peddling for years the bullshit idea that abortions cause breast cancer, even though they don't. Don't expect the unvarnished truth from him."

True dat. Also, don't expect him to be on the same side as Marylin and the others concerning what to do about our public housing problems. He's a winger, through-and-through. Let them fend for themselves is his likely position.

MT / September 6, 2006 9:34 AM

Y A J: "simultaneously, mayor promises to veto progressive big box wage law, making it even more difficult for working poor to afford housing in the city"

Honestly, I don't think the big box ordinance is a good thing for most parts of the city. From an urban planning perspective, having big-boxes in dense, thriving neighborhoods probably doesn't make a lot of sense and discouraging their development is probably a good idea.

But from a jobs perspective, I just don't get the selective minimum wage this ordinance imposes. Raise the minimum wage across the board? Sure, I get that. But to target big retailers just seems wrong-headed and more about making a statement than affecting change.

Also, looking at the poorest of the poor neighborhoods in Chicago, it doesn't take much imagination to see what a big retailer could bring to those communities. They are so economically despressed that any jobs held by their residents are in other areas of the city. Having a retailer move in and provide jobs seems like a plus, no matter the wage. Would you rather a mom-and-pop store opened up and paid their employees the bottom of the barrel federal minimum wage?

I support Daley's position on this ordinance.

Also I agree with the other poster about misplaced criticism of Daley over CTA cuts. There are a TON of problems with the CTA, but few of them can be blamed directly on the city. While the city is involved with the decision making process at the CTA, the CTA is primarily funded by collected fares and then county, state (including a sales tax) and federal dollars (see their brocher for more details). Many criticize the distribution of these funds by the RTA as being heavily biased towards Metra, myself included.

Further, the failure of the CTA to make ends meet by collecting enough fares to cover operating expenses is due to their "progressive" fare structure. This might not make a lot of sense at first glance, but think about it for a moment. If we assume that the most affluent neighborhoods served by the CTA are in or near the city center (a safe assumption), then the poorer neighborhoods are further away. Since most transit trips are "hub and spoke" style, the majority of poor riders are taking the CTA from outlying neighborhoods to the city center. Combine this with a flat CTA fare and you'll see where I'm going. A trip from the city center to a close, affluent neighborhood costs the same as a trip to a far-out, poorer neighborhood. In effect, the CTA is subsidizing the long runs out to the poorer neighborhoods.

In cities such as London, there is a tiered fare structure so that the further you go from the city cernter, the more you pay. This helps fund the extra costs of running transit lines to far flung areas of the city. I would advocate this approach for the CTA on the condition that additional funds were made available by the city, county and state for deferring some of the extra costs of these trips for the less well to do.

As it stands, the CTA is bleeding slowly from operating costs it cannot sustain with the current fare structure. Cutting corruption, privitizing the operation of the agency and other administrative cutbacks may help this a bit, but it won't change the underlying imbalance between funds collected and operating costs.

Marilyn / September 6, 2006 9:52 AM

I don't think that on top of the lengthy commutes that are getting lengthier by the day, far-flung commuters should be penalized with higher fares. Distance doesn't really count in the cost of running the CTA.

Fredo / September 6, 2006 10:13 AM

Well, from what I'm hearing about Eugene Sawyer, it doesn't sound like being the ex-mayor of Chicago is quite so lucrative.

leah / September 6, 2006 10:29 AM

Lawrence, I don't see the connection between no name's comment & the problem w/ today's public education system.

That's a tough enough situation, you don't have to go blaming every hangnail you get on CPS.

m / September 6, 2006 12:07 PM

Chicago natives who use the "70s/80s defense" as some sort of reason Daley's a good mayor would do well to remember that every big city was pretty much a shi+hole back then. It was post-riots and post-block-busting and post-factory closings and then Reagan and crack and AIDS all came along. Daley's a pretty good mayor in a lot of ways, but when it comes to revitalizing Chicago, he's ridden the same wave of 90s money and gentrification that has benefited other cities like D.C., Baltimore and New York. Daley's dad may have kept Chicago from becoming Detroit, but I think Little Big Man Jr's success has more to do with being in the right place at the right time.

spook / September 6, 2006 12:13 PM

Thank you Marilyn- and the small minority here- not afraid to tell the truth and hopefully begin moving the majority away from comfortable conformity, soothing complacency and easy cowardness. What's going on! Where is the courage to question?
Some macavillain sort- I can't remember the name- said some thing like, in America when one has a bad record, campaign on it with pride! This is what Daley is doing, just like Bush. Notice how the late Harold Washington remained one of the biggest critics of Reagan while Daley loves him some Bush and it aint just about getting federal dollars, but because Daley is a Reagan republican!
He has created two schools systems, very separate, very unequal entangent with a equally unequal and separate housing system. Darth Daley has also reduced the city bureaucracy to a slimly band a cheerleaders that largely apes HIS city council. Any one who speaks out gets fired especially public school teachers and principals.
Any one remember former CHA director Philip Jackson also booted when he could no longer continue ethnic cleansing of the poor via the CHA Transformation Program? And Google Chicago's Better Government Association's webpage about how CHA Chief Terry Peterson, who just resigned to run Daley's campaign, directed CHA contracts( many of them out of state vendors) to give campaign money to the 17th Ward ( with no CHA housing) Organization that he directs. All the news papers( including WBEZ radio) called foul, yet Daley is ballsy enough just not to care.
Under Daley's "green thumb" this city is turning this into a Midwest WalMart version of Paris, poor on the outside, rich on the inside or better yet Chicago's poor( of all races) are being moved to modern day South African Bantu States( i.e southern suburbs) created during apartied South Africa for its Black citizens.
All roads stop at Daley including the CTA whom Daley has chosen a thug to lead it. Those who have had conversations with the numerous citizens marginalized in south and westside communities know about eliminated routes in poor communities, the duplicate routes on the northside, including higher/better bus time ratios. Yes I understand that this online community mirrors most of Chicago with a perspective of, if its good for US then its good for all, and to any one who falls by the weighside, its THIER fault because they "want" to be left behind

MT / September 6, 2006 12:19 PM

Marilyn: "Distance doesn't really count in the cost of running the CTA."

Read up on it. It most certainly does.

It increases track miles that must be maintained. It increases the number of stations you must keep up, keep lit and keep staffed. These are not trivial expenses. One station's/section of track's maintenance is the same no matter where it is in the system.

Then look at ridership stats. In and around the city center, you not only have a healthy commuter ridership, but also trips from one point in that limited area to another. In the far flung regions of the city, these "inter-region" trips are far more rare. This all translates into higher and better sustained ridership on most stations in the center of the city.

For the "long haul" runs out to the edges of the city, you usually see higher ridership at the terminal points (for instance 95th at the end of the Red line), and then very poor ridership on the stops between the terminal point and well into the city.

This means the CTA is keeping large pieces of infrastructure up a running for the benefit of a handful of riders. From a sheer cost/return standpoint, those stations (and therefore the lines that contain them) are money losers. Par the system down to only the money earners and suddenly we have a system that could pay for itself.

I am not advocating shutting those lines and stations. On the contrary, I think having them is important not only to the economy, but also to the vitality of the city. But we need to be realistic as to the problems the CTA faces and take these facts into consideration when trying to figure out how to get the CTA out of this mess.

MT / September 6, 2006 12:29 PM

spook--

Not that I completely disagree with you, but the main thrust of every one of your points is equality for all citizens. This is a noble cause, but you are naive if you think it is within the city's power to solve this issue on its own.

Like the issue of CTA closing lines and opening more lines in other areas, the underlying reason for this is money. In the CTA case, the closed lines are money losers. The new and extended lines are money winners.

The bottom line here is money and funding. We can all sit around and say that the poor should get free housing, be serviced by money-losing transit lines, etc. But unless there is money to back up these ideals, it is all a pipe dream. And from the Federal level all the way down to each of Chicago's Wards, there is an accute lack of funds to solve these problems.

Of course, it isn't all about money. But if we don't have the money to start, none of the initiatives you would have would ever get off the ground. This isn't just a problem in our city. From New York, to LA, to Boston, to Miami, gentrification and a lack of affordable housing are pervasive. Same with availability of low cost, decent quality food, jobs, transportation, etc.

These are systematic issues pervasive across the country and across levels of government. If you put all of it at the feet of Daley, expect to be bitterly disappointed with the next mayor, as well.

Marilyn / September 6, 2006 12:45 PM

MT - Please give me a source to read up on transit costs and station usage. This is a sincere request. If I'm wrong, I'd like to know what is really going on.

As to finance, I think it is safe to assume that all decisions these days seem to be based on going where the money is. This is sound business, perhaps, but poor public service. There needs to be more public money put into mass transportation--and if you want a financial reason, because fuel prices are going up exponentially. No legislators have been able to buck the Big Oil lobby, which stands to benefit by having people guzzle as much gasoline as possible. What we have is energy (including mass transit) being reserved for the people who can pay for it. Again, what about the common good?

MT / September 6, 2006 1:52 PM

Marylin: "No legislators have been able to buck the Big Oil lobby, which stands to benefit by having people guzzle as much gasoline as possible. What we have is energy (including mass transit) being reserved for the people who can pay for it. Again, what about the common good?"

Agreed. And like I said earlier, this is systemic and cuts across the entire country and all levels of government. If anything, I think the issue is worse at the Federal and State levels.

MT / September 6, 2006 1:54 PM

Marylin: "Please give me a source to read up on transit costs and station usage. This is a sincere request. If I'm wrong, I'd like to know what is really going on."

I'll try to get you one. I think I found a link once on skyscraperpage.com's forums. I'll see if I can dig it up.

MT / September 6, 2006 2:02 PM

Marylin--

Well, here are the "raw" numbers:

http://transitchicago.com/news/whatsnew2.wu?action=displaynewspostingdetail&articleid=132346

The format they are in takes some wading to get to meaningful information. I once saw a site or post that had them neatly condensed for the purposes of illustrating my above point, but I can't find them. Happy hunting!

madachode / September 6, 2006 2:05 PM

YAJ,
" the police force is still frequently at worst abusive and at least insensitive, but the mayor and latest Chief barely pretend to care
"
If you aren't commiting any crimes then why worry about the police boyo?
"lower income people are frequently displaced, public housing residents are still waiting for insufficient or imaginary scattered site housing, and the mayor still refuses to commit to any affordable housing set aside
"
One thing that I have to say is, get and education, find trade/skill, and get a job. That would solve the problem with lower income. If one has a excuse or a problem with that, move. Don't try and live in an expensive city and expect the government to bail you out. I wish that the 70's/80's were back, N Halsted was under complete supervision back then, cats and dogs didn't get along and men didn't run around in woman's clothing thinking it was socialy acceptable.

Marilyn / September 6, 2006 3:00 PM

Thanks, MT.

Mad - You certainly are. Seek professional help.

Derailed / September 6, 2006 3:42 PM

madachode hates the goings-on of N. Halsted avenue so much it makes his dick hard.

Spook / September 6, 2006 4:26 PM

opps MT "naive" I mean

MT / September 7, 2006 8:15 AM

spook--

I appreciate what you are saying. I guess I just disagree about Daley making the wrong choices.

I think Daley was very savvy in taking advantage of a surge of national interest in urban living. He built upon that interest by investing in making Chicago more livable for the *average* citizen. Without those investments, I don't the city would be such a good place today. Also, without those investments, the city could quite possibly still be bleeding from a lack of tax revenue. You can't fund social services without money and a shrinking tax base has obvious implications.

Where I agree with you is that I think now is the time for increased focus on some of the larger social issues we are facing. However, Daley has given me evidence that he is moving on these issues.

I've decided to give Daley another term to see where he takes the city. Fresh blood will be needed sometime soon, but I'm not convinced that now is the time.

MT / September 7, 2006 8:30 AM

spook--

And about the CTA headquarters...I've seen absolutely no evidence that the construction and move to the new facility will cause long-term costs to the CTA. Read these articles (among many otther on the web):

http://www.fifieldcompanies.com/commercial/detail.asp?id=34
http://midwest.construction.com/features/archive/0405_feature2.asp

The construction was paid for, in part, by the Public Building Commission of Chicago. There is retail space to be leased on the ground floor to hopefully recoup some construction costs. And if the administrative staff can be further trimmed, there is the possibility to lease some of the space in the building. FWIW, the CTA estimates that it will save considerably in the long run over renting at the Merchandise Mart or another location in the area.

Say what you will about Kruesi, but he has cut administrative staff, pushed for privatization and avoided (to date) service cuts. I think he's done an alright job. (No comment on his pension, but don't public servants deserve good retirement plans like the rest of us?) The thing I dislike about him, and the reason I'd like to see him replaced, is his bad PR. He's basically exacerbated the already tense relationship between the CTA and the RTA and state legislature. We need their cooperation in solving the CTA's problems and with a bad relationship, we aren't going to get it.

Brandy / September 8, 2006 11:09 PM

Daley said he was going to make Chicago the greenest city in the US. I want him to keep running and keep winning and keep making progress on that goal!

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