Community reacts to Daley's decision not to run

September 7, 2010 9:10:10 PM PDT
Some voters simply cannot imagine anyone else in charge at City Hall, while others say it is time for new leadership.

Many younger voters have never voted for any Chicago mayor other than Richard Daley. While a lot of people Tuesday took issue with some of the things the mayor has done, overall, they seem to believe he has been good for the city, and they are sorry to see him leave.

The mayor's boyhood home on S. Lowe in Bridgeport is still in the hands of the Daley family, and even though the mayor moved from there several years ago, his former neighbors are Daley loyalists and are media shy.

However, most Bridgeport residents share the opinion and are sad to see the mayor leave office.

"I'd never thought that he wouldn't be running, especially because he's from our neighborhood and his dad was in office for so long," said Bridgeport resident Cheri Levato.

Jay Schaller tends bar at his family's watering hole, one of the oldest in the neighborhood, going back to the 1880s. That was even before the Bridgeport neighborhood got its hold on the mayor's office.

"I was very stunned absolutely. Didn't see this coming at all. I wish him the best. Hope for a long life for him and his wife. Tough job. I don't know who's gonna wanna take it over," said Bridgeport resident Jay Schaller.

Others were not as surprised.

"I wasn't surprised because his wife has been sick, and he's a family man and that's his priority," said a Bridgeport resident named Bonnie.

Not everyone said they supported Daley's policies, although one man said he preferred the mayor to the possible alternatives.

"Well, I haven't been the biggest fan of Daley recently but I think the alternatives to Daley are kinda frightening, I mean for Daley not running," said Alan Burris, Bridgeport resident.

The current mayor is the 5th mayor from Bridgeport, a line that includes his father, Richard J. Daley.

"It's a very sad day that the mayor's not going to run for reelection," said Chicago resident Corinne Bosh. "He was a big icon."

The mayor's popularity extends far beyond his home neighborhood. He has reached out to nearly all communities in his long political career, including Hyde Park.

"I'm stunned," said Hyde Park resident John Mitchell. "I mean, the Daley name has been synonymous with Chicago."

Residents recall numerous accomplishments and failures during the mayor's 21 years in office.

One of his proudest accomplishments is the completion of Millennium Park, which has become one of the city's greatest attractions.

Chicago resident Gerardo Ulate, for one, says he would vote for Mayor Daley again.

"I think he's done a decent job," said Ulate.

Even though some polls suggest the mayor's popularity is at possibly its lowest point ever, most voters seem to think that when they look at the body of his work for the city, they would probably still support him.


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