TRIBUTE TO WILMINGTON'S REVOLUTIONARY MAYOR
Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, I rise today to pay tribute to a mayor of Wilmington, DE, who created a revolutionary government and was beloved by all.
Mayor John E. Babiarz Sr. was a legend in his native city of Wilmington. He was first elected to office in 1948, then served as president of city council before being elected to Mayor in 1960. His reign was made all the more remarkable because he was the city's leader throughout the turbulent 1960s. He was a voice of calm and reason when Delaware's Governor ordered the National Guard to patrol the streets of Wilmington in 1968 after Martin Luther King Jr.'s death.
Despite the troubled times in which he served as mayor, he will be forever remembered and credited with creating a revolution toward a modern form of government for Delaware's largest city and corporate hub. He changed the old commission form of government into a modern, merit political system.
On a personal note, I owe my start in politics to the integrity, guidance, and friendship of Mayor Babiarz. He was a confidant and a friend.
Mayor Babiarz' best friend in life was his wife of 65 years, Adele. She and their two sons, John Jr. and Francis, were the joys of his life.
Wilmington has truly lost one of its greatest native sons.