State of Illinois
92nd General Assembly

   [ Search ]   [ PDF text ]   [ Legislation ]   
[ Home ]   [ Back ]   [ Bottom ]



 1                          HOUSE RESOLUTION

 2        WHEREAS, The Honorable  Eugene  Sawyer  is  a  native  of
 3    Alabama;  the  eldest  of  6 children, he traveled to Chicago
 4    every summer while  attending  Alabama  State  University  in
 5    Montgomery; he lived with his aunt on the South Side and held
 6    summer  jobs  making  touch-up  paint for cars at Dupli-Color
 7    Products Company,  and  assembling  automatic  sprinklers  at
 8    Rockwood Sprinkler Company; and

 9        WHEREAS,  After  graduating  from  college in 1956 with a
10    degree  in  secondary   education,   Eugene   Sawyer   taught
11    mathematics  and  chemistry  for  a  year at a high school in
12    Prentiss, Mississippi,  but  in  1957  he  moved  to  Chicago
13    permanently; and

14        WHEREAS,  Unable  to locate a job in a laboratory, Eugene
15    Sawyer ended up working for Rockwood Sprinklers for 2  years;
16    in  1959,  his cousin helped him land a position as a laborer
17    on the city's South Side water-filtration plant; and

18        WHEREAS, City jobs were just not handed out to anyone  in
19    those  days,  most  city  employees  were  expected to join a
20    Democratic ward organization, and to kick in 1 to  2  percent
21    of  their  paychecks  as dues; Eugene Sawyer dutifully joined
22    the 6th Ward organization and began methodically working  his
23    way up; and

24        WHEREAS,  As  Eugene Sawyer rose through the ranks of the
25    ward organization, he rose through the patronage ranks of the
26    city water department as well; he became president of the 6th
27    Ward Young Democrats, financial secretary of the entire  ward
28    organization,  and finally its president, a position that was
29    second in command to his political mentor, Robert Miller, the
30    6th Ward alderman and democratic committeeman; and

31        WHEREAS, Eugene Sawyer served as alderman of the 6th Ward
                            -2-               LRB9210126RHrhA
 1    from 1972 to 1987; during his stint as alderman,  Mr.  Sawyer
 2    served  as mayor pro tem under Harold Washington from 1985 to
 3    1987; and

 4        WHEREAS, After the sudden and  unexpected  death  of  the
 5    late  Mayor  Harold  Washington,  and  after a long turbulent
 6    night at City Hall, Eugene Sawyer was sworn in  as  Mayor  of
 7    Chicago  at  4:01am  on December 2, 1987 by City Clerk Walter
 8    Kozubowski; and

 9        WHEREAS, Eugene Sawyer's quiet and  effective  leadership
10    expanded   Chicago's  governmental  outreach  of  cooperative
11    partnerships   in   business   and   industry;    his    many
12    accomplishments include:

13        (1)  Convening  a  broad range of youth service providers
14    whose expertise was needed to study and review  the  problems
15    and  issues which affect youth and present recommendations to
16    government;

17        (2) Generating resources to honor  and  award  youth  who
18    excel  in  school through such programs as "The Mayor's Super
19    Scholars", an annual program which honors all Chicago  Public
20    Schools Class Valedictorians, and "The Annual Science Fair";

21        (3)    Recruiting    and   funding   of   community-based
22    organizations and churches that were interested in  providing
23    wholesome  educational,  recreational,  and cultural programs
24    and services as positive alternatives to gangs,  crimes,  and
25    violence;

26        (4)  Fighting  vigorously  for a school reform package to
27    transform the Chicago Public School  System  and  laying  the
28    foundation for the successful tenure of School Superintendent
29    Paul Vallas; and

30        (5)  Providing national leadership, via the Conference of
31    Mayors, to transform  public  policy's  emphasis  on  problem
                            -3-               LRB9210126RHrhA
 1    youth  to  an emphais on productive youth and moving families
 2    in poverty from dependency to self-sufficency; and

 3        WHEREAS, Eugene Sawyer's accomplishments and wisdom  over
 4    the  years  have  greatly benefitted the citizens of Chicago;
 5    therefore, be it

 8    we  commend  Eugene Sawyer for his years of dedicated service
 9    and support to the citizens of Chicago and that we extend  to
10    him  a special congratulations on the celebration of his 67th
11    birthday; and be it further

12        RESOLVED, That a suitable  copy  of  this  resolution  be
13    presented to Eugene Sawyer as an expression of our esteem.

[ Top ]