Chicago’s mayor visits S.F.

Newsom, Daley compliment each other’s city as both vie for 2016 Summer Olympics

Although competitors for a possible bid for the Olympic Games in 2016, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Mayor Gavin Newsom diplomatically pronounced that having any U.S. city host the international sporting event was more important than the triumph of one city over the other.

“We’re not in competition, we’re strong advocates for our cities,” Daley said in San Francisco for a two-day tour. “But once they make that decision, all the mayors should support that city, and the federal government and the state governments should support it, because it is vitally important for the future, I believe, of what America is all about.”

Newsom, who followed Daley’s statement with an emphatic “ditto,” said The City is still waiting for an announcement from Olympic officials, despite a suggestion last month by USOC Chairman Peter Ueberroth that the group might narrow the field of five cities — Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Francisco — by mid-July.

Nonetheless, a little competitive spirit slipped through when Newsom introduced Daley as the mayor of Chicago, “everybody’s second-favorite city,” before confessing that he was a “longtime fan” of Chicago and its chief.

Last summer, Newsom toured the Windy City and came back ready to replicate some of Daley’s ideas regarding city greening and public safety surveillance cameras.

“Hopefully there are some ideas here that he can bring back as opposed to all the ideas we’ve brought back into San Francisco from Chicago,” Newsom said on Monday, after giving Daley a tour of San Francisco’s Ferry Building Marketplace.

Daley, who came with a contingent that included members of Chicago’s Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau, said his list of San Francisco sites to see also included the waterfront and Mission Bay.

While complimenting San Francisco’s “vibrancy,” Daley said he wasn’t in San Francisco “to duplicate anything.”

Daley, who arrived in San Francisco on Sunday night, also attended a dinner at the Marriott hotel on Monday night, sponsored by the Legal Community Against Violence, at which he was honored, along with singer-activist John Baez. Daley is scheduled to leave today, after a breakfast at City Hall with venture capitalists to discuss green technology, according to Newsom’s staff.

beslinger@examiner.com

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