Many Chicagoans stood in a long line last week to tell Mayor Daley goodbye. I didn’t get an invitation to bid him farewell in person. So I’ll do it via this column.
First off, I want to thank the mayor for the years, months, days, hours and minutes that he spent using every resource the city had to defend Jon Burge. When I saw all those black folks standing in line to tell him goodbye, I mentally flashed a corresponding picture of the efforts the city made on Burge’s behalf.
Not once was I ever fooled into believing or seeing the city support of Burge as something other than what it was. Those black folks standing in line waiting to grin at the soon-to-be ex-mayor proved that you can fool some folks all the time.
Next, while downtown Chicago looks beautiful, I want to thank Mayor Daley for keeping black neighborhoods looking the same or worse than they did when he first took office over 20 years ago.
He spoke about creating new TIF (tax increment financing) districts to help downtrodden black neighborhoods, but he never ever showed us a successful TIF district that benefited from it. Those TIF tax dollars helped to make downtown look like it does and for the 1-2 times a year I get downtown to see it, I just gotta appreciate what my tax dollars have done.
To read the rest of Arlene Jones’ column, published in the current issue of the Austin Weekly News, click here.
To read some of Jones’ other work, click here.