Column: Being mayor is different from being a legislator. But Bass has shined in every political job she’s held, and it shows. – A great way to show her political mettle: as mayor. – Mayor Bill Daley was the city’s first black mayor. There’s a reason for that. – The statehouse is in Springfield.
Column: Being mayor is different from being a legislator. But Bass has shined in every political job she’s held, and it shows.
A great way to show her political mettle: as mayor.
Mayor Bill Daley was the city’s first black mayor. There’s a reason for that.
The statehouse is in Springfield.
Bass hasn’t always been the hardest-nosed political operative around, but this is the year in which she became such a role model: her city has hired a former U.S. congressman into the state department that serves it. Bass was also a Democratic National Committee member, but she didn’t do anything that involved the party: she never campaigned with or endorsed any candidates, and she remained neutral in the 2012 election.
She has done the opposite of all the things she does on the campaign trail. As mayor, Bass has worked around the clock to improve city government. Her new job has included running the department that regulates water utilities, overseeing the state prisons, and even building the first $1 billion police and fire department.
She has also run the city’s schools, and she oversaw an unprecedented budget adjustment in July that cut $17 million in city aid.
Bass’s record as mayor makes sense when you consider what she accomplished as city council member. As a member of the council from 2005 to 2009, she made three attempts to become mayor. The first one — the most successful — had her running unopposed in 2005, and she won by only 0.4 percentage points. The second attempt was not so successful. She was only able to beat her opponent by a hair’s breadth, coming in second with only 4,967 votes. The third time was in 2009, when she was the only person on the ballot running for mayor. She faced former Ald. Paul Lopez, now the police chief. When he won by only 0.7 percentage points, she was able to become the fourth person to be elected mayor in Chicago, beating the previous record of three held by Rudolph W. Giuliani in 1998.