thumbnail of Chicago Tonight With John Callaway; No. 1053; Firing of Ruth Love / Taxicab Deregulation
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<v Announcer>[music] An upset at the Chicago School Board. <v Announcer>Ruth Love is out and a fight in the city council over the taxi cab industry, <v Announcer>will de-regulation come to Chicago? <v Announcer>And what will it mean on the streets? Those stories on Chicago tonight with John <v Announcer>Callaway. <v Announcer>This evening on Chicago tonight, Alderman Patrick O'Connor and Linda wirch of the <v Announcer>Sun-Times discussed the ouster of school superintendent Ruth Love with host John <v Announcer>Callaway. <v John Callaway>Good evening and welcome to a very busy edition of Chicago tonight. <v John Callaway>A little later in this broadcast, we will bring you that debate on whether or not <v John Callaway>Chicago's taxicab industry should be deregulated. <v John Callaway>And at 11 o'clock at the end of this broadcast, we'll bring you another broadcast for <v John Callaway>those of you who may have missed it, of President Reagan's news conference, which was
<v John Callaway>held earlier this evening in Washington. <v John Callaway>But first, the Ruth Love story. As you know, the Chicago Board of Educatio-Education <v John Callaway>voted 65 late last night not to renew Dr. Love's contract as <v John Callaway>superintendent of Chicago's public schools. <v John Callaway>Was Dr. Love a victim of a political conspiracy? <v John Callaway>She thinks so. And we will now hear from our guests, Linda Wertsch, who is the <v John Callaway>education writer for The Chicago Sun-Times. <v John Callaway>Alderman Patrick O'Connor of the 40th Ward, who was the chairman of the City Council's <v John Callaway>Education Committee, and 20th Ward Alderman Clifford Kelly, who is a member of the <v John Callaway>Education Committee who just got here in the studio. <v John Callaway>I hope you can get your microphone on while I talk with Linda Wertsch, for just a- for <v John Callaway>just a second. You talked with Dr. Ruth Love today. <v John Callaway>What did she have to say about this? <v Linda Wertsch>She said that she was um essentially ousted <v Linda Wertsch>through a combination of a school board president whom she accuses of being politically <v Linda Wertsch>ambitious and wanting to be a spokesman of the Hispanic community and wanted to run for <v Linda Wertsch>office, which he denies, by the way, he says he does not want to run for office. <v John Callaway>He, by the way, will be our guest for a full program tomorrow night.
<v John Callaway>George Munez. <v Linda Wertsch>Right and uh a mayor who uh did not want her <v Linda Wertsch>contract renewed uh because she was um <v Linda Wertsch>uncontrollable. <v John Callaway>In what, in what respect do you think Dr. Love was uncontrollable in the <v John Callaway>eyes of Mayor Washington? <v John Callaway>Was she too outfront in Springfield or what? <v Linda Wertsch>I've repeatedly asked that question, and I don't get any definitive <v Linda Wertsch>answers. And I've talked to some reporters who are a little bit more up to date on city <v Linda Wertsch>hall than I. And it is just that uh she was visible. <v Linda Wertsch>She would uh go her own way, perhaps, that she stuck to her guns and didn't endorse <v Linda Wertsch>anyone in the mayoral context. <v John Callaway>Have you heard anything about any alderman or any people like that who may have been out <v John Callaway>for her? <v Linda Wertsch>Well, I-I [laughs] hate to do this to answer until you just walked in. <v Linda Wertsch>I had planned to talk to him before the program began. <v John Callaway>Talk to him now, live. <v Linda Wertsch>Shall we discuss this? <v Clifford Kelley>Absolutely. <v John Callaway>Please, what di-what did you hear? <v Linda Wertsch>Okay, I'll tell you what Dr. Love told me. <v Linda Wertsch>She said that Mayor Washington had told her that he supported her
<v Linda Wertsch>and she believed that. She said, Jorge Munoz had told her he supported her and she <v Linda Wertsch>believed that. But she said on July 4th, an alderman came up to her, and she would not <v Linda Wertsch>name this alderman, and the alderman said, I was asked by Mayor Washington's <v Linda Wertsch>staff to lead an attack against you and I told them no, and I was told, well, if Clifford <v Linda Wertsch>Kelley will do it instead. Subsequently, Rich Desculka, <v Linda Wertsch>who is a public relations aide to Dr. Love, also told me all this, you know, <v Linda Wertsch>was on the record that he had talked to you in the Oakland airport on Friday after the <v Linda Wertsch>Democratic convention. <v Linda Wertsch>Um, well both were attending a new supposedly had said that we're <v Linda Wertsch>going to send Ruth Love uh back to Oakland, but Oakland possibly <v Linda Wertsch>won't want her. You said there'd be some, supposedly said, that <v Linda Wertsch>uh there would be some big stories that would blow the lid off. <v Linda Wertsch>So that's what Dr. Love says. <v John Callaway>Alderman Kelley. <v Clifford Kelley>Not true at all. I-It's very unfortunate. <v Clifford Kelley>I was asked by the media last night why I was at the meeting
<v Clifford Kelley>and I. <v John Callaway>At the board of Education meeting. <v Clifford Kelley>Right. <v John Callaway>Where Dr. Love's contract was not renewed. <v Clifford Kelley>I explained that I have been at the last three meetings where a superintendent <v Clifford Kelley>was in fact selected, and I'm a member of the Education Committee of the Chicago <v Clifford Kelley>City Council and I have an interest, and that was the only reason I was there. <v John Callaway>Did you know how that vote was coming out? <v Clifford Kelley>No, I did not. <v John Callaway>What about the- what about your comments at the Oakland airp-aport? <v Clifford Kelley>I don't know what uh Mr. Desculka is is working for Ruth Love now. <v Clifford Kelley>Is- Idon't know where these coming from now. <v John Callaway>But did you say at the Oakland Aiport. <v Clifford Kelley>No, I did not. <v John Callaway>That you would send. <v Clifford Kelley>No. <v John Callaway>That she would be sent back to Oakland. <v Clifford Kelley>Absolutely not. <v John Callaway>Did you say anything that could be construed that way? Were you joking? <v John Callaway>You're a- you're. <v Clifford Kelley>Oh, sure I-I joke. <v John Callaway>Hail and well met fellow, Alderman Kelley. <v Clifford Kelley>Yes, absolutely and I appreciate that. But I just, I didn't say anything that I think <v Clifford Kelley>could remotely be implied to suggest that I had anything to do. <v Clifford Kelley>I have no control over the board. <v Clifford Kelley>The mayor has never asked me to do anything relative to that. <v Clifford Kelley>And he's kept a hands off attitude. <v John Callaway>I want to go to our other guest, but are you glad, Ruth Love is out? <v Clifford Kelley>I just hope that if this brings unity to the board, it will be to the benefit <v Clifford Kelley>of the children.
<v John Callaway>But I mean do you think she was a good superintendent? <v Clifford Kelley>I must say that uh I am not really in a position to determine that. <v Clifford Kelley>Evidently, the people who are felt that she was not, but I certainly am not. <v John Callaway>You have no- what you're saying is you have no axe to grind with her? <v Clifford Kelley>Absolutely not. No. If-if the board would think that she would should remain <v Clifford Kelley>there and would be a good superintendent and improve the quality of education in the <v Clifford Kelley>public school system, which is the bottom line, obviously, they would have kept her. <v John Callaway>Alderman O'Connor, are you buying that? <v Patrick O'Connor>I uh, believe that the school board has the right to do what they did, <v Patrick O'Connor>but in turning around in the same meeting and almost in the same breath and saying, <v Patrick O'Connor>well, let's now begin negotiations with another individual to be the new superintendent, <v Patrick O'Connor>uh, there's a lot more going on there than just trying to <v Patrick O'Connor>determine whether or not Ruth Love was was an adequate superintendent. <v Patrick O'Connor>Um. <v John Callaway>Do you think the deck was stacked by the time? <v Patrick O'Connor>Oh, I don't think there's any question. <v Patrick O'Connor>It was no coincidence that Manford Byrd was at the meeting last night. <v Patrick O'Connor>It was no coincidence that uh when certain board members walked in, they were told this
<v Patrick O'Connor>is what's going to happen tonight. And uh we have the votes and there's nothing can be <v Patrick O'Connor>done about it. Those things don't uh speak well for the board. <v Patrick O'Connor>The board has the right to do what they did in not renewing her contract. <v Patrick O'Connor>And in fact, has the right to ask Manfred Byrd to be the superintendent of schools. <v John Callaway>Do you believe Mayor Washington, when he says and he said it on the evening news tonight, <v John Callaway>he said, I don't interfere with the board. <v John Callaway>They have the right to do what they do and they do it. <v John Callaway>Do you believe that? <v Patrick O'Connor>I believe that maybe he doesn't do it directly and personally, but I do believe that <v Patrick O'Connor>there are people that that work for him and are under him that do involve themselves in <v Patrick O'Connor>the board, whether it's with his current direct consent or not. <v Patrick O'Connor>There's no question. <v John Callaway>And that's always been the case with mayors, hasn't it? <v John Callaway>In other words, they say it's a different governmental jurisdiction, but when things go <v John Callaway>wrong, they get the blame for it. <v John Callaway>Well, they share the blame for it. <v Patrick O'Connor>Well, I think that this is different in one sense. <v Patrick O'Connor>If this had happened under any other mayor, there's no question that everyone-body he <v Patrick O'Connor>would have said that was the fifth floor that dictated this. <v Patrick O'Connor>And they would've never question whether or not they were involved. <v Patrick O'Connor>With this mayor there is a question as to whether or not he was involved.
<v Patrick O'Connor>So that's a little bit different. <v John Callaway>Linda Wertsch, could it be argued that Ruth Love's problem wasn't that she was too <v John Callaway>political, that she wasn't political, she wouldn't campaign for Jane Byrne. <v John Callaway>She wouldn't ever picture taken with Jane Byrne in the schools. <v John Callaway>She apparently had her own course of action in Springfield. <v John Callaway>She wouldn't play ball with Mayor Washington. <v John Callaway>She wouldn't agree to the two year contract, which apparently Bill Weir suggested that <v John Callaway>she take. Is that her problem, that she's her own woman? <v Linda Wertsch>She would say that, you know, she is not political in that way, uh but <v Linda Wertsch>she is her own woman and does will indeed plow <v Linda Wertsch>ahead without always bringing people in the fold and uh soothing their feathers. <v John Callaway>Is she too strong Alderman Kelley? <v Clifford Kelley>Well, that seems to be the complaint. <v Clifford Kelley>One of the complaints of some of the board members, amongst others, but I'd just like to <v Clifford Kelley>say something relative to Pat's statement. <v Clifford Kelley>When they went in and moved to to negotiate with Manfred Byrd, <v Clifford Kelley>you are credited with saying in the paper that it would- she should be reappointed <v Clifford Kelley>because we couldn't take the time for a search. <v Clifford Kelley>I think they feel the same way. We could not go into negotiations with the school, with
<v Clifford Kelley>the school board, unions and all. <v Clifford Kelley>And immediately they wanted to select someone who they knew was understanding <v Clifford Kelley>and knowledgeable of the system. And of course, Manfred Byrd is. <v Clifford Kelley>He's been passed over twice. <v John Callaway>He's been a part of two nationwide searches. <v Clifford Kelley>Yes. <v John Callaway>He came out number two both times. <v Clifford Kelley>At both times, that's correct. I think the hands off attitude of the mayor certainly <v Clifford Kelley>epitomized by his refusal, not notwithstanding the demands by many people to become <v Clifford Kelley>involved in trying to resolve the strike last year. <v Clifford Kelley>He said that he did not want to get involved in it and in fact didn't. <v John Callaway>But what about the people like Mr. Weir? Do think he has hands off? <v Clifford Kelley>The ironic thing about it is I think Mr. Weir was trying to help Superintendent <v Clifford Kelley>Love. She did not have six votes. <v Clifford Kelley>Whatever would happen. She would not have six votes. <v John Callaway>So he's saying take your take a little pay cut and we can get you. <v Clifford Kelley>A-a-a compromise and she she wants to play, she wants to have it both ways. <v Clifford Kelley>Why did the mayor tell her, in fact, that he supported it if she hadn't solicited that <v Clifford Kelley>support? <v John Callaway>And also, there were allies, all allies of the mayor uh who supported <v John Callaway>the superintendent. <v Clifford Kelley>Absolutely. The allies of the mayor, the people that he could influence did vote for her
<v Clifford Kelley>and many people. <v John Callaway>Carol Moseley Braun as an example. <v Clifford Kelley>Well, I'm talking about people, people on the board for instance. <v John Callaway>I know, but what I'm saying others. <v Clifford Kelley>Were supportive of some of the people on the board that were against Love <v Clifford Kelley>certainly are not influenced by Mayor Washington and in fact, maybe influenced by other <v Clifford Kelley>members. Now, we have two members of the education committee, at least before the <v Clifford Kelley>education committee, for confirmation that Mayor Washington has tried to get on the <v Clifford Kelley>board, and they have not been confirmed as of yet. <v Clifford Kelley>I don't know, the uh the alderman, who is the chairman of the committee can certainly <v Clifford Kelley>tell us that. <v John Callaway>Alderman. <v Patrick O'Connor>I'd like to respond to a couple of things. First of all, uh I don't believe that I said <v Patrick O'Connor>that it's that we didn't have time to do the search. <v Patrick O'Connor>We have a time to make a search. We have until March 'til Ruth Love's contract is up. <v Patrick O'Connor>And I think that when a man from Manfred Byrd comes in in under the <v Patrick O'Connor>suspicion of a deal having been cut, rather than coming in on the merit, that he is the <v Patrick O'Connor>best after a search, I think that that's a shame for the school system and for him, <v Patrick O'Connor>because he's not going to be able to say he's there 'cause he merits it, he's gonna be <v Patrick O'Connor>able to say because there was a deal. I think that you have to look at the situation when
<v Patrick O'Connor>a board member's appointed they are scrutinized, they go through an application process, <v Patrick O'Connor>they are interviewed, they are weeded out, and then you come up with what they feel is <v Patrick O'Connor>the best candidate. The superintendency is no less important and deserves no less <v Patrick O'Connor>scrutiny and no less and that's less of a tack. <v John Callaway>Our viewers are calling in. Good evening. You're on the air. <v Caller 1>Yes. I would just like to say, as a teacher in the public school <v Caller 1>system, that Ruth Love really did not do much to help <v Caller 1>improve the quality of education in the classroom. <v John Callaway>What, can you-can you be more specific? <v Caller 1>Well, the Chicago Mastery Learning System was intended <v Caller 1>to be a supplemental program, not as th answer <v Caller 1>to the greeting deficiencies of the children, and all of <v Caller 1>the sudden the math relearning programs the teachers had to teach and <v Caller 1>the kids had to master, and forget about everything else. <v John Callaway>All right. Now let's go around the panel and get your opinion.
<v John Callaway>Let's get a report card on Dr. Love. Linda Werstch, what kind of grades would you give <v John Callaway>her? Forget about politics now. What kind of grades would you give her on substance in <v John Callaway>her three years here? <v Linda Wertsch>For having been here for three <v Linda Wertsch>years? I've seen her uh initiate enough <v Linda Wertsch>things that are in line with what education experts are meding-recommending around <v Linda Wertsch>the country. To probably say, you know, around a B <v Linda Wertsch>or so, but he,r indeed her dealings with the board and getting people to work <v Linda Wertsch>with her, you know, put a minus on that B. <v Speaker>Quickly, uh Alderman Kelley, what would you give her? <v Clifford Kelley>Again, I'm not sure. I have not been privy to the things the board members have been. <v Clifford Kelley>They do suggest, though, that a lot of programs are initiated with no follow through. <v John Callaway>Alderman O'Connor. <v Patrick O'Connor>I think that she was taking it in the right direction. <v Patrick O'Connor>I think she came into a bankrupt system and uh she continued some very worthwhile <v Patrick O'Connor>programs. I think initiated a couple. <v Patrick O'Connor>I'd give her a passing mark, certainly. And uh. <v Patrick O'Connor>And you'd like to see her have more time? <v John Callaway>I think. I think she earned it coming in the system the way she did.
<v John Callaway>We have another call. Good evening. You're on the air. <v Caller 2>Yes. I'd like to ask a question of anybody on the panel there, please. <v John Callaway>Yes. <v Caller 2>How can anybody object to having a local man who is so extremely <v Caller 2>well qualified to take over as the head of the Chicago Board of Education? <v John Callaway>Referring to Manford Byrd. <v Caller 2>Referring he has come up through the ranks, superior ratings. <v Caller 2>You know, it's unbelievable that we should search <v Caller 2>elsewhere. <v John Callaway>Well, apparently that's <v Caller 2>invest in our own city. <v John Callaway>Apparently, they're not going to search elsewhere. What do we think? What do you think of Manfred Byrd? <v Clifford Kelley>I think he's fantastic. He ran the school system for seven years. <v Clifford Kelley>Why on the day to day operation while Superintendent Redmond was there. <v Clifford Kelley>And in all deference to to Alderman O'Connor's statement, uh when we talk about <v Clifford Kelley>a selection process, when Hannon was selected, he was just picked out by Dailey and put <v Clifford Kelley>it right over Byrd. The selection process relative to Ruth Love was <v Clifford Kelley>uh was unbelievably poor. <v Patrick O'Connor>The selection process I referred to, was only the process for board members. <v Patrick O'Connor>And I think if their job is important enough to go through a selection process, I think
<v Patrick O'Connor>the superintendent's is, I wasn't referring to past superintendents. <v Clifford Kelley>I-I-I-I'm saying that the selection process of Ruth Love was certainly questionable. <v Clifford Kelley>They changed the method of doing it. <v Clifford Kelley>And every time Manfred Byrd's name came up, obviously he was not really considered. <v John Callaway>Did you create, did you create a short term problem recently for Dr. Love with your your <v John Callaway>com-she-I think something about leaking the uh the test scores? <v Clifford Kelley>Well certainly and that's what happened. I mean, that my suggestion. <v John Callaway>The inflation of those scores, and you made that suggestion on this program. <v Clifford Kelley>And that was obviously what happened. The other thing I want to mention is my presence <v Clifford Kelley>there should not be any different than the fact that Representative Doug Huff was there, <v Clifford Kelley>too. No one mentioned him. <v John Callaway>Did you know what was gonna happen last night? <v Clifford Kelley>Did not know what was going to happen. I went there. <v John Callaway>For the viewers missed your earlier charge. What was your charge about to the tests? <v Clifford Kelley>Well, on a previous program, John, as you remember, I suggested that the test scores had <v Clifford Kelley>been tampered with and that adn that they really were not as good as it was claimed. <v John Callaway>And now there's more evidence. <v Clifford Kelley>That's correct. <v Linda Wertsch>Okay, I broke the story on that audit and <v Linda Wertsch>I was surprised that they had conducted an audit.
<v Linda Wertsch>I was not aware that that was being done. I'm not aware of that having been done in other <v Linda Wertsch>school systems. And I was told that they were suspicious of some of the scores <v Linda Wertsch>in some of the schools. They appeared to be higher than you could real-reasonably expect. <v Linda Wertsch>And so they went back into these schools and did some re-testing. <v John Callaway>Okay, we could go on with this all night, but this was the night we were going to have <v John Callaway>our taxicab debate and we are going to have an abbreviated version of the taxi cab <v John Callaway>debate. Don't you go away Alderman Kelly. <v John Callaway>And we will have George Munoz, the president of the Chicago Board of Education, a man <v John Callaway>who's uh at the center of a great deal of this controversy as our guest on Chicago <v John Callaway>tonight, tomorrow night. But don't go away. We'll be back with a hot debate on the <v John Callaway>Chicago taxi cabs. [muisc]
<v John Callaway>Well, another hot story in Chicago is the taxicab controversy. <v John Callaway>The Transportation Committee of the Chicago City Council will hold important hearings <v John Callaway>tomorrow on proposals to deregulate the cab industry in this town, open it up to more <v John Callaway>competition, remove yellow and checker from the 80 percent dominance of the cab industry <v John Callaway>in this city. Whether or not deregulation should be enacted, a lot of people in Chicago <v John Callaway>are less than satisfied with cab service. <v Al Polk Jr.>The most respected cab driving city in America. <v John Callaway>How long ago? <v Al Polk Jr.>About 1960, 1960 up to 1970, <v Al Polk Jr.>72, 73, even to 74. <v Al Polk Jr.>We were themost respected city in America. <v John Callaway>What happened? <v Al Polk Jr.>People were allowed to drive cabs that didn't get in the business <v Al Polk Jr.>for the purpose of earning a living or earning a livelihood. <v Al Polk Jr.>They got in here for ulterior motives of quick buck, a fast buck [inaudible]. <v Al Polk Jr.>Subsequently, they caused the business to go down. <v Al Polk Jr.>The riding public had less confidence in us.
<v Al Polk Jr.>Our image was deflated to its lowest level. <v Al Polk Jr.>We used to be a respected group of people. <v Al Polk Jr.>We loved the fact that we were driving. <v Al Polk Jr.>We know the business. Those of us who are professionals. <v Al Polk Jr.>The professional drivers don't own a cab license. <v Al Polk Jr.>Very few professionals own a cab license. <v Al Polk Jr.>Very few. <v John Callaway>Who owns them? <v Al Polk Jr.>The people who are ownin' the monopoly and has owned the monopoly <v Al Polk Jr.>ever since, I can remember. <v John Callaway>How do you feel about cab service in this town? <v Passenger 1>I feel that there should be a little more uh <v Passenger 1>better dressed drivers, okay? Uh, better speaking <v Passenger 1>so they know where we're going instead of me telling them how to get there. <v Passenger 1>I don't know if they're trying to cheat me or what. <v John Callaway>What do you think could be done to improve cab service? <v Passenger 2>Well I know I watched program in England where they have uh tests that all their cab <v Passenger 2>drivers have to pass, where they really have to learn the city and they go through a <v Passenger 2>series of tests before they're allowed to drive and I think that especially for if you're
<v Passenger 2>going to try to increase tourism here, you really should have a good cab system so when <v Passenger 2>people get in who don't know where they're going, the cab driver can help them out and <v Passenger 2>take them where they need to go. <v Weekend Driver>But the public will be treated fairly if the lessees are carefully <v Weekend Driver>screened by the cab companies. <v John Callaway>Joining us now to debate the taxi cab controversy is Jeffrey Feldman, president of the <v John Callaway>Yellow Cab Company of Chicago, and staying with us for this segment, we're giving him a <v John Callaway>good workout tonigh, Alderman Clifford Kelley of the 20th Ward. <v John Callaway>Washington's been deregulated. You go into Washington, a lot of cab drivers, the cabs are <v John Callaway>in terrible shape. You go out on the West Coast where you've had some deregulation. <v John Callaway>There are higher fares than ever out there. <v John Callaway>Let's agree that we need better cab service, Aldermen, but his deregulation, the way <v John Callaway>to go? <v Clifford Kelley>Yes, deregulation to some degree, John, the city should still control <v Clifford Kelley>the fare structure and certainly should increase the power to <v Clifford Kelley>to actually investigate the cabs, to examine them, to see whether they are, in fact, safe <v Clifford Kelley>to the public. <v John Callaway>Why should we deregulate, put thousands more cabs on the streets when it could
<v John Callaway>be argued that the city has not demonstrated any great ability to have standards, to <v John Callaway>see that the drivers take the right kind of tests, that the cabs are safe and all that <v John Callaway>sort of thing? Why trust the city with that when they haven't done it, when they had a <v John Callaway>monopoly to work with? <v Clifford Kelley>Well, that was suggested by Mayor former Mayor Byrne when she came <v Clifford Kelley>into office that there had been a very close relationship between the city council and <v Clifford Kelley>the cab industry for years. <v Clifford Kelley>And in fact, they're were not doing things that should have been done. <v Clifford Kelley>The point is, there is no justification to have de-regulate to to regulate the cabs <v Clifford Kelley>where you have a specific maximum number. <v Clifford Kelley>There are 4600 of them. 80 percent of those automatically go to Yellow and Checker, <v Clifford Kelley>which creates a monopoly which has put us in the lawsuit that we're in now. <v John Callaway>Tell us in just a sentence on the lawsuit, you've got you've got a lawsuit with which <v John Callaway>threatens the city with a settlement of what, a 100 million dollars or so? <v Clifford Kelley>Yes, more than that. <v John Callaway>And so you're trying this ordinance that you're proposing? <v Clifford Kelley>Right, and the ordinance if a <v John Callaway>Is a way to get out of it that? <v Clifford Kelley>That's correct. It's a way to get out. In a settlement there would be 400 new licenses <v Clifford Kelley>immediately, 500 on additional on January 1st and in then unlimited amount in
<v Clifford Kelley>January of 86. The point is that we have seen that yellow and checker, although <v Clifford Kelley>they have medallions for many cabs, do not have the cabs for those medallions. <v Clifford Kelley>In certain neighborhoods, you can't even get a cab. <v John Callaway>All right now, Jeffrey Feldman, you've heard an awful lot both on videotape and from the <v John Callaway>alderman. What do you say to the person who says, look, you don't want deregulation, <v John Callaway>fine, but why don't we have better cab service? <v Jeffrey Feldman>John, I think first we have to hit on-on a very important issue here and that's the <v Jeffrey Feldman>issue which the Alderman has alluded to in the lawsuit. <v Jeffrey Feldman>Now, I don't know who in city hall is trying to pull the wool over whose eyes, but <v Jeffrey Feldman>let's talk about the lawsuit. <v Jeffrey Feldman>First of all, the alleged the the settlement of this lawsuit uh the <v Jeffrey Feldman>Federal Trade Commission in its budgetary request <v Jeffrey Feldman>has had a rider attached to its appropriations bill that has passed both House and <v Jeffrey Feldman>Senate. That is going to go to the president for signature on that rider is going to <v Jeffrey Feldman>exempt and unitize cities from actions such as <v Jeffrey Feldman>the one that has been filed against the city of Chicago
<v John Callaway>All right. So you're saying that that's all right. <v John Callaway>What about cab service? Talk to the viewers in this metropolitan area about Chicago cab <v John Callaway>service. <v Jeffrey Feldman>Cab service, cab service in this city, if people have been to other cities throughout <v Jeffrey Feldman>the country today, they have something to be proud about. <v Jeffrey Feldman>Sure, we have roo-where there's always room for improvement. <v Jeffrey Feldman>Uh we're, we're not we're not perfect. <v Jeffrey Feldman>There are ways to improve the service. <v Jeffrey Feldman>But you just don't throw away the baby with the bathwater now. <v John Callaway>Well, I mean, what are you going to do to improve service so that you don't have these <v John Callaway>Aldermen coming after you? <v Jeffrey Feldman>Well, I think it's going to take some some study. <v Jeffrey Feldman>It's gonna take some thought. It's going to take some some talking to experts. <v Jeffrey Feldman>But it's not going to take the panacea is not going to come about by opening <v Jeffrey Feldman>up all these licenses in the city of Chicago. <v John Callaway>Why aren't you more rigorous in the test and the standards for drivers in this- and the <v John Callaway>and the standards for safety in the the cabs? <v Jeffrey Feldman>We have to be able to to pull from the supply of drivers that are available <v Jeffrey Feldman>in the city today. Now, these these drivers have got to go down to city, to the licensing <v Jeffrey Feldman>department. They are they are screened.
<v Jeffrey Feldman>They have their their fingerprints taken. They take a test. <v Jeffrey Feldman>We've been through this in the 70s. <v Jeffrey Feldman>Um, sure you're getting a lot of foreign born drivers nowadays, but that's what our <v Jeffrey Feldman>industry has turned to now. It's no longer the, you know, the cab driving. <v John Callaway>Why do you tu-why do you turn to people who cannot follow instructions and get you to the <v John Callaway>Wrigley Building? <v Jeffrey Feldman>Well we <v John Callaway>Why do you permit that at all? <v Jeffrey Feldman>We have to look at a person who comes into our office with a city chauffeur's licenses <v Jeffrey Feldman>granted to him by the city. The city <v John Callaway>Why does the city permitted then Alderman? <v Clifford Kelley>That's what I was suggesting, suggesting earlier, John, that there has seemingly been a <v Clifford Kelley>very close relationship in past administrations between the cab companies and and <v Clifford Kelley>the city council. <v John Callaway>But why is in the interest of any administration. Why? <v John Callaway>Why don't aldermen want good cabs? <v Clifford Kelley>Many of them do. Oliver Stone and I join on ordinances that would regulate the cab <v Clifford Kelley>company and do other things for a number of years, and other alderman certainly join <v Clifford Kelley>that. The big question is why should we have a maximum number of licenses? <v Clifford Kelley>That doesn't make sense to me. It's totally inconsistent with the doctrine of free <v Clifford Kelley>enterprise and supply and demand.
<v Clifford Kelley>You would not have. <v John Callaway>The reason is because if you can't regulate 4600 cabs, who says you can really regulate <v John Callaway>6800?There's no track record, alderman. <v Clifford Kelley>The point is, if. <v John Callaway>I say you get a hundred cabs out there and regulate those. <v Clifford Kelley>Before regulation and in the other cities there are many cities that has no regulation. <v Clifford Kelley>When I say regulation, John, I'm not talking about a maximum number. <v Clifford Kelley>I'm still saying that you should regulate fares. <v John Callaway>You're talking licensing fares, standards but you don't do that in this city. <v Clifford Kelley> Well, that's another problem. That's another problem. <v John Callaway>But I'm saying first things first. <v Clifford Kelley>There's ot 4600 cabs on the street anyway. <v John Callaway>Mr. Feldman, what are the major arguments against deregulation? <v Jeffrey Feldman>Well, first of all, if I can it, it answers the same question. <v Jeffrey Feldman>We're fortunate Aldermen's, that Alderman Kelley in 1980 proposed an ordinance <v Jeffrey Feldman>of the same nature. And we're fortunate that at that time that the ordinance did not <v Jeffrey Feldman>reach fruition, because during that period of time, a number of cities have gone this <v Jeffrey Feldman>route. We have San Diego, we have Seattle, we have Pheonix, we have Indianapolis, <v Jeffrey Feldman>Atlanta. <v John Callaway>What happened to these cities? <v Jeffrey Feldman>That during the late 70s and as early as 1980 de-regulated. <v Jeffrey Feldman>They went this routine and they are total disasters.
<v Jeffrey Feldman>Their tourism and convention businesses are gone. <v Jeffrey Feldman>We have, I have quotes. <v Clifford Kelley>Because of the cab companies? <v Jeffrey Feldman>No because of the deregulation and the open entry, because they were not able <v Jeffrey Feldman>to handle the number of cabs that flocked on the city streets. <v Clifford Kelley>Let me tell you. <v John Callaway>Wait, wait just one <v Clifford Kelley>Would there be more cab there than than the business would support? <v Clifford Kelley>Obviously not. <v Jeffrey Feldman>Absolutely. Because the prices. <v Clifford Kelley>A guy can't make a living. He can't make a living you can't if, he doesn't have <v Clifford Kelley>passengers. <v Jeffrey Feldman>One of your state-one of your statements. <v Clifford Kelley>In many, in many areas throughout the city, Mr. Feldman, who can't get a cab,. <v Jeffrey Feldman>Alderman I will put <v Clifford Kelley>Many of those cab drivers. <v Jeffrey Feldman>Alderman. <v Clifford Kelley>The come in certain areas and I do know people if they could get a medallion without <v Clifford Kelley>paying an exalted price of $15000 for it that your company has put on that <v John Callaway>Genetlemen, let me cut in. Let's hear from the cab drivers themselves. <v John Callaway>Let's go to the tape that shows some of our cab drivers we talked with yesterday, <v John Callaway>I think. I think we got that tape. <v John Callaway>How would you feel if they opened it up so that there could be a lot more independent cab <v John Callaway>drivers and Yellow and Checker didn't have all of the drivers they have?
<v Driver>Well, that will be fine with me because first of all, the majority of cab drivers don't <v Driver>know what they're doing in the first place. <v Driver>And if the license was open, I wouldn't have to pay a 150 dollars a week for this <v Driver>medallion, and uh I can make a lot more money <v Driver>with a lot less work. <v Driver 2>Well, I think you should be open up. It should you open up. <v John Callaway>Why? <v Driver 2>Because you're working too hard for, you know, very little money. <v Driver 2>Because a cab company charges too much for the lease. <v Driver 3>You know, in Chicago, the already have 5000 cabs and are a lot of driver who drives <v Driver 3>day and night, 24 hours, some drives to early morning and some at night. <v Driver 3>So it's it's not good. <v Driver 3>I don't think so, because uh we already have 5000 numbers. <v Driver 4>I-I don't think it's gonna work out. <v Driver 4>There's too many cabs on the street right now. <v Driver 4>You see, you can't even get in the line anymore. <v John Callaway>Let's go to our phone call. Good evening. You're on the air. <v Caller 3>Uh yes, why is it, I'm a cab driver. <v Caller 3>Why is it that the regulations that do exist uh seem to benfeit exclusively
<v Caller 3>with the monoploist like Mr. Feldman instead of benefiting the public by having this <v Caller 3>industry make more jobs for us benefit and benefit the drivers <v Caller 3>and the public by having more service, better service, and more jobs, so <v Caller 3>that a cab driver wouldn't have to work 20 hours to make a living? <v John Callaway>Mr. Feldman? <v Jeffrey Feldman>Well, first of all, I apologize for nothing. <v Jeffrey Feldman>Yellow Cab Company has been in business since 1916. <v Jeffrey Feldman>We didn't start with 2160 cabs. <v Jeffrey Feldman>We didn't go into a smoke filled room in 1916 with the Alderman and the mayor <v Jeffrey Feldman>and say, okay, now we're going to have this cozy arrangement. <v Jeffrey Feldman>We worked at it. We built upon it. <v Jeffrey Feldman>We reinvested every dime that our company made back into the city of Chicago. <v Jeffrey Feldman>We are a viable and important industry in this city. <v Jeffrey Feldman>What we're saying is that 1960 when the limit was put at 4600 cabs, <v Jeffrey Feldman>we had something like 3.8 million people in this city. <v Jeffrey Feldman>We have now are dropped down to 2.8-2.9 Million and we still have forty six <v Jeffrey Feldman>hundred cars. <v John Callaway>What do you say to that, Alderman Kelley. <v Clifford Kelley>We still have peole that can't get a cab. <v Jeffrey Feldman>Oh, Alderman I. <v John Callaway>It won't necessarily be solved by more cabs.
<v Clifford Kelley>Listen, yes. <v John Callaway>How do you know they won't all go to the airport like they did in these cities who <v John Callaway>deregulated. <v Clifford Kelley>There are people I know when we talked to the union and and all the other people who <v Clifford Kelley>wanted to drive cabs who said they wanted to service certain communities. <v Clifford Kelley>Mr. Feldman talks about 1916 and I understand that the company was great back then <v Clifford Kelley>and there was no deregulation. I mean, there was no regulation back then. <v John Callaway>But don't your studies show that drivers go to the airport instead of serving <v John Callaway>neighborhoods. <v Jeffrey Feldman>Drivers will go where business is. <v Jeffrey Feldman>Now, Alderman, Alderman Kelly, The Sun-Times or the Tribune in July 1st conducted a <v Jeffrey Feldman>survey. They said they couldn't find a cab at five locations in the city and they gave <v Jeffrey Feldman>'em, their intersections south southwest, south side. <v Jeffrey Feldman>We did a study. We sent a Checker and a Yellow cab and had them sit at those locations <v Jeffrey Feldman>for nine hours, stayed at those locations for nine hours. <v Jeffrey Feldman>And the results were absolutely astronomical. <v Jeffrey Feldman>Three of the cab stands didn't materialize any more than one trip, one <v Jeffrey Feldman>cab stand didn't materialize. <v John Callaway>But one last basic question, what do you say to those of us who literally fear for our <v John Callaway>lives getting in a cab because of the safety conditions or not knowing the <v John Callaway>qualifications? What are you going to do?
Chicago Tonight With John Callaway
Episode Number
No. 1053
Firing of Ruth Love / Taxicab Deregulation
Producing Organization
WTTW (Television station : Chicago, Ill.)
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Episode Description
This episode features panel discussions on the firing of Chicago Superintendent Dr. Ruth Love, and the debate of deregulating Chicago cabs. Panelists include: Alderman Clifford Kelley, Linda Wertsch, Patrick O'Connor, and Jeffrey Feldman. Hosted by John Calloway.
Series Description
"CHICAGO TONIGHT WITH JOHN CALLAWAY ushers in a new era of local public affairs programming in television. It's public service in the truest sense of the word, because, via telecommunications hook-ups at various Chicago locations, national conventions, and its own studios, constituents are able to ask questions of their elected representatives and community leaders four nights a week. "Because WTTW was the only PBS station to send a reporter to both political conventions this past year, CHICAGO TONIGHT brought its viewers Mayor Harold Washington's live response to Jesse Jackson's speech at the Democratic Convention, and also what the Mayor's rival Eddie Vrdolyak had to say about the Mayor, Jackson, and what it means to be a Democrat. "Controversy and information serving the public interest is an every night occurrence on CHICAGO TONIGHT. These programs also represent the series: Alderman Clifford Kelley's insights into the firing of Chicago School [Superintendent] Ruth Love and Chicago taxicab deregulation; and a discussion of gang violence between City Hall representative Michael Holewinski and Guardian Angel Curtis Sliwa, who pull no punches in blaming politics as the reason his Guardian Angels cannot gain a toehold in protecting Chicago's subways. "This is what the Chicago Tribune has to say about CHICAGO TONIGHT's host, John Callaway: 'Callaway is a top-notch interviewer. He does his homework. He cares. He knows where the meat is, and he knows how to ask the questions that will get him--and us--there.' Public affairs in the public interest, live, four nights a week on WTTW."--1984 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Producing Organization: WTTW (Television station : Chicago, Ill.)
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
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Chicago: “Chicago Tonight With John Callaway; No. 1053; Firing of Ruth Love / Taxicab Deregulation,” 1984, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “Chicago Tonight With John Callaway; No. 1053; Firing of Ruth Love / Taxicab Deregulation.” 1984. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: Chicago Tonight With John Callaway; No. 1053; Firing of Ruth Love / Taxicab Deregulation. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from