Conscious Choice talks eco-consciousness with our mayor

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 01/07/2007 - 05:14.

Would'a, could'a, should'a... that may be the best tag-line for Cleveland today. We would'a been a city very comparable to Chicago, but we should'a had different leadership, who could'a... what? Well, to quote Conscious Choice, about Chicago: "The epic renaissance the city has undergone in the 17 years that Daley has been mayor is nothing short of a miracle." We could'a done that! How now? There are answers to be learned from Daley's success and present state of mind. Props to George Nemeth for posting on Brewed Fresh Daily a link to this fantastic Conscious Choice interview with mayor who stole away our Eco-Czar (can't blame him)... the "Green Mayor"... the "Great Green Augustus"...  prefaced by "When all is said and done, Daley’s greatest legacy will be how he revitalized Chicago, making it the ideal place to live, work and play. And behind each great act, is a great idea and a conscious intent. Here, we explore Mayor Daley’s eco-consciousness, philosophy of government and the path that led him to become America’s “green mayor.”" Read a few words from Daley, below, and click through to the full interview, and imagine a city thinking like this, striving to be an ideal place to live, work and play. Then, demand more in Cleveland and of NEO.

Conscious Choice: You’ve seen Chicago go through a tremendous amount of change in the time you have been mayor. What do you think the most significant change has been, and what would you still like to see happen here?

Mayor Daley: Dealing with the environment becomes everyone’s personal issue. It’s not just “global warming,” you know, it’s not something outside your home and outside Chicago. Everybody is concerned about global warming, and they should be. But a lot of that has to do with what they do at home, how they get to and from work, and where they choose to spend their recreation time. It should be a personal thing.

For so many people, they think the environmental movement is in South America or East Asia or someplace else. But now, the new word is global warming. Two years ago, no one knew what global warming was, but as America keeps in place policies that, for example, turn more farmland into desert around the world [with the level of emissions coming from the US], who are we to be telling the rest of the world how to do things? We have a big responsibility, and it’s time for the federal government to see its responsibility here. So I look at the environmental issue more personally in the sense that urban areas can be made more environmentally friendly, and that to me is the goal of this city: that everyone can enjoy the city in a quality way. You don’t have to drive someplace to get someplace to enjoy the environment, you can do it right here. But until people take responsibility for their role in global warming, nothing the federal government can do will change that.

Wow, how far we are from such top-down social consciousness in NEO... hell, we have an editor of the Plain Dealer who denies global warming even exists.  Read the whole interview with someone who belives in Global Warming at Conscious Choice 



It’s very important for us to remain diverse...

The following quote says so much about what is the mindset of a globally important city. In NEO, I see NorTech and such focusing on a few sectors that high level analysis sees as strengths, like plastics/polymers, healthcare, instrumentation, and I can honestly say not one of them interest me, so that focus drives me away. Forgetting about people like me, who want to live in a diverse economy, just consider if the regional economic development strategy is segmented into a few industries, will it survive changes in those. Here is Mayor Daley's take on that, which I find enlightening:

CC: Chicago has been reinvented three times. Once following the fire, once following WWII by your father, and once in the post-industrial era, which you have overseen, turning Chicago into a global city. Where do you want to see Chicago head in the future?

MD: The city needs to head into specialized manufacturing that can successfully coexist with the environment, which it can. It’s amazing! At the same time, we should have more technology, professional services, and a healthy service economy. You’re not going to have one economic sector dominating, or else you end up like every other city whose main industry changes, and you fall on hard times.

It’s very important for us to remain diverse in both economics and culture. We need to remain a competitive global city in the future

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