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Mayoral Campaign, 1983

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Film Identifier: F.2005-08-0228
Run Time
0h 8m 7s
color and B&W
Mag Stripe
Date Produced
circa 1983
Second of four reels adding up to the film Chicago Politics: A Theater of Power. 
Observational documentary following the 1983 Chicago Mayoral election, with a focus on the Democratic Primary between Jane Byrne and Harold Washington. Loose and anecdotal, it features footage from public appearances, civic events, protests, television broadcasts, and campagin speeches.
The footage opens a close-up of crowd of outreaching hands; a banner displaying  ‘Mayor Byrne’s ChicagoFest’ can be seen in the background. The following shot features a man relaying opinions regarding the widespread objection ChicagoFest to the camera. The footage switches to civil rights activist Bob Lucas. Lucas asserts that Mayor Byrne has indisputably “polarized the city.”

The scene changes to depict the newly installed Chicago Children’s Fountain in Old town. Passerby’s can be seen admiring Mayor Bryne’s recent gift to the public. The shot switches to present Jay McMullen-Byrne’s husband- praising his wife’s ingenuity.

The subsequent sequence of images feature speeches made by the candidates for the upcoming Mayoral election. Richard M.Daley is presented on a t.v. discussing the values he learned from his father- former Chicago mayor, Richard J. Daley. This shot is interrupted by footage of Richard Nixon affirming that Mayor Daley was “tough but fair.”

This scene switches to the city streets where two men can be seen loading a city council podium into a car. A voice over of Harold Washington can be heard exclaiming that’s he is a “radical departure” from the Daley’s racist policies. Washington denounces Richard J.Daley and his son’s campaign for Mayor. He insinuates that Richard M. has nothing to offer Chicago but his families legacy; which he claims would be an “insult to common sense.” The shot switches to focus on a large photograph of a smiling Richard J. Daley and his son.

Afterward, the footage observes Mayor Byrne watching a parade on St. Patricks day. Washington’s speech continues to explain how he plans to reform Daley-era polices.The accompanied footage portray Washington and Richard M. posing for a photograph inside city hall.The next sequence of images feature Washington going to and from different political events as well as mingling with supporters. The camera makes sure to capture the creative variety of Washington and Daley campaign posters that decorate the city.

The footage briefly switches to portray Eleanor Daley-wife of Richard J. Daley- socializing at political events. The film concludes inside the car of a Daley campaigner; he enthusiastically exclaims with a microphone “United with Richard M. Daley… Daley loves Chicago and the people of Chicago love Daley!”
Main Credits
Stamets, Bill (is filmmaker)
Actors, Performers and Participants
Washington, Harold (is participant)
Byrne, Jane (is participant)
Jay McMullen (is participant)
Eleanor Daley (is participant)
Daley, Richard J. (is participant)
Daley, Richard M. (is participant)
Nixon, Richard (is participant)
Jesse Jackson (is participant)
Related Place
Chicago (represents)