Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Legacies of the Daley Mayors

Jeff Berkowitz: Did he [Mayor Richard J. Daley] help the African-American community? Was he good for the African-American community?

Professor Paul Green: Given the city of Chicago and given what he faced, he probably-- all things being equal-- was a plus.
This week’s suburban edition of “Public Affairs,” features Paul Green, Roosevelt University Professor, Director of Policy Studies [until August 15] and WGN Political Pundit [“720 at 720” on Wednesday mornings]. See the end of this blog entry for a detailed suburban airing schedule and for more about the topics discussed on this week’s show with Paul Green. This show will also air throughout the City of Chicago [in the regular “Public Affairs,” City of Chicago time slot] on this coming Monday night, May 2 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV].
Next week’s guest on the suburban edition of “Public Affairs,” is Ald. Manuel (“Manny”) Flores, [D- 1st Ward, Chicago].
A partial transcript of the show with Paul Green is included, below.
Jeff Berkowitz: Twenty one years [as Mayor], was he [Richard J. Daley] a great Mayor?

Paul Green: All things being equal, you would have to say—we have a poll each time we do the book [that is, each new edition of the collection of essays Green co-edited with Melvin Holli—The Mayors: The Chicago Political Tradition] asking who is the best Mayor in Chicago [history] and every time Richard J. Daley wins, overwhelmingly.

Berkowitz: He was the best Mayor of Chicago?

Green: Yes, overwhelmingly

Berkowitz: He said, “Nepotism is a great word.” He also said, “There is nothing wrong with nepotism.”

Green: Well, that’s putting it—

Berkowitz: Did I get that right?

Green: A little harsh.

Berkowitz: He didn’t say that?

Green: I don’t know if he said that. I’ve never heard that. He did have problems with his children getting into business and he did the famous Shamrock on the coattail- If you don’t like it, you can kiss it, but he- uh, well again, one of the great contradictions—he ran the last great political machine in the country’s history. Where all other cities were losing their political machines, his political machine was going into high gear. He was the only big city mayor in the North to incorporate the rising number of African Americans from the south into his so-called machine. And when he—

Berkowitz: Yes, but come on, you’re saying—

Green: Let me finish the point. And, when he was in trouble politically-- which he was two or three times, he was bailed out of tough elections by the African- American vote.

Berkowitz: Did he [Mayor Richard J. Daley] help the African-American community. Was he good for the African-American community?

Green: Given the city of Chicago and given what he faced, he probably-- all things being equal-- was a plus.

Berkowitz: You think? You don’t think he was just good for African-American leaders who were also a part of the machine. They benefited. That’s not necessarily benefiting the African-American community, is it?

Green: There really is a lot of people who he created. Your point is well taken.

Berkowitz: Bill Dawson.

Green: Well, Bill Dawson was there before Daley was.

Berkowitz: He didn’t create him, but he certainly took advantage of him.

Green: He worked with him, but he also produced people like John Stroger, Ralph Metcalfe [and] Harold Washington. They all were part of that so-called machine. But, again—

Berkowitz: Has John Stroger been good for Cook County?

Green: I think John Stroger has a long career- [and] like most politicians, he will not give it up voluntarily.

Berkowitz: But, the question was—Has John Stroger, as President of the Cook County Board—who you say Mayor [Richard J.] Daley created—has he been good for Cook County?

Green: Over-all, absolutely.

Berkowitz: You think?

Green: Absolutely.

Berkowitz: You think he runs an efficient, honest governmental entity in Cook County?

Green: I would think, given what’s he’s facing, he’s probably doing—sure, there’s room for improvement, there are people picking—

Berkowitz: Patronage come to mind? You think he overdoes it on patronage?

Green: Well, patronage is usually when your party—you attack patronage when your party is out of power.

Berkowitz: What about [Cook County Commissioner] Forrest Claypool? He attacks [patronage] and his party is in power. Is Claypool wrong?

Green: Well, Forrest Claypool has a good agenda—and he’s probably—he has a lot of good points.

Berkowitz: He says he could probably cut it [the size of Cook County government] down by a third.

Green: Put it like this, if John Stroger runs again, you could have all the people running against him and you could attack him, and the voters will decide—

Berkowitz: I won’t attack him, but some of the people who might run against him might-

Green: Let them do it.

Berkowitz: Sheriff Sheehan, he might be able to beat—

Green: Anyone might be able to beat him. The glory of a democracy is that talk is cheap.

Berkowitz: Dorothy Brown might be able to beat him [President Stroger].

Green: Every four years you have an election.

Berkowitz: Jim Houlihan might be able to beat him.

Green: Jeff Berkowitz might beat him.

Berkowitz: I don’t think so. No, but seriously, those are all big names. So your betting is that Stroger will run again? Is that your point?

Green: If he runs again, the chances are he will win again.
Berkowitz: High rise [public] housing, wasn’t that Mayor [Richard J.] Daley? Was that good for the African-American community?

Green: When the first public housing came out, you had to bribe your way to get in it.

Berkowitz: Yeah, but it turned out not so good for the African-American community.

Green: It didn’t turn out good for anybody. So, yeah, it was a mistake.

Berkowitz: What about urban renewal. People said urban renewal was “Negro removal.” You [have] heard that phrase, right?

Green: Yeah, I’ve heard that.

Berkowitz: You read the “Federal Bulldozer,” by Martin Anderson?

Green: No, but I’ve read—

Berkowitz: You know of it— from the University of Chicago.

Green: Well, Martin Anderson is no longer of the University of Chicago.

Berkowitz: But, he was of it. At that time [when he wrote the Federal Bulldozer].

Green: Martin Anderson has gone right, shall we say.

Berkowitz: Was urban renewal “Negro removal.”

Green: Some of it. But, it was also a lot of other people removal. You ask some old Italian families on Taylor Street, what about University of Illinois at Chicago—they’ll call it “Italian removal.”

Berkowitz: Well, the Italians ended up doing okay as to how they were affected by the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Dr. Paul Green, Roosevelt University Professor and WGN-AM Radio political pundit, recorded on April 17, 2005 and as is airing on the Suburban edition of Public Affairs this week [week of April 25] and on the City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs this coming Monday night, May 2 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21. See, below, for a detailed suburban airing schedule.
Paul Green debates and discusses with Show Host and Executive Legal Recruiter Jeff Berkowitz urban renewal, integration, the pluses and minuses of Mayor Richard J. Daley’s legacy of twenty-one years in the office, the pluses and minuses of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s performance over the last sixteen years in the office, the politics and public policy issues relating to the state budget deficit and the pros and cons of requiring judicial nominations to be approved or rejected by a majority vote in the U. S. Senate [aka the nuclear option to remove filibusters on judicial nominations], and much, much more.
The suburban edition of "Public Affairs," is regularly broadcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:30 pm on Comcast Cable Channel 19 in Bannockburn, Deerfield, Ft. Sheridan, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, Kenilworth, Lincolnshire, Riverwoods and Winnetka.

The suburban edition also is broadcast every Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 19 in Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northfield, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Wilmette and every Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 35 in Arlington Heights, Bartlett, Glenview, Golf, Des Plaines, Hanover Park, Mt. Prospect, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, Schaumburg, Skokie, Streamwood and Wheeling.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at