A Union Man, A Business Mayor
The City That Works
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He was a union man. But he wasn’t a coward with the unions. I sat in meetings where he was talking with union leaders. He’d say, “No. This is not good for business.” I can remember when we’d have meetings sometimes. People would want to come in and either establish a company or build something. He would call some of the business community in. And he’d say, “Look, you tell me whether this is good for Chicago or not. I’m going to leave the room. My criteria is that if it makes jobs, I’m for it. If it doesn’t make jobs, I’m against it.” And he’d leave. We’d sit and talk. Then he’d come back.
A. Robert Abboud, First National Bank of Chicago, President, interview excerpt, December 3, 2009
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The mayor negotiated with the Chicago Teachers Union. Click on image to play video.
Video: Ed Bedore, City Budget Director, interview excerpt, May 18, 2009
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My dad had a great relationship with the business community in Chicago, and most of the people were Republicans. But he knew that for the city to be sound, you needed a good sound business community and a strong relationship with them. And they respected him and were very supportive of him on issues. They disagreed at other times, but he knew that he needed that base for different causes, whether it was the university or whatever. The business community helped him tremendously. It wasn’t just politicians.
John Daley, son of Richard J. Daley, interview excerpt, May 9, 2007
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The business community, I think, always felt that if they had a problem, they could go to the mayor. The mayor would give them a fair hearing. And if he could help them, he would.
Newton Minow, Chair of Federal Communications Commission, interview excerpt, October 2, 2003
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Did the mayor raise property taxes? Yes he did. What he also did was that he had this great relationship with the business community and the unions that built this downtown. They kept putting more and more millions of dollars on the tax rolls.
Ed Bedore, City Budget Director, interview excerpt, May 18, 2009