Cermak was forced to petition the federal government for money to support his declining city. Options exhausted, Cermak traveled to Florida, where President-elect Franklin Roosevelt was to make a brief appearance, and plead for a federal loan. The meeting was a microcosm of the evolving centralization of power as the federal government gained control in this disastrous time. Additionally, Cermak's request for funding signified the peak of despair in Chicago and was an acknowledgement that the needs of his city were beyond what even he could repair.
”…Cermak had ideas about possible federal assistance in the form of loans from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation” (Houck).