Mayor to Spend Last Weeks in Office Touring Chicago

April 09, 2011

Richard M. Daley has started to say his good-byes.

Chicago’s longest-serving mayor has begun a farewell tour of the city with the intent to visit Chicago neighborhoods in all 50 wards over the next six weeks.

Daley is thanking Chicago residents for all they’ve done for the city while touting all that he has accomplished as Mayor.

“I firmly believe the city is better off,” said Mayor Daley. “We have a good foundation. It’s been a joy and honor to be your mayor.”

Daley began his Neighborhood Appreciation Tour on Thursday in the 27th Ward, an area from Cabrini Green to the West Loop that has seen dramatic improvements throughout his 22-year tenure.

Neighborhoods in the West Loop that were once called “skid row” and included some of the worst housing projects in the country are now lined with thriving condominium buildings, townhouses, apartments and businesses.

Daley helps cut the ribbon at the Women's Treatment Center on the West side.

The Cabrini Green development has been replaced with more than 4,200 new or rehabbed units of affordable and market-rate housing along with new commercial growth.

The 27th Ward has also benefited from new or improved schools and parks and the addition of 35 green roofs.

While on the Near West Side Thursday, Mayor Daley cut the ribbon to open the Women’s Treatment Center, 140 N. Ashland Ave., a facility that will provide treatment and support to women and children.

The Center, which was fixed up with $1 million in tax money, operates one of the only substance abuse programs in the country that can accommodate children in residential treatment.

“It isn’t about bricks and mortars, but it is about people rebuilding people’s lives,” Daley said. “That doesn’t mean I solved all the problems, but again, you built foundations, and no one can take those foundations apart.”

Daley’s last day in office is May 16. His farewell tour will last until just a few days before that.

“I love this City more than you can imagine,” said Daley, “and working together we have brought Chicago into the 21st century, and perhaps beyond our greatest expectations.”

Mayor Richard M. Daley, you will be missed.

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