"You have to have passion. You really do. And you have to love the city and love its people. And sometimes people won't love you, but that's all part of life," Daley said at a morning Chicago Public Schools event. "I want not love, I want respect. No love, but only respect. That's what you want. You want respect."
By Thursday evening, Daley was getting a bit of both amid a torrent of complaints both great and small at the first public hearing as his administration crafts next year's city budget, his last as mayor.
More than 300 people packed a ballroom at the South Shore Cultural Center and applauded Daley before offering him input as he tries to close a record $655 million shortfall.
Lincoln Park resident Allan Mellis called on Daley to reconsider his decision not to seek re-election next year. "Mr. Mayor, I want to thank you for your vision for the city of Chicago and all that you have done to see that vision has become a reality," he said.
Mellis then asked the mayor to bring back the July 3 Grant Park fireworks and restore longer hours at public library branches, both casualties of budget cuts.
Police issues also were on people's minds after high-profile summer violence.
Park Manor resident Ted Seals reacted angrily to Daley's call for somebody to step forward to help solve the slaying of police Officer Michael Bailey. "How dare you?" Seals said, his voice rising as he stood at the microphone in front of the mayor. "For 11 years, we've begged you to do something about the rising violence in Park Manor."
When one man drew raucous applause after calling for police Supt. Jody Weis' immediate resignation, the mayor asked the crowd to calm down. "Come on now, be serious," said Daley, with Weis sitting immediately to his right.
Others came with more prosaic concerns, such as Christina Patterson of the Chatham neighborhood. She drew applause when she said the neighborhood wants people ticketed for not picking up after their dogs. She also called on the city to install catch basins and new curbs and sidewalks to prevent flooding.
The other two public hearings will be held -- Friday at Westinghouse College Preparatory High School, 3223 W. Franklin Blvd., and Sept. 16 at North-Grand High School, 4338 W. Wabansia Ave.
Daley will present a spending plan to the City Council in October. Aldermen must then approve a budget by December. All of it will play out against a political backdrop of Daley not seeking re-election in February and the alderman's job up in each of Chicago's 50 wards.
Earlier on Thursday, Daley again said he would not endorse anyone in the contest to succeed him. Before a crowd that included many Latinos, the mayor touched on the subject of ethnic and racial political rivalries, saying it was OK that people tend to back others like themselves.
"People are naturally proud, and there's nothing wrong with people saying I like to identify with that individual who they believe is well-qualified and can speak on behalf of not only the Latino community, but on behalf of the entire city," Daley said. "In the end result, what everybody wants is an individual that will be as passionate as anyone else, as committed and hardworking."