President Barack Obama
"No mayor in America has loved a city more or served a community with greater passion than Rich Daley. He helped build Chicago’s image as a world class city, and leaves a legacy of progress that will be appreciated for generations to come."
Gov. Pat Quinn, according to the Chicago Tribune
"Rich Daley and Maggie Daley are the heart of Chicago and they're special people. I think like everybody else I'm shocked to hear this but I wish both Mayor Daley and Maggie Daley nothing but the best. They love Chicago."
"They are two special people, they care about other people. They've got servants' hearts, each of them have served us over and over again in many different ways. So we have a permanent debt of gratitude to Mayor Richard M. Daley and his dad, Richard J. Daley, we have a permanent debt of gratitude to Maggie Daley and the whole Daley family. They understand that being on Earth is not here to just serve yourself but to really serve others, and they have done that over and over again."
Ald. Dan Solis (25th)
"I think he is the best mayor Chicago has ever had, including his father."
Ald. Tom Tunney (44th)
"He has literally changed every block. It's been a very positive -- it's gotten more expensive -- but it's been a very positive part of the area that I represent."
Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd)
"He's certainly had a good, long career."
Ald. Ed Burke (14th)
"I think he probably will probably want to be remembered principally for his ability to become the education mayor."
Rep. Mark Kirk
“For 10 years, I worked with Mayor Daley to expand O’Hare, defend Lake Michigan and improve the quality of life for Chicago-area families. My thoughts are with him and Maggie in what must have been a deeply personal decision.”
Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica, via Twitter
"I have more respect for Mayor Daley now that he has announced his plans. Nobody is indispensable. Chicago will benefit from new leadership."
Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias
"For more than two decades, Mayor Richard M. Daley has been a passionate fighter for the city that he loves -- and a mentor and good friend to me. He leaves behind a city we are proud to call home because of his tireless work on behalf of us all."
Sen. Dick Durbin
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says Mayor Richard Daley and his family have put their "hearts and souls" into the city of Chicago.
Durbin said the Daley family's legacy is visible in Chicago. He also said that being a big-city mayor is a tough job. The senator says an energized, attractive Chicago "tells the story of Mayor Daley's record."
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel
"Mayor Daley surprised me today with his decision to not run for reelection...." [Read More...]
White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod
"As his legacy became more apparent, as people saw the impact of his leadershuip, the opposition, people who were less well supported, people became accustomed and very appreciative of his leadership ..." [Read More]
Rep. Luis Gutierrez
"I thank Mayor Daley for his service to the people of Chicago. Mayor Daley has become synonymous with Chicago. The Mayor is a true Chicagoan in the best sense of the word; he cares deeply for the people of our city and has served them tirelessly. I know Mayor Daley was always motivated by a genuine desire to make Chicago a better place to live. I wish Mayor Daley, Maggie and his entire family the very best.
I have received many questions today about my plans for the future. Chicago is my home and the greatest city in the world. Chicago deserves progressive and innovative leadership and a Mayor who is not afraid to make changes and to fight for working families. In the coming days, I will talk with my family and meet with my supporters and make a decision about my future plans."
Rep. Bobby Rush
"Not withstanding the mayoral race in 1999, I really enjoyed my working relationship in Congress with Mayor Daley. He always seemed to have ordinary Chicagoans in mind. While we had several areas of disagreement, particularly on the allocation and delivery of police services, economic opportunity and neighborhood development, I must note that he certainly reached out in my direction many times and the results of our efforts should be obvious to all. I know this was a difficult announcement but I believe his decision was the best decision for his family. As a cancer survivor my thoughts and prayers are forever with the Daley family.
"On a political note I emphatically state that the next mayor of the City of Chicago will include a Black community agenda -- one that addresses the quality of life issues within the Black community in a more poignant and purposeful manner. Lastly, I must admonish the media to end its coordinated commentary on who will be the next mayor of the city of Chicago. Whoever that person will be will have to come through my community -- and address my community and have an established record of working with my community on its many deep seated problems. Before anyone is deemed an imaginary front runner in this particular race, they should pause and take that into consideration."
Rep. Danny Davis
Congressman Danny Davis says Mayor Richard Daley's decision not to seek re-election changes the face of politics in Chicago and Illinois to a real degree.
The Democrat said that he's been asked to run for mayor, but he doesn't know if he will.
He had said that he would not seek re-election if Daley was running and he doesn't want to be engaged in a "big dog fight" on
who is going to run.
State Sen. James Meeks, according to TheCapitolFaxBlog.com
"The mayor has served the city for 20-plus years, and now it’s time for him to enjoy the rest of his life. The new mayor who will take over has nowhere to go but up. Public schools are in need of overhaul. City colleges are in need of overhaul. The city’s finances are in need of overhaul. The city’s rapport with police officers is at an all-time low. For the new mayor, the sky’s the limit."
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan
"I commend the Mayor on his long service and respect this very personal decision. His record is one of remarkable accomplishments. One only has to look around the city center to know he was a major force in keeping this city and the region vibrant, alive and on the national stage.
I am sure he will continue to work with all of us to make Chicago the best place to live work and raise families."
Rev. Jesse Jackson
"We thank Mayor Richard Daley for his twenty plus years of service to the city of Chicago. He should be remembered as a coalition builder. His strength was downtown urban development, more so than in neighborhood community development.
Urban city mayors around the country once had the power to create and distribute jobs and services. They now have the unfortunate responsibility of distributing layoffs and cutbacks. Over the past 20 years, urban cities around the country have seen the steady reduction of jobs, services, public housing, public education and public transportation.
The next major will face the burden of huge deficits and a city that is virtually insolvent. They will face an uphill battle.
Mayor Daley’s announcement today highlights the need for a comprehensive urban policy agenda. We need jobs--economic reconstruction driven by targeted stimulus, reindustrialization and trade policy that will create jobs, support manufacturing in America, and put workers first. We need justice- enforcement of the law regarding workers rights, civil rights, industrial regulation, and creation of strong urban policy. At the top of the city’s agenda must be equal high quality education for all children, economic development and health policy. Lastly we need peace--ending the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, saving lives and redirecting the war budget to rebuilding our cities across America."
From Passersby on Michigan Ave.
"I was surprised to hear it.. thought he'd be around for as long as he possibly could be.. he really seemed to love the city, thought he'd stick around," said assistant property manager Christie Ponsot, who has lived in Chicago for about three years.
"He's done a good job. I thought he'd run one more time... thought he delegated really well," said Bill Carpenter, adding he was born in 1955, the year Richard J. Daley first became Chicago's Mayor.
"It's a good idea for him to go. That parking meter thing was ridiculous. I used to know where to park, and now you can't park overnight," said Richard, a student and long-time resident.
"I'm really surprised that he's stepping down. He's all I've ever known as mayor, so I really have no one to compare him to. But I think the city is fantastic because of him," said 28-year-old Kara Joy, who has lived in the city for six years but grew up in the suburbs.
Feel free to leave a comment with your own reaction to the mayor's announcement.