Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mayor Daley And TIFs (The Children's Museum Decision Explained)

Ben Joravsky in The Reader has an enlightening article ("The Road to 2016") about the recent Children's Museum vote and how it was meant to show the International Olympic Committee that Richard Daley's wish is Chicago's command. It details how the Mayor uses The Power Of TIFs to control and intimidate the City Council into voting his way:
They had their reasons. Mayor Daley plays rough. He let aldermen know that he would cut off funding for pet TIF projects if they didn’t vote his way. Obviously, the tactic was effective, though several waited until the final days to cave. [...]

It does seem as though Daley has a special fondness for onetime independents who knuckle under his command. So far he’s thrown millions of TIF dollars into Wilson Yard, alderman Helen Shiller’s pet project. On the other hand, what the mayor giveth, the mayor taketh away. He’s not averse to promising an alderman one thing when it comes to TIF spending and then doing something else, as aldermen from Eugene Schulter to Leslie Hairston can tell you.

Read the entire article here.


  1. This comment at the end was apropos as well:

    On the bright side, if there is one, the south-side ladies were united...Of course, they have the most at stake in resisting the mayor’s pet projects. The soaring property taxes brought on by the Olympics will hammer hardest at their constituents. More than one astute observer of real estate has speculated to me that the Olympics is really a clever way of clearing out the south side, accelerating gentrification from Bronzeville to South Shore.

    It’s about time the south lakefront aldermen took a stand, if only to protect the interests of their residents. As they must have learned from last week’s vote, they won’t be able to count on much help from their colleagues on the council.

    How come everyone else can see that you simply can't be at the Mayor's beck-and-call and stand up against the displacement that he is causing on the southside?? Helen, I know your sisters on the south side asked you not to help him. You did it anyway. However, there does come a point when the ends do stop justifying the means. I think we've more than reached that point.

    But thanks for kicking your constituents around! When we look back and realize how this city was once again re-shaped by a Daley's interest we will remember how you sat on the sidelines doing nothing but pointing your finger at the wrong people. What a legacy.

  2. Today is Juneteenth. There are nothing scheduled for Uptown but there is something scheduled at the Children's Museum. I thought some people might be interested.

    June 19 and 21, 2008 - Race To Knowledge & The Chicago children's Museum - Race To Knowledge, Inc.
    Juneteenth 2008 Celebration
    In Collaboration with the Chicago Children’s Museum

    Juneteenth Celebration
    June 19, 2008

    Celebrate this holiday that commemorates the ending of slavery and the importance of freedom for all!

    • Learn to trace your family history
    • Learn about former slaves in freedom
    • Hear two 8 year-olds recite 200 years of their family histories
    • Meet world renowned genealogist & author of Black Roots, Tony Burroughs
    • Meet author of The Skin You Live In, Michael Tyler
    • Make n take your own freedom badge
    • And more!

    Chicago Children’s Museum Navy Pier
    700 East Grand Avenue
    Chicago, Illinois 60611
    Family Night
    Thursdays, June 19th
    Contact Diane Gibson at (312)464-7711