Harold Washington Archives & Collections. Mayoral Records. Asian American Advisory Committee Records

Dates: 1983 – 1995 (Bulk dates 1984 – 1988)
Size: 1 linear foot
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State Street, Chicago, IL 60605
Collection Number: H00025
Provenance: The records were donated to the Chicago Public Library by Ross Harano in 1995.
Access: Researchers, please request this material 24 hours in advance of use. It is the responsibility of the researcher to satisfy all copyright and privacy laws when copying or using material found in this collection. Some files marked with an asterisk have been redacted or separated for privacy reasons. Please see the archivist on duty for access.
Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Harold Washington Archives & Collections, Asian American Advisory Committee, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections, Chicago Public Library
Processed by: Alison Hinterliter, circa 1995

Historical Note

The Asian American Advisory Committee was established by Executive Order 84-2 by Harold Washington to advise the Mayor and city departments on programs, policy and legislation relevant to Chicago’s growing Asian American population. In addition to advising the Mayor, the 15 members of the Committee also served as liaisons with Asian American organizations across the city. Ross Harano was the first Chairperson of the Committee.

Biographical Note

Harold Washington was the first African American mayor of Chicago, elected in 1983.

Harold Washington was born on April 15, 1922, at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, IL. His parents, Roy Lee and Bertha Jones Washington, divorced when he was young, and he lived with his father in Chicago and attended boarding school in Milwaukee. Washington entered Chicago’s DuSable High School in 1939, served in the Civilian Conservation Corps for six months, enlisted in the military from 1943 to 1946, and returned to DuSable High School to graduate in 1946. After earning a bachelor degree at Roosevelt University in Chicago and a law degree at Northwestern University in Evanston, Washington enjoyed a career as a practicing attorney before he turned to politics.

Washington’s political career encompassed roles at the municipal, state and national levels of government. He served as Illinois State Representative for the 26th District from 1965 to 1976. He then became Illinois State Senator for the 26th District from 1976 to 1980. Washington ran for mayor of Chicago in 1977, but lost. In 1980, he became a U.S. Congressman for the 1st District and served in that post until 1983. Washington again ran for mayor in 1983, winning the Democratic primary election in February of that year and the general election in April. He was inaugurated on April 29, 1983 and was re-elected in 1987. Harold Washington died at 1:36 PM on November 25, 1987 of a cardiac arrest, just a few months into his second term as mayor. He is buried in Chicago’s Oak Woods Cemetery.

Scope and Content Note

The records in this Series contain correspondence and minutes of meetings held by the Asian American Advisory Committee, and also reports by the Chicago Works Together Committee. There is also a brief history of the Asian American Advisory Committee written by Ross Harano, the first Chairperson. The records continue into Eugene Sawyer’s administration following Mayor Washington’s death in 1987.

Arrangement/Series Description

Where possible the original organization has been maintained. The records have been arranged firstly by records produced by the Asian American Advisory Committee and then by the Chicago Works Together Committee.

Related Materials

Harold Washington, Illinois State Representative Records
Harold Washington, Illinois State Senate Records
Harold Washington, U.S. Congressional Records
Harold Washington, Mayoral Campaign Records
Harold Washington, Pre-Mayoral Photograph Collection
Harold Washington, Central Files Records
Harold Washington, Chief of Staff Records
Harold Washington, City Council Proceedings Records
Harold Washington, Community Services Sub-Cabinet Records
Harold Washington, Development Sub-Cabinet Records
Harold Washington, Finance and Administration Sub-Cabinet Records
Harold Washington, Infrastructure Sub-Cabinet Records
Harold Washington, Legislative Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs Records
Harold Washington, Office Manager/Supervisor of Clerical Staff Records
Harold Washington, Press Office Records
Harold Washington, Public Safety/Regulatory Sub-Cabinet Records
Harold Washington, Real Estate Committee Records
Harold Washington, Schedules and Evaluations Records
Harold Washington, Videocassette Collection
Harold Washington, Commemorative Year Archives
Harold Washington, Political Education Project Records

Subject Headings

Asian Americans--Illinois--Chicago Metropolitan Area--Sources.
Chicago (Ill.)--Politics and government--Sources.
Harano, Ross.

Container List

Asian American Advisory Committee

Box 1 Folder 1 History of the Asian American Advisory Committee, compiled by Ross Harano, first Chairperson of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Asian American Affairs, April 1995
Box 1 Folder 1a Asian-American Liaison, 1984
Box 1 Folder 2 Pre-Committee Material, 1983-1984
Box 1 Folder 3 Minutes, 1983-1984
Box 1 Folder 4 Correspondence, 1983-1984
Box 1 Folder 5 Minutes, 1985
Box 1 Folder 6 Correspondence, 1985
Box 1 Folder 7 Minutes, 1986
Box 1 Folder 8 Correspondence, 1986
Box 1 Folder 9 Minutes, 1987
Box 1 Folder 10 Correspondence, 1987
Box 1 Folder 11 Minutes, 1988
Box 1 Folder 12 Correspondence, 1988
Box 1 Folder 13 Mayor's Asian American Advisory Commission, Transition Committee, 1988-1989
Box 1 Folder 14 Mayor's Asian American Advisory Committee, 1989

Chicago Works Together Committee

Box 1 Folder 15 Brochures, Correspondence, and Memoranda, 1985
Box 1 Folder 16 Reports, 1982: “Chicago 1992. Comprehensive Plan,” October 1982; “Report of the Mayor’s Task Force on High Technology Development,” October 1982
Box 1 Folder 17
  • Reports, 1984: "'Chicago Works Together' Chicago Development Plan." May 1984
  • “Make No Little Plans: Jobs for Metropolitan Chicago” printed by The Commercial Club of Chicago, December 1984
Box 1 Folder 18
  • Reports, 1985: “Chicago Works Together: The Washington Administration at Mid-Term.” July 1985
  • “The Advisory Committee on Linked Development.” Draft report and recommendations, September 1985
  • “Neighborhood Economic Development: Working Together for Chicago’s Future,” September 1985
  • “Monitoring Chicago’s Industrial Revenue Bond Performance: 1977-1984,” October 1985
  • “Mayor Harold Washington’s 1986 Fair Share Budget Message, delivered October 17, 1985 to the City Council,” October 1985
Box 1 Folder 19
  • Reports, 1986 – 1987: "Chicago-Working Better Than Ever-For Everyone," 1986 [2 copies]
  • "Window on the Future: Final Report Summary of the Mayor's Navy Pier Task Force," January 1986
  • "Chicago Works Together II: Recommended Changes to the 1984 Chicago Development Plan,” March 1987
Box 1 Folder 20
  • City of Chicago Task Force on Affirmative Action, Reports and Statistics. 1985:
  • "Affirmative Action Plan, 1985-1995."
  • “Official Report of the Task Force on Affirmative Action, City of Chicago," December, 1985
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