Interview with Renault Robinson

Bilandic is now the mayor. Tell me about the snow.


Well, we started with what was no more than the normal snow and after a while there was an unusual accumulation. We had, what you call, a snow command in Chicago which was very efficient. If Daley didn't teach anybody anything else, it was be sure and get the snow up and be sure and keep the streets clean. Bilandic went on TV and made a lot of promises about what was going to happen with the snow because it was unusually high. It had paralyzed neighborhoods. It had closed schools and it made transportation impossible**. However the biggest snafu in the world occurred when decisions started to be made by department heads and people running agencies without coordination with the mayor's office. For one, they decided to skip all the stops on the rapid transit line and go all the way downtown and pick up White people and take them to work. Well, obviously this infuriated the Black community. Bilandic went on TV and promised to clean all the schoolyards out, the areas where kids play, so neighborhood people could park in the cleared school lots which were in every neighborhood and therefore be able to get out the next morning and get to work. However, they did it in the White neighborhoods and didn't ever get around to doing it in the Black. And there were one snafu after another. Jane Byrne was like, had no chance to win anything. Ah, but after these snafus people became so incensed, so angry, and then on election day, it turned out that election day was a beautiful day. The snow stopped. The sun shined for the first time in weeks and everybody rushed to the polls to register their disappointment with the system. And the system was crushed, albeit 15 and 16 thousand votes but yet and still Jane Byrne had won. We, we termed her snowflake. Her acceptance speech was made before total strangers because she had no committee. She had no workers. She had nothing. But everybody flowed into her headquarters the night of the election after it became apparent she was winning.