Inauguration date: November 25, 1987
This speech is recorded as it first appeared in print. Archaic spelling and misspellings in the original document have not been corrected.
Editor’s note: Vice Mayor David Orr automatically became interim mayor upon the death of Mayor Harold Washington and did not deliver a formal inaugural address. The following is the text of remarks he made the next day.
Today we celebrate Thanksgiving. We are in mourning but we still have great thanks to give.
We are thankful for the life and times of Mayor Harold Washington. His vision of reform revitalized government in the City of Chicago, and galvanized the City’s best and brightest to join with him in making a new government which worked for everyone.
He was a leader and a role model for all of us and, in particular, for the youth of the City. There aren’t many political leaders that the youth of this country respect. They respected Harold Washington and knew that the future held more hope because he was Mayor.
At his inauguration in 1983, Mayor Washington said, “We have fought a good fight… and we have kept the faith.” Four years later, it is so clear that he would never back away from the good fight. Now it falls to us to keep the faith.
There may be questions about matters of succession. As Interim Mayor, with the powers and duties of Mayor, I will serve until the City Council selects, by a majority vote, an acting mayor from among the 50 Aldermen.
The Acting Mayor selected by the City Council will serve until the next general municipal election, which will be in April, 1989. The law no longer allows for what are called “special elections.” Therefore, there can be no election prior to April, 1989.
There is a regularly scheduled City Council meeting this Monday, which will not be held because it has been designated as the Official Day of Mourning. The next regularly scheduled Council meeting is Wednesday, December 9. We anticipate that the Council will call a special session prior to that date, to select an acting Mayor. The earliest would be next Tuesday, but we anticipate [it] will happen sometime before the end of next week.
- Municipal Reference Collection files.