|December 5, 2008|
|Sweet Home Chicago Becoming 'It' City in U.S.|
|By Greg Hazley|
|They’ve got the deep dish pizza, great steaks, Oprah, a recent World Series trophy and now the President-elect. The image of the Windy City has come a long way since Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow and Al Capone and is on a roll to cash in on the attention and play a key role in shaping the mindset of the U.S. (directly and indirectly) over the next few years. |
This blogger has fond memories of watching the Cubs lose at Wrigley Field (Mets fans can commiserate with the Cubbies to some extent), excellent live music and nightlife on the level of New York and Boston, all without the ... temperament that denizens of East Coast cities can exude.
Obama's election is the biggest force to hit the city since the 1933 World's Fair.
Porter Novelli sees Chicagoans poised to take up a major position influencing the values and attitudes of Americans, surpassing New Yorkers in clout. Windy City citizens are more generous with time and money than New Yorkers when it comes to health issues and the environment, the PR firm found in a recent study comparing Chicagoans to New Yorkers and Americans in general. Those Midwestern ideals could spread throughout the country as the Second City is becoming a focus following Obama’s election.
“We couldn't pay for the marketing we're getting,” Rita Athas of World Business Chicago told the Chicago Tribune. “I hope this finally makes Al Capone dead. … The buzz is now about the history-making president we have here.”
Optimism and putting time and money where their mouths are seem to be trademarks of the Chicago citizen. PN found that 55 percent of Chicagoans believe they can help reduce global warming, compared with only 45 percent of New Yorkers and 46 percent of the overall U.S. population. Twenty-four percent of Chicago citizens have donated money to environmental causes and 15 percent have donated time to support health research for diseases like cancer and AIDS. Those figures compare with 19 percent of the overall U.S. for environmental causes and only six percent overall who donated time for health initiatives.
Windy City residents also outpace the rest of the country on mentoring youth and even concern for the legacy of American children, according to PN’s study, which surveyed more than 10K people.
PN says that as Obama takes office and taps into his hometown’s braintrust, Chicago will have a key impact on U.S. attitudes and policies in the four years to come.
Wendi Taylor Nations, managing director of the firm’s Chicago office, said Obama embodies the work ethic, principles and vision of a region that produced Abraham Lincoln.
Chitown is one of America’s great cities. Obama is the first president in decades from a major U.S. city, providing a unique opportunity to help burnish America’s image as the world peers in through Chicago.
The World Business Chicago and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs commissioned a study in 2006 that found the city didn’t have much an image worldwide. That’s an opportunity to mold Chicago’s image for the first time.
As Columbia University sociology professor Saskia Sassen, a sociology professor at Columbia University told the Tribune: “For many people around the world, this is the first time they've discovered a city named Chicago.”
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