Who Should Be the Next Mayor of Chicago?

 The ideas expressed in this post are the individual opinions of an author. My job is/will be to encourage qualified voters to Vote during upcoming Election on April 7, 2015. I want to share some great insights that may be relevant to this discussion.

Thomas Jefferson Statue 

The snow has melted. Spring has finally arrived after long, cold, snowy winter in Chicago. This statue of Thomas Jefferson is not only more visible but the sign engraved in the concrete around the statue is more visible. I have waited several weeks to see this sign more clearly. It is time to rediscover this motto again. It is a famous quote from Thomas Jefferson, one of the key Founding Fathers of American Society . It says: “The Will of the People Is the Only Legitimate Foundation of Any Government”.

Thousands of Chicagoans pass by this statue every day on their way to work, to school and; to many other activities. Many people read newspapers or; check their phones. How many passers-by pay attention to this motto? Please check it for yourself. It is an interesting and insightful observation.

What is the most frequently covered topics in the Chicago area during last few months? The answer is simple. It is the next round of the Election. Voters in Chicago will elect a Mayor for next term and number of other leaders for Aldermanic positions.
There are many competent, dedicated candidates for public offices in Chicago. There is no doubt about this.
How will Thomas Jefferson’s great motto apply to modern times and particularly to the current election in Chicago?
How do we combine knowledge of the past with current developments, and; challenges, with modern demands and opportunities? What kind of leaders do we need in Chicago? What are the modern requirements for leaders to be able to govern the 3rd largest city in the United States with almost 3 million people?
Chicago is called ‘The City of Big Shoulders’. What happens here has a major impact on the Chicago Metropolitan area that has almost 10 million people.

Rahm Emanuel-greets  passers

Recent Meeting with the Mayor at the Train Station
Recently I met the current Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, at the train station, not very far away from the statue of Jefferson. It was purely co-incidental. I was on my way to work. But there was the Mayor standing and greeting people: contractors, students, blue and white collar workers and; seniors. People were exchanging ideas with the Mayor, smiling, taking pictures. There was a senior who made some complaint that I could not understand. Mayor said ‘that is ok. She has the right to do it’.

The Mayor greeted others. I wanted to take a selfie with the Mayor and I asked a person passing by to take it for me, which he was nice enough to do. The Mayor joked “he does not know how to take it’.

Rahm Emanuel-greets contractor – winter, 2015

My Previous Encounters With The Current Mayor of Chicago

I know the Mayor for last 12 years. I first met him when he was running for US Congress in 2003. There was a very heated debate not only in my own community but in the entire City of Chicago at that time. I attended; and interviewed Rahm Emanuel and his opponent Nancy Kaszak on several occasions. The goal of my reporting team was to provide equal coverage and to learn from both candidates about their platforms.

It was an incredible opportunity to learn more about him, his program and his accomplishments and about his way of handling controversy and; opposition. He was capable of using adversity to his own advantage.
I spent many hours preparing for my interviews with Rahm Emanuel. Whenever I thought I was prepared for the interview I quickly learned that he immediately jumped to issues that were ‘several miles’ ahead of my thinking.

(Archive) During an interview with Rahm Emanuel in August 2003

Rahm Emanuel was elected to Congress for several terms. I worked at that time as a reporter and I attended dozens of community events while he served in Congress. I saw firsthand his unique ability to handle the most complex issues and; his ability to make the best decisions intuitively.
There were occasions when I noticed that he did not pay attention to others’ feelings. He was moving forward on the basis on his own judgment. The issues were right but more sensitivity was needed.

Autor, Andrew Mikołajczyk with his son Michael and Rahm Emanuel at Taste of Polonia in 2003.

What Qualities do Leaders Need Today?

Chicagoans need a competent leader; with the experience to handle many complex issues and; with dedication and perseverance to carry them forward in the most innovative ways.
Chicagoans need leaders: a Mayor and Aldermen who have the courage to face adversity and to lead into the second half of this decade and for years to come.

They need a Mayor and Aldermen who are capable of working with leaders in Cook County, other surrounding counties, with Illinois State leaders and with National leaders.
The City of Chicago has many ethnic groups and people speak over 100 languages. Chicago leaders need to have understanding of different values and; cultures that are close to Chicagoans. Chicago has many business, educational and; tourism connections with many other parts of the world. Visitors want to feel welcomed and embraced.

Chicagoans want to know that they have leaders – even though they may be in 1% by education, social and; political status – who use their skills, position, and influence to CARE for their constituents, for children, youth, adults and seniors. Ones who CARE about Chicagoans not only during the election cycle but in upcoming years and decades.
I think that Mr. Jesus Chuy Garcia idea of promoting the needs of Chicagoans who live in more disadvantaged economically, socially suburbs should be seriously considered as well.

Jesus Chuy Garcia

Chicago needs leaders who are capable of leading during times of prosperity, as well as during urgent and emergency situations when times are tough.
I hope that Thomas Jefferson’s motto is still relevant in modern times: “The Will of the People Is the Only Legitimate Foundation of Any Government”.

I am very confident that VOTERS in Chicago will select the most qualified leaders during the upcoming Election. I hope that the upcoming important spiritual holidays: Passover and Easter will provide a great opportunity for deeper reflection on the value of servant leadership in the public area and more sensitivity in political discourse and campaigns …. and it will help to Elect the most qualified leaders in Chicago.

Good luck. Happy Easter! God bless you.

I highly recommend:
12 Habits of Exceptional Leaders
By Dr. Travis BradberryInfluencer
Coauthor Emotional Intelligence 2.0 & President at TalentSmart