Harold Washington a Giant in the History of Big City Mayors
(Chicago, April 2, 2013) The charismatic late Mayor Harold Washington is noted for transforming Chicago’s political environment and creating an open all-inclusive government that represents Chicago’s rich diversity. Citizens, civic, faith, and political leaders are launching an effort to ensure that the memory of Harold Washington’s legacy is not forgotten on April 12, 2013 at the Ramada Lake Shore in Hyde Park where the former mayor announced his candidacy. The 30th Anniversary commemoration is being presented under the title: “The Man, the Moment, the Movement.”
The committee will announce a month-long series of events coordinated in collaboration with various community based organizations, academic, and cultural institutions that highlight Harold Washington’s impact and influence culturally, politically, and economically. In addition, a Harold Washington Scholarship Fund will be initiated for students pursing public service careers (see attached Schedule of Events).
This effort to memorialize the emergence of Harold Washington as Chicago’s first African American Mayor in the city’s, then, 149- year history is led by the Harold Washington Tribute Committee. The committee represents a diverse group of citizens who believe Harold Washington’s transformative accomplishments and legacy should be recognized, preserved, and perpetuated for future generations.
Honorary Co-chair, the Honorable Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois and a Harold Washington contemporary said, “Harold Washington will be remembered as a giant in the history of America’s Big-City mayors. Not content to be a trailblazer, he was transformational, profoundly changing the way Chicago governs itself.”
Committee convener, political activist, and Chicago socialite Mrs. Josie Childs said, “Chicago leads the nation in producing profoundly iconic leadership examples and Harold Washington ranks among the best for breaking racial and gender barriers while advancing progressive urban policies.”
Mrs. Childs points to the success of Harold Washington’s campaign in mobilizing unprecedented numbers of non-traditional voters and benchmark administration accomplishments including:
Created the Ethics Commission
Issued an executive order increasing minority business contracts
Opened government with a Freedom of Information executive order
Led fight for ward redistricting; more black and Hispanic representation
Fought for equal provision of public services; neighborhood street, curb and gutter repair
Opened the city’s budget process for public input and participation
Encouraged neighborhood festivals and projects
Led movement for Illinois’ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Bill
For complete information regarding HWTC activities visit: http://www.MayorHaroldWashington.com”www.MayorHaroldWashington.com or call Josie Childs: 773- 643-4828.
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