People You Should Know in Chicago

Bill Daley

Intro music begins and Stickman walks in

Howard Ankin: I’m here with Bill Daley who attended St. Ignatius, Loyola Undergrad, John Marshall Law School, definitely a Chicagoan you should know. Bill, I had an opportunity to see you, see and hear you speak at the City Club of Chicago and at that time you outlined what seemed to me to be a three point plan to make the city even better than it is today. That’s making the schools better, better public safety and increasing the city population of bringing people back to the city. How do you think that will help us?

Bill Daley: Well first of all, if we can get our population back to 3 million from 2.7 over the next 10 years, that 300,000 people would equate to about 290 to 300 million dollars to the bottom line revenue of the city a year. So that’s a big impact and along with the vitality of the city being strengthened, neighborhoods being strengthened with new people coming in, or people who have left the city coming back is enormously beneficial to the city.

The other issues that I talked about in that speech, we have three basic major issues and lots within those groups. One is the safety of the city, second is the strength of the city, our long-term economic future and the third is the affordability; can people actually afford to live here anymore?

Ankin: All the pundits say we might be faced in an economic recession or economic slow-down in several years to come. How do you think your background and banking or your time working in Washington would be beneficial to the people of the city of Chicago if you do get into that type of economy?

Daley: My whole career has been in a private sector, except President Clinton’s secondary commerce, the time we created 21 million jobs in the United States and that was a great period, the end of the 90’s for the U.S., and I was President Obama’s Chief of Staff. So I get business because I’ve spent my career in it but I’ve also been around government, and I understand that just because someone has a business background doesn’t make them qualified to be a Chief Executor of a government, but I’m someone unique, even though I’ve had the business experiences, I’ve been around companies and politics so I get the difference between business and politics.

What I also understand is you’ve got to get things done. Most of my career is about trying to bring people together, solve problems and make compromises and move forward. That’s the only real way you make progress, in the private sector or in government. So I think I’ve got somewhat of unique ethic. Also Mayor Rahm Emanuel, to be frank with you Howard, did a good job of attracting companies and getting their profile around the country better for investment here.

I think my background, both in business and in government, at a profile I have nationally and internationally, I think will help be a sales person, just as your business, a law firm, you have to be the salesman for the firm, the Mayor of a global city has to be a sales person for that firm, for that city and I think I can do that quite well.

Ankin: Your time in Washington, both with the Obama administration and the Clinton administration, do you think that would have any bearing or help for the people of the city of Chicago, if you bringing, like federal dollars back here for infrastructure programs?

Daley: Well, obviously the primary people who have to make that case are congressmen and the senators. We have a great delegation, I think this administration looks not too kindly on urban America. I see nothing yet of great creativity, except for, to be very frank with you, in the tax bill, a tax cut bill that Trump passed, there was a provision for economic opportunity zones and economic opportunity funds to be created, which is a tremendous tax advantage for those who have major capital gains issues to invest a fund and that fund invested in economic opportunity zones in many parts of the country, especially in Chicago, that our areas of the city that have long for investment they have enormous problems and I think I can use that relationship with the private sector to help them find creative ways government can work with those funds, to find places to invest throughout the city.

Until the federal government begins to look at urban America, in a holistic way, to help us solve our problems, and it is been a very long time since any administration has looked at urban America that way, let’s be honest, that’s where most people live in America today, in urban or greater urban region. So it’s about time that we begin to focus on that from a national. But I’ll do my darnest to spend time in Washington, getting extra dollars for the city, but defending this city, it has programs that I think are bad for this city.

Ankin: As a third generation lawyer, I grew up going to my dad’s law practice and spending a lot of time there. I feel for me personally, like innately, I understand what the issues are and understand how to get things done, and for the most part, when I’m at the courthouse I feel like I can do it better than other lawyers cause I got that background. Do you feel you have a similar experience?

Daley: It’s different, to be frank with you. My father was mayor in a very different time, in our city’s history, different political system in many ways, so I think I learned certain lessons from him and my brother, but again, as I said earlier Howard, my background was always a private sector. I’ve never run for office, this is the first time. I’m not a career politician or career bureaucrat. But I think, because I’ve lived in the city my whole life, my kids are here, my grandkids are here, all my siblings, all my nephews and nieces, we have a certain knowledge about the city, as do many other families and a love for this city that I think hopefully will give me some extra knowledge and certain sense about the needs of the city.

Howard: You definitely have a background for civic service and civic help and it seems like through your career in the past you have tested the waters in different positions that you could do to be a benefit the people of the city of Chicago. How do you think now, your quest for mayor in this run is the right choice for you at this time and the right choice for the people of the city?

Daley: Well, I’ve looked at really only once that I really looked seriously at running for another office and that was briefly. I think at this stage of my life I’ve been very fortunate. I’m able to do this, I’m not doing this to get another job, I’m not doing it to run for another office. I’m at a stage of life where I wanna do this for two terms in order to help the city address some of its major problems. Many of my competitors in this race, you know, are running for multiple jobs at once or look at this as an opportunity to do something else at some point. That’s not where I’m at. I’m at a different stage in life and I’m pleased where I’m at and I think I can add something to the quality of life over the next four years for the city of Chicago.

Ankin: Your wife by reputation seems to be someone who is very concerned about right to life issues, other charitable causes. How do you think she would also be a benefit or help to the people of the city?

Daley: Well she has a real sense of social justice: it’s not right to life, it’s really right to die, some of the end of life issues that she has been most involved with. Along with, she’s a kidney donor, so she’s been active in the transplant programs in the city. C Tech at one of the original foundling, a non-doctor, not medical paid clinic. So she has a great sense of people at stages of their life that need help, need support that we’ve got to do that and the government can’t do that alone or shouldn’t do it alone and really come from the community. I think she will be quite a voice in those areas and a few others that she has great interest in. It’s about the social fabric of our cities, she volunteers out a furniture bank in west side and she sees lots of people that step forward to help others who are less fortunate, and that’s really what Chicago’s about.

Ankin: How do you feel your candidacy arises above, you know, other good candidates that are in this race to be the best choice for the people?

Daley: I think with one look at my background and the background of the other candidates, those who have been in politics for 20-30 years, ok, what can they point to and really say they’ve made a difference? I’ve laid out programs and as fundamentalist structuralists in the government, how we govern ourselves all the way to how the school system from K-14 ought to be handled. So I’ve been challenging things that need to be challenged. We’re almost a quarter way through to the 21st century. Many of the institutions are still structured as they were at the first half of the 20th century. So I think I bring a unique perspective, not having been around this game, I hear actively from my career and I think that’s a unique perspective that I have.

Ankin: I thank you and I thank your family and the generations before you that have helped people like my family.

Daley: I appreciate the time Howard and the opportunity to talk to you.

Howard Ankin and Bill Daley thank each other simultaneously and shake hands.

Background music gets louder. Brown screen with “Chicagoans you should know” appears, as well as Stickman.

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