State of Illinois
92nd General Assembly

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 1                          SENATE RESOLUTION

 2        WHEREAS, The members  of  the  Illinois  Senate  wish  to
 3    express  their  sincere condolences to the family and friends
 4    of Michael A. Bilandic, a  former  justice  on  the  Illinois
 5    Supreme  and  Appellate  Courts; former Chicago alderman, and
 6    former mayor of Chicago, who passed away on January 15, 2002;
 7    and

 8        WHEREAS, Born in Bridgeport in 1923, the son of immigrant
 9    parents, Michael Bilandic  learned  Chicago  politics  early,
10    going  to  St.  Jerome's Croatian School in the 11th Ward, an
11    area that produced Richard J. Daley and a host of mayors  and
12    other politicians before him; and

13        WHEREAS, Michael Bilandic graduated from De La Salle High
14    School  in  1940  and received his bachelor's degree from St.
15    Mary's College in Winona, Minnesota; he obtained a law degree
16    from De Paul University and served as a first  lieutenant  in
17    the  Marine Corps during World War II in the Pacific theater;
18    and

19        WHEREAS, Mr. Bilandic  was  helpful  and  active  in  the
20    Democratic  organization  in  the  11th Ward from the time in
21    1948 when  he  was  asked  to  aid  the  party  by  then-ward
22    committeeman  Richard  J.  Daley; however, his real political
23    career began in 1969 as alderman of the 11th Ward; and

24        WHEREAS, Alderman Bilandic was  known  as  a  legislative
25    trailblazer;  he  pioneered  ordinances to ban lead paint and
26    phosphates from detergents that became an environmental model
27    for  other  major  cities;  in  addition,  he  sponsored  the
28    Lakefront  Protection  Ordinance,  legislation  to   regulate
29    condominium  conversions  and a planned-development ordinance
30    that made sense of city planning; and

31        WHEREAS, Alderman Bilandic was knowledgeable in the field
                            -2-                LRB9215454RHrh
 1    of finance, and in 1974 he was chosen as council floor leader
 2    and chairman of the powerful Finance Committee; and

 3        WHEREAS,  The  quiet  Michael   Bilandic   survived   the
 4    rough-and-tumble   politics   of  the  11th  Ward  Democratic
 5    organization to  become  the  man  chosen  to  succeed  Mayor
 6    Richard J. Daley after Mayor Daley's death in 1976; and

 7        WHEREAS,  Mayor  Bilandic  was  considered  a shoo-in for
 8    renomination by the Democratic organization during  the  1979
 9    campaign  until the city was hit by a huge snowstorm over the
10    New Year's holiday and a crippling  storm  two  weeks  later;
11    altogether,  35 inches of snow fell on the city in two weeks;
12    the slow removal of the mountains of snow by city workers was
13    blamed on Mayor Bilandic, leading to his defeat; and

14        WHEREAS,  During  his  term  in  office,  Mayor  Bilandic
15    organized the first ChicagoFest  and  arranged  city-insured,
16    low-interest  mortgage  loans  for middle-income families; he
17    also lent his support to the Chicago Marathon and developed a
18    reputation as a runner; and

19        WHEREAS, Michael Bilandic took office as a bachelor,  but
20    during  his  administration  he  married  Heather Morgan; the
21    couple's son, Michael, was  also  born  during  his  term  in
22    office; and

23        WHEREAS,  Justice  Bilandic  was elected to the Appellate
24    Court in 1984 and was  elected  to  a  10-year  term  on  the
25    Illinois  Supreme  Court  in 1990; in 1993 he was selected by
26    his fellow justices to a three-year term as chief justice  of
27    the Illinois Supreme Court; and

28        WHEREAS,  During  the  1990  campaign,  other  candidates
29    talked  about the need for court reforms but Justice Bilandic
30    said he was more concerned about the law and  making  complex
31    legal  issues  understandable to everyone; he said he brought
                            -3-                LRB9215454RHrh
 1    his appellate court opinions home for his wife  to  read,  if
 2    she  didn't  understand  them  he  threw them out and started
 3    over; and

 4        WHEREAS, Justice Bilandic leaves other legacies including
 5    authoring high court opinions  that  guarantee  patients  the
 6    right  to  sue  their  HMO's  and  giving  parents  the final
 7    authority on whether grandparents get visitation in the State
 8    of Illinois; therefore, be it

10    ASSEMBLY  OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we mourn, along with
11    all who knew him, the  death  of  former  Chicago  Mayor  and
12    Illinois Supreme Court Justice Michael A. Bilandic; and be it
13    further

14        RESOLVED,  That  a  suitable  copy  of this resolution be
15    presented to the family of Justice Michael A.  Bilandic  with
16    our sincere condolences.

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