William “Bill” Michael Daley is a lawyer and former banker who served as White House Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama from January 2011 to January 2012. He also served as Secretary of Commerce to President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2000.
Daley sat on the Executive Committee of JP Morgan Chase & Co. and was a candidate for Governor of Illinois in 2014, but eventually withdrew from the race. He is currently a Chicago mayoral candidate in next month’s election. Daley is the son of former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, and the brother of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.
N’DIGO recently sat down with Daley to learn more about him and his quest to become Mayor of Chicago.
N’DIGO: You have had a stellar career as a financier and behind the scenes political player, so why are you running for mayor at this time?
Bill Daley: I love the city of Chicago. I’ve lived here my whole life and I want to see Chicago grow. I think I can lead the city to growth and help solve the big issues we face.
What do you view as Chicago’s most pressing problems?
Crime, taxes, and schools are enormous challenges. We can’t grow until we find a way to start solving them.
What would you change in Chicago to make it a better city?
Our crime rate is unacceptable and it must change. My goal is to reduce shootings by 75 percent. That is an ambitious goal, but it will put us on par with New York or L.A. We can do it. We must do it.
What would you do as mayor to ensure inclusion and fairness in city government spending?
First, I will appoint city leaders from diverse backgrounds. I also support programs to ensure inclusion in city contracting, and I will look for opportunities to strengthen programs for equitable procurement and employment.
What can Chicago expect from a third Daley mayoral regime?
My career has not been in politics. My father and my brother worked in politics, but I chose a different path. My administration will be focused on making our streets safe, building affordable neighborhoods, and on growing our city back to three million people.
You grew up in a political household. What did you learn from your father?
I learned that being mayor is an incredibly tough job where you need to make tough decisions, but I also learned it’s a job where you have enormous opportunity to make a difference in peoples’ lives.
You have had multiple careers. What has been your best job and why?
My best jobs were Chief of Staff for President Obama, where I was part of a transformative administration; Secretary of Commerce under Clinton, where I was part of creating 11 million jobs; and head of Corporate Social Responsibility at JP Morgan, where I was able to invest and support Chicago communities.
What did you like best during your White House years?
I got to know President Obama and I came to further respect him not just as a leader, but as a genuine human being.
You recently proposed a name change for the Dan Ryan to the Barack Obama Expressway. Why?
It was one of my greatest honors to serve under President Obama as Chief of Staff. His administration symbolized hope. It represented the best of what we could be if we worked together. As candidate for mayor, I am fortunate to have a platform where I can give voice to ideas that lead to action.
I’ve shared a complex crime plan, and a vision to help Chicago overcome its fiscal challenges by growing the city to three million people. One of my easier-to-understand ideas is renaming the Dan Ryan after President Barack Obama. Why? Because even the simplest of ideas can make a difference. I love this city and we deserve to honor the people shaped by it. Especially when that person is a symbol of unity.
Who do you most admire?
John McCain, Barack Obama, and Jamie Dimon.
Where is your favorite place in Chicago?
What’s your favorite movie?