Footage depicting Harold Washington on the campaign trail in 1983, ahead of the runup to the mayoral election. The film shows him being welcomed by diverse segments of Chicago's population at different parades, rallies, and other political events.
While the scenes featured here are primarily outtakes, they offer vivid glimpses into the political process, and the excitement behind the historic campaign is palpable.Washington is shown giving speeches at the Navy Pier, the City Council, and the Jardine Water Purification Plant which is located at 1000 East Ohio Street.
The film begins by presenting sunny Chicago streets crowded with people that came to see and support Mayor-Elect Harold Washington. The footage goes on to capture Washington addressing a group of journalist’s eager questions. The succeeding shots feature a lively marching band and Washington walking hand in hand with his comrades at the front of a parade.
The footage goes on to present orators and performers on a stage; the masses respond rapturously. The scene switches to a different political event at City Hall where congressmen like Charles Hayes are presented speaking passionatley to the audience. The scene switches to Harold Washington talking to reporters outside his car; he is pictured wearing a “Charles Hayes for Congress” button.
Moreover, at Chicago City Hall, Washington can be seen onstage giving an inspiring speech.
The footage cuts to a parade where people can be heard affectionately cheering as the soon-to-be mayor waves at the crowds. The camera switches briefly to focus on a re-election poster for Jane Byrne; an interview with the current mayor can be heard.
On the coast, the footage captures Washington at a political event taking place at the Jardine Water Purification Plant. Outside the plant, the footage depicts a dreary shoreline as well as the famous Lake Point Tower. Inauguration Day arrives, the footage to Navy Pier’s auditorium as the city’s first Black mayor speaks earnestly to the audience.The Mayor exclaims that he is going to be making executive salary cuts as soon as he’s in office.
The shot suddenly cuts to the City Council chambers where delegates are discussing the Mayor's plans.The image’s exposure is low but Alderman Edward Vrdolyak is addressing the room. The footage quickly alternates between Inauguration Day at Navy Pier and the City Council. The film concludes with the press interviewing Ed Vrdolyak outside City Hall.