Deedee Corradini

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Deedee Corradini
21 Leaders 2012 Honoree Deedee Corradini.jpg
32nd Mayor of Salt Lake City
In office
1992 – January 3, 2000
Preceded by Palmer DePaulis
Succeeded by Rocky Anderson
Personal details
Born Margaret Louise McMullen
(1944-04-11)April 11, 1944
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
Died March 1, 2015(2015-03-01) (aged 70)
Park City, Utah, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Profession Businesswoman and politician

Margaret "Deedee" McMullen Corradini (April 11, 1944 – March 1, 2015) was an American businesswoman and politician. She served as the 32nd mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah from 1992 to 2000. She was the first and only woman to serve as mayor of Salt Lake City.[1]

Corradini, at the time of her death Senior Vice President for Prudential Utah Real Estate, was also the President of Women's Ski Jumping-USA. She was on the WSJ-USA board, and served as president for three years, taking a lead role in the battle to get women's ski jumping into the Olympic Winter Games.

Life and career[edit]

Corradini was born Margaret Louise McMullen[2] (although Deedee was a childhood nickname)[2] in Providence, Rhode Island, the daughter of Marie-Louise (Strehlau) and the Rev. Horace "Mac" Martin McMullen.[3] Corradini attended school in Lebanon and Syria for 11 years as a child. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Drew University in 1965, and a Masters degree in Psychology from the University of Utah. She served as Press Secretary to Congressman Wayne Owens of Utah and then Rep. Richard Ottinger of New York in the early 1970s.

Although Utah leans strongly toward the Republican party, Corradini was a Democrat. This is not unusual for Salt Lake City, which tends to vote Democratic far more than other regions of Utah.

Corradini's efforts gave Utah the initial shove that landed the state the 2002 Winter Olympics. Corradini was the first woman to receive the Olympic flag, in front of a television audience of hundreds of millions of viewers, when it was passed to Salt Lake City at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan at the closing ceremonies.

Under Corradini's watch, the city's population experienced a tremendous growth spurt, as the metropolitan area of Salt Lake City and the rest of the state began to grow by thousands of families a month.[citation needed]

But she also endured scrutiny for soliciting some $231,000 in cash gifts and loans to pay off $805,000 for her part in the failure of Bonneville Pacific, a publicly traded alternative energy corporation that went bankrupt on inflated financials in 1991. Though she never faced criminal charges, investigations dogged Corradini's administration, which never recovered from the Winter Olympics bribery scandal. In January 1999, she announced she would not seek reelection the following year amid calls for her resignation by the Salt Lake City Council.

The ACLU and the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City, among others (including her successor Rocky Anderson), were upset with a deal she negotiated on behalf of the city to sell a block of Main Street — then city property — adjacent to Temple Square to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).[4] However, the conversion of this block into a church plaza was one of the 14 major projects put forth by the city in its 1962 Second Century Plan.[5][6][7] The 1962 plan stated: "It is proposed that Main Street between the two church blocks either be closed to vehicular traffic or an underpass installed. This would strongly unify these two blocks as a visual anchor on the north end."[7] Some accused the Mayor of pushing the sale in exchange for the LDS Church's support of the Olympic Games,[citation needed] as the leadership of the church was initially divided over whether the city should host the games.[8]

During her tenure, Corradini pushed hard (and ultimately successfully) for the relocation of the Union Pacific railroad tracks that divided downtown, pushed through the TRAX light-rail system, and won massive federal funding for reconstruction of the freeway system in advance of the Olympic Games (one of the largest single public works transit projects in recent American history). She also was the guiding force for the construction of the popular baseball stadium for the (then) AAA Salt Lake Buzz, at the time, the farm team for the Minnesota Twins), the redevelopment of a 50 year old railyard into the 30 acre (121,000 m²), $375 million Gateway District mixed-use development, resulting in two million square feet (186,000 m²) of shops, restaurants, office space, and housing, as well as a 12 screen movie theatre a planetarium as well as plans for a children's museum.

Corradini served as the President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 1998. She was also President of the International Women's Forum, Chair of the Utah Symphony Board of Directors, of which she was a Lifetime Board Member.

Corradini died from lung cancer on March 1, 2015 at the age of 70.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b Rolly, Paul (2 March 2015). "Salt Lake City’s trailblazing mayor dies, but Corradini’s Olympic, transit and development legacy lives on". Salt Lake Tribune. Corradini was born in Providence, R.I., April 11, 1944, as Margaret Louise McMullen. As an adult, she legally changed her name to "Deedee," a childhood nickname. Corradini was the name she acquired when she married her first husband. 
  3. ^ http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1057359/Obituary-Marie-Louise-McMullen.html?pg=all
  4. ^ "Judge to rule on plaza suit". Deseret Morning News. 27 January 2004. See online version at http://www.deseretnews.com/article/590038900/Judge-to-rule-on-plaza-suit.html.
  5. ^ "Downtown Salt Lake City Second Century Plan Map". J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections. University of Utah. http://content.lib.utah.edu/cdm/ref/collection/coa/id/3115. Accessed 4 April 2007. Note the explanation at the bottom, left of center.
  6. ^ "A New Vision for Salt Lake City". Downtown Rising: Inspired by the Second Century Plan. Page 4. Produced by Downtown Rising. http://www.downtownrising.com. See online version at [2][dead link].
  7. ^ a b "Short Overview of Plaza Negotiations". LDS Church news release. http://lds.org/newsroom/extra/0,15505,3881-1---4-25,00.html. Retrieved 13 January 2007. See: Archived June 23, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Shipps, Jan. "The Mormons Score a 9.6". Religion in the News. Trinity College, Hartford CT. Spring 2002, Vol. 5, No. 1.
  9. ^ Marjorie Cortez (1 March 2015). "Deedee Corradini, Salt Lake's first and only female mayor, has passed away". DeseretNews.com. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Palmer DePaulis
Mayor of Salt Lake City
1992 – January 3, 2000
Succeeded by
Rocky Anderson