Latino Chicago

Please join us for a lecture by Professor Mike Amezcua on how Mexican Americans in Chicago came to support Richard J. Daley during the height of an urban crisis.

Amigos for Daley: Richard J. Daley, Mexican Americans, and the Making of the Conservative Colonia”

Wednesday, January 24, 3-4:30 pm
Mary Graydon Center Room 200


During the 1960s, Mayor Richard J. Daley, boss of one of the most powerful urban political machines, became mired in his own inability to address social, economic, and racial inequality in Chicago. The riots during the 1968 Democratic National Convention made Daley a national symbol of “law and order” politics. Critics deemed Daley’s handling of pressing issues as ineffectual and many scholars have included the city’s Mexican American residents among his detractors. On the other hand, Daley inspired loyalty from Chicago’s barrios. Mexican American civic and business leaders formed a mutually advantageous relationship with Daley to help ease bureaucracy for the small merchant and make business power an avenue to political power. At the height of the urban crisis, the “Amigos for Daley” formed an apparatus of support for their Mayor, intervened in the structural disinvestment of their neighborhoods, and reflected a conservative but Democratic element within Latino Chicago.


Mike Amezcua is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, where he researches and teaches courses on U.S. History, Latina/o History, and urban studies. His recent article, “Beautiful Urbanism: Gender, Landscape, and Contestation in Latino Chicago’s Age of Urban Renewal,” was published this past June in the Journal of American History. He is currently working on a book manuscript about Mexicans’ remaking of Chicago from the era of urban renewal to the era of gentrification. He earned his PhD at Yale University and since then has received fellowships and grants from Princeton, Northwestern, and UC San Diego.



This Lecture is presented by The Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, the Department of History, and the Humanities Lab.