Sawyer, Eugene Mayoral Records

Dates: 1980-1989, Bulk 1987-1989. Size: 71 Linear Feet in 139 boxes, including 259 videotapes, 43 boxes of photographs. Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, Harold Washington Archives and Collections. Eugene Sawyer worked in Chicago's Water Department before being elected 6th Ward Alderman in 1971. Following Harold Washington's death in November 1987, Sawyer was elected by his fellow City Council members to serve as mayor. Sawyer lost the special election in 1989 to Richard J. Daley, and after that, he left public office to pursue private business. Events that are most substantively represented in this collection include the construction of International Terminal 5 at O’Hare Airport, the creation of the General Services Department, the restructuring of the Department of Streets and Sanitation and a revamping of various City workflows and software systems related to procurement and telecommunications. The dismissal of mayoral aide Steve Cokely for anti-Semitic comments and the Design/Build competition for the new Central Library, the Harold Washington Library Center, are also covered. The photograph series documents the 1988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta especially well, along with the general daily events attended by Mayor Sawyer. Other important topics covered in a less comprehensive way include education reform; HIV/AIDS; the anti-gang task force, the Chicago Intervention Network (CIN); and representation of underrepresented groups in government and business contracts. [Finding aid]