Legendary Austin activist Ed Bailey dies
Ed Bailey, a tireless West Side activist who took pleasure in being a burr under the saddle of Chicago’s powerful, died Sunday, Nov. 20, 2005. He was believed to be 91.
After the old Organization for a Better Austin folded in 1974, due in part to pressure from the Chicago Police Department’s infamous Red Squad, Bailey founded the South Austin Coalition Community Council (SACCC), which he remained president of until his death.
“In a field where the average run is 5-10 years, Ed’s 28-year run was incredible,” said SACCC Executive Director Bob Vondrasek. Though Bailey was, Vondrasek said, “just a terrific organizational man,” he was seldom in the limelight, preferring to let others deal with the media and get attention.
Vondrasek recalled with a chuckle Tuesday the time Bailey leapt over the railing at City Hall and went after 10th Ward Alderman “Fast Eddie” Vrdolyak, a staunch foe of the sort of progressive politics Bailey championed.
“He was still walking around passing out flyers as recently as three months ago,” said Vondrasek. “If there was a better organizer on the West Side, I don’t know who it is.”
Bailey’s body will be on view at Mandell United Methodist Church, 5000 W. Congress Pkwy., on Sunday from 3 to 9 p.m. Formal visitation will be Monday from 6 to 7 p.m. A Homegoing service will be immediately after until 9 p.m. On Tuesday at 11 a.m. a funeral caravan will leave from Mandell United and be driven to Oak Ridge Cemetery, Roosevelt and Mannheim Roads, in Hillside.
For further information, call SACCC at 773/287-4570.