Monday, March 05, 2007


Tuesday last week should have been a big day, a killer for people who work in city government. Election day. Oddly Mayor Daley's Bicycling Ambassadors did not bat an eye. Mayor Daley was elected again. This is his 16th year as mayor of Chicago.

I went to work early so I could leave early to vote. No one told me that according to the law employers must give you 2 paid hours off to vote. Well actually they told me at lunch, thanks a lot diligent protectors of the democratic american way.

My polling place was deserted, only one other person was voting while I was there, everything was very informal, I connected lines between arrows, privacy was given by metal briefcases opened up with cardboard blinders on the side.

Maybe because I grew up in a DC beltway neighborhood this election seemed strange. I did not even know who was running against Daley until 2 days before the election?! What kind of a campaign is this? I voted for Dorthy because I heard she is 'progressive' from a friend. If I watched TV would I be more informed? Doubtful.

The free weekly paper that I read as my main new source wrote a big piece on Daley saying all the reasons Daley sucks (public housing, recycling, cta, etc being in horrible condition). They argued that Daley rules because Chicagoans are afraid of change...comparing us to women who stay with an abusive boyfriend.

Fuck that. I just saw a documentary on city planning in Copenhagen. The man in charge of making the streets safe for bicyclists and pedestrians says he wakes up every morning and knows that the city he lives in is a little better than it was the day before. He has had that feeling every morning for 22 years.

In Chicago we wake up and hope things aren't a little worse than they were yesterday (the trains breaking down, new condos displace families, grocery stores close, another Alderman caught in a corruption scandal).

Should I move to Europe? Moving is a privilege. When I registered to vote here in Chicago I was told by the woman working behind the dest at city hall that voting was a privilege.


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