Mayor Daley is retiring after 22 years in office and, in what was called his final big scale “meet and greet,” he held both a private and public open house in the Mayor’s Office in Chicago.
Richard M. Daley is Chicago's longest-serving mayor, but his time in office is coming to an end. Mayor Daley is retiring and the newly-elected mayor, Rahm Emanuel, will be sworn-in next week.
It was in 1989, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, that "Mayor Daley celebrated the first of his six inaugurations by opening the doors of the mayor’s office to well-wishers."
On May 9, during the open house, well-wishers came by not to congratulate him for winning an election but rather to say thank you to him for his 22 years of public service.
And, as CBS Chicago put it, "Daley has hosted similar events after each of his six inaugurations, but this [open house] will likely be his final big scale 'meet and greet' as mayor."
The open house actually featured a morning and afternoon session. The Chicago Sun-Times reports, "Although the open house for the general public ran from 1 to 4 p.m., the mayor’s office sent out more than 1,000 invitations to people who’ve worked with Daley over the years to be part of an earlier receiving line that ran from 8 a.m. to noon."
One person among that 1,000 to receive an invitation for the morning open house was Maralyn Owen. On the morning of May 4, Owen posted the following on Facebook: “Happy to receive an invite to a party at the Mayor’s office honoring outgoing Mayor Daley."
The invitation read:
Mayor and Mrs. Richard M. Daley cordially invite you to an Open House in The Mayor’s Office, City Hall, Monday May 9, 2011, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to thank you for working together over the past 22 years to keep Chicago moving forward.
I contacted Owen and asked her about the invitation. "I was invited to this because I work with the Alderman all the time, I'm on the Executive Board of the River North Residents Association (Public Health and Safety Chair), and I'm a CAPS Beat Facilitator," said Owen.
When asked for clarification about what "CAPS" means, Owen told me that it is the "Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy, a partnership between the department and the community. We work together to solve problems in our respective beats. I conduct the monthly meeting that the Commander and many of the Beat officers attend as well as community members interested in helping deter crime and work together for solutions!"
Owen said she was honored to have the opportunity to say thanks to outgoing Mayor Daley. When asked about what she liked about Mayor Daley's work for Chicagoans, Owen replied, "I loved that Mayor Daley not only made Chicago 'global,' but he made our city beautiful. Streets are clean and there are flowers planted everywhere so that when guests come to our city, they are always amazed at how beautiful the city is."
"The event was held in his offices at City Hall," said Owen. "Everyone that attended was allowed to pose for a picture." Owen graciously shared her picture with Mayor Daley with Digital Journal.
As noted above, "the mayor’s office sent out more than 1,000 invitations" to the morning session of the open house. Owen estimated, however, that more than "2,000 people attended in the morning."
Mayor Daley will officially retire next week when Rahm Emanuel takes office. And, according to CBS Chicago, "Next week, Chicagoans will have an opportunity to return to the Mayor’s Office, as Mayor Rahm Emanuel holds a similar open house after his swearing-in."