Former Mayor Daley Tells ASI Radio: Fewer Guns, Better Education

TREVOSE, PAFebruary 29, 2012 – On the heels of an Ohio school shooting, former Chicago mayor and gun-control advocate Richard Daley said in a radio interview, “We are arming America.”

“There are just too many guns in America,” Daley said during an interview with ASI Radio. “I know it’s very controversial and people want to stay away from it, but we are arming America. See the incident, unfortunately, in Ohio. A young man kills two or three and injures a few others and it’s just another headline, and people don’t realize what it does to families and to the children in these schools.”

ASI Radio is produced by the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), the largest media, marketing and education organization serving the promotional products industry. The interview advances Daley’s July 19 keynote at the ASI trade show in Chicago titled “City CEO: Rising to Challenges and Change.” Click here to listen to the interview in its entirety.

The best answers to crime and education issues come from people, Daley said. “Some politicians think they have all the answers, but they don’t … People want constructive, simple ideas dealing with education and crime issues. We should be able to handle this. It’s a great country.”

Daley, who served 22 years, is credited with revamping the city’s public school system and overhauling public housing. Since leaving City Hall in May, Daley joined a law firm and became a distinguished senior fellow at the University of Chicago.

To solve the education crisis, Daley said the nation should create learning environments that extend beyond the typical school day to after-school programs, sports and even weekend activities. “A lot of people look at school as the answer for education, and it’s not; it’s part of the process,” he said. “The overriding issue is to look at the quality of education, not keeping kids in school longer.”

In this technology-driven age, Daley thinks schools are lagging behind. “Although children are living with technology, it’s not always implemented in every school,” he said.

To combat China’s growing economic strength, Daley suggests reinvigorating the U.S. manufacturing base, starting with education. “There isn’t one college or business school in America that teaches manufacturing,” said Daley, who’s taken his students to visit steel mills. “How can we say, ‘It’s a wonderful opportunity? It’s a wonderful profession?’ ”

The best way to battle bureaucracy in either business or government is to appoint project managers to get things done. “You really have to be a problem-solver,” Daley said. “Bring people together and take a holistic approach. Hold people accountable. That’s key.”

Chicago’s longest-serving mayor said he admires Franklin D. Roosevelt, in part because he wielded the power of the presidency during times of war and crisis. “We’ve shifted power away from the presidency and given it to the legislature, and that’s wrong. It’s really unfortunate, but that’s the government we live in today.”

The best way to accomplish something? Stop studying issues to death, Daley said. “Let’s make a decision and move on.” 

In his upcoming keynote, Daley will discuss turnaround stories and discuss changes that affect businesses at the local, national and global levels. Attendees will receive a hands-on lesson in leadership, crisis management and in preparing for their future business challenges in any economy.

About ASI

The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) is the largest media, marketing and education organization serving the promotional products industry, with a network of over 27,000 distributors and suppliers throughout North America.