ML - Michigan Avenue

2014 - Issue 1 - Winter

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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F ront Runners Jane Byrne met with New York City Mayor Ed Koch on April 25, 1979, to discuss the campaign strategies that led to their upset victories. See Jane Run IN THE SNOWY WINTER OF 1979, JANE BYRNE CLAIMED A DRAMATIC VICTORY IN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY ELECTION ON HER WAY TO BECOMING CHICAGO'S FIRST FEMALE MAYOR. BY LINDSEY MURPHY 10 PHOTOGRAPHY BY AP IMAGES C hicago was under more than 18 inches of snow during the mayoral election of 1979, as Jane Byrne went headto-head against incumbent mayor Michael Bilandic—the very man who had terminated Byrne from her position as Chicago's head of consumer affairs two years earlier. "She had the gift of gab," reflects reporter Ray Hanania, who covered City Hall in the late 1970s. "Jane just knew how to talk, and once you met her, you really liked her. I don't think Bilandic and the machine understood that personality appeal that she had when she got out there and said hello to people." Voters were also still fuming at Bilandic's sluggish response to the city's recordbreaking blizzard on January 13–14, and on February 27, Byrne emerged victorious in the Democratic primary, going on to win 72 percent of the vote in the general election. "She made news from the day she got there until the day she left," says Hanania of the former mayor, who was in headlines for everything from moving into Cabrini Green to launching the now-iconic Gay Pride Parade. And though the intervening years have not been particularly kind to Byrne's legacy (overshadowed in part by her charismatic successor, Harold Washington), as our great city's first female mayor, she will always stand as proof positive that every glass ceiling has a breaking point. MA MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM 010_MA_FOB_FR_Winter_14.indd 10 1/9/14 4:59 PM

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