Wednesday, July 18, 2007

To Anyone Who Thought I Was Kidding...

To anyone who thought I was kidding in my post earlier today about having a "Jane Byrne For Mayor/'87" sign in my front window:

Jane Byrne was mayor of Chicago from 1979 to 1983, the first-- and so far only-- woman mayor of Chicago. She had been Commissioner of Consumer Affairs until fired from that position by Michael Bilandic, who was Mayor Richard J. Daley's successor. In 1979, she defeated him in the mayoral election; many Chicagoans had been outraged by his inability to get snow cleared after back to back snowstorms in December 1978 and January 1979.

Byrne was the first mayor to ally "lakefront liberals" and African-American voters. She was the first Chicago mayor to give recognition to Chicago's growing gay community and hired Chicago's first African-American school superintendent. She's probably best-remembered for when she and her husband, journalist Jay McMullen, moved briefly into Chicago's notoriously dangerous Cabrini-Green housing projects to force police to offer greater protection to its residents.

She was defeated in the 1983 election by Harold Washington, who became Chicago's first African-American mayor. He also defeated her in 1987.


Amy Guth said...

Yen, you are so cool, sometimes I don't even know what to do. What a great post!

deadspot said...

Jane in the window,
She was my landmark to find
la Casa del Yen.

Johnny Yen said...

Coming from you, high compliment!

Your haikus have been a highlight this week!

When Joe Spevecek (Eastern guy-- don't know if you knew him) came to my house the first time, he told me that he didn't even bother looking at the address-- that he knew it was my place by that sign.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Is it wrong to admit I had a thing for her? I dig assertive women.

vikkitikkitavi said...

I remember I a campaign button I saw from the 83 election:

Jane Byrne -

Snowed In.
Blacked Out.

Johnny Yen said...

I did too, for pretty much the same reason!

Yeah, it got pretty ugly.

I was working as a law clerk during time of the '87 campaign, and heard a lot of things-- ugly things. There is nothing so racist as an ignorant-ass city worker afraid that he's going to lose his do-nothing job to someone else that's he's spent a lifetime hating.