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07/30/2010

Daley's Lakefront Legacy

  Its the part of Mayor Richard M. Daley's legacy that's so huge its difficult to see.

  That is, unless you're in a helicopter flying along the lakefront on the south side.

  From the Museum Campus to Soldier Field and Northerly Island...over the green, rocky or sandy shoreline...along the biking/jogging path that courses to 79th street and Rainbow Beach...the south lakefront has been transformed during Daley's six terms in office.

  Sorry, Cubs fans.  Your gaudy, carnival-like northside beaches and playgrounds are not in the same league with the classy, ecologically-friendly spaces to the south.

The Politics of Completion

 Does the Mayor's announced intent to finish the south lakefront transformation mean that he will run next year for an unprecedented 7th term?

 This week, Hizzoner  asked the city council to approve $96 million dollars in bonds to begin building roads and other infrastructure on 500 acres of lakefront land once occupied by the U.S. Steel Southworks Plant.  The parcel between 79th and 85th streets would be the site of phase one of what is planned to be the largest retail and residential development in the city by 2013. 

  Alderman Sandi Jackson, who told me she was unaware of the Mayor's proposal until minutes before he announced it, has championed the overall $400 million dollar development plan since she was first elected in the 7th Ward in 2007.   At the announcement news conference, she proclaimed her support for the Mayor "who supports the project". 

  Remember that Alderman Jackson is the wife of Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., a politically-wounded but still-mentioned possible Daley challenger in 2011.  Does the Southworks deal neutralize a potential foe and bring what's left of the Jackson political machine into the Daley camp?

  Probably.

  And the Mayor--who the Chicago Tribune reports suffers an all-time low 37% approval rating--would get a "two-fer". 

  Not only a chance to complete his south lakefront vision...but also a better chance to win another term in which to do it.

Comments

Since you've removed my response to your racist, and homophobic, blog about Chicago's northside beaches, I've stopped watching Ch.7 news. I watch ch. 5 and 2 now. I especially like Rob Stafford and Rob Johnson good-looking selves. They're not bad anchors either.

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