Vi Daley is an alderman in the Chicago City Council representing Chicago's 43rd ward in Cook County, Illinois, United States. She was elected in 1999 to replace Alderman Charles Bernardini, for whom she was Chief of Staff. The 43rd ward includes much of the Lincoln Park and a small portions of the Near North Side Community areas. Daley is unrelated to Chicago Mayors Richard J. Daley, Richard M. Daley and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Bill Daley.
In the past Lincoln Park elected a more liberal breed of Democratic Aldermen than Daley. She has received support from a mix of interest groups, including the National Organization for Women (Chicago chapter), the Fraternal Order of Police and the Chicago Fire Fighters Union, the "lakefront liberals" organization the IVI-IPO, the Chicago Association of Realtors, and the LGBT newspaper the Windy City Times.
Among the more notable occurrences in her ward during her tenure is the 2003 Chicago balcony collapse. Although there were many outcries for balcony inspections, Daley preferred to avoid talk of such legislation because it would be impractical. She is known as an opponent of bank branch proliferation who has drafted legislation opposing banks opening within of each other.
Of the 50 aldermen, Daley is one of the most consistent supporters of Mayor Daley, voting along with him 90 percent of the time, which was fourth most often.
Daley's 2007 third term re-election campaign developed into a bitter mudslinging battle in which her opponent who dedicated a webpage to alleged Vi Daley lies. Part of the reason Daley was pushed into an April 17 2007 run off election to retain her seat was her opposition to the 2006 big-box retailer "living wage" ordinance, which passed over her objections. The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce had backed Daley's stance in opposition to labor unions and the bill. The bill made Chicago the largest United States city to require big-box retailers to pay a "living wage." The ordinance requires companies with more than $1 billion in annual sales and stores of at least to pay wages of at least $10 an hour plus $3 in fringe benefits by mid-2010. The minimum wage in Illinois at the time of the ordinance's passage was $6.50 an hour and the federal minimum was $5.15. Other U.S. cities with living wage laws include Santa Fe and Albuquerque in New Mexico; San Francisco, California; and Washington, D.C.
In summer of 2007, Daley became embroiled in a controversy in which she allowed the private K-12 Latin School of Chicago (in an oversight, she claims) to take over part of Lincoln Park to build a soccer field. She says she had been informed of a prior plan and that the Chicago Park District leased the school the space for ten years with an option to renew for ten more in exchange for building it.