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During his May 26 visit to the Kellogg School, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley called education “the greatest equalizer” and said that “tackling the education system in Chicago is what I’d like to be known for” as mayor.

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley

‘A Conversation on Leadership’

In a visit with Kellogg’s Part-Time students, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley outlines his thoughts on education, technology, gun control and more

By Rachel Farrell

5/28/2010 - Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley visited the Kellogg School’s downtown campus May 26 to engage in “A Conversation on Leadership,” a Q&A session led by Interim Dean Sunil Chopra. Approximately 300 Part-Time Kellogg MBA students and administrators convened in Wieboldt Hall to hear the hour-long talk.

Daley addressed current issues facing the City of Chicago and the leadership skills he has developed as mayor. Here are some of the highlights of his address:

On technology: Daley continually stressed the importance of technology, noting that it “should be used every day in classrooms from first grade on.” He warned that those who don’t leverage technology effectively will “fall behind,” both locally and globally.

On education: Calling education “the greatest equalizer,” Daley said that one of his priorities as mayor is to make Chicago’s public school system “the best in the country.” He called the lack of educational funding a “disgrace” and noted that “tackling the education system in Chicago is what I’d like to be known for” as Chicago mayor.

On staying current: While the economic downturn has forced many cities to rethink their identity, all urban areas must “redesign themselves every 25 to 30 years,” Daley said. Those cities that do not adapt to the changing times “will live in the past … and fail.”

On leadership: Leaders are charged with making hard decisions — some of which will have consensus and “some of which will not be popular,” Daley said. When making these tough decisions, he said, ask questions, be curious, stay true to your core beliefs and make sure you’re well-informed on the context of the issue. “And take responsibility where it’s due,” he added.

On gun control: Daley described gun control as “a silent issue” and “the number one issue in this country,” which is best addressed through “reasonable” gun laws. Increasing educational opportunities for inner-city youth will also play a significant role in reducing gun violence, he said.

On good advice: When asked about the best advice he’d ever received, Daley quoted his parents. “You make your own decisions in life,” he said.