Being a mayor is a big deal. Regardless of your color or you ethnicity it’s a big deal being asked to lead a city is a honor and one that you should take lightly, but for former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington being the mayor meant something more. It meant change and change in a city that wasn’t all that used to change.
From 1983 to 1987 Harold Washington resided over the city of Chicago. His rise to office from was one that bred social change. In order to understand the significance of the social change it’s important to know just where the city had been. Chicago had been a place where social change was slow moving. It was the same place where the former, long time Mayor Daley had built the projects as a way to keep the poorer African American in the same place. It was a place where they rioted after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. It was the time when Mayor Daley proclaimed "If they’re looting, shoot em." So the idea that some 15 years later the city would have it’s first African American mayor was a little too far fetched.
However, Washington and his supporters did what they could to move the masses. During the campaign they were able to register 100,000 new black voters and swing the votes in their favor. The white vote was going to be split between the incumbent Jane Byrne and former Mayor Daley’s son Richard M.Daley. With Washington’s likeable personality and him being the face of change in a city that was long overdue for change, he was able to take over the office. Sadly Mayor Washington only served one term and tragically died in office, but he left a legacy of change and hope that cannot every be forgotten in a city that desperately needed it.