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Sunday, April 23, 2006

I was waiting for Kogan to do another black alderman....

And indeed he has with this latest column. Ald. Issac Carothers was featured this Sunday. He represents the 29th ward on Chicago's west side. The ward borders the west suburb of Oak Park. He has an interesting history in the 29th ward where his grandfather was the first black Democratic committeman and his father was the Alderman. Carothers himself was elected Alderman in 1999.

This was how his first aldermanic campaign came down...
He ran for alderman in 1999. The race was a tough one. There were initially nine opponents, including the incumbent.

In the runoff that followed, Carothers called his opponent, Floyd Thomas, a puppet of U.S. Rep. Danny Davis. Thomas called Carothers "a thuggish carpetbagger" and "a Daley man." Carothers won that race, beat Davis for ward committeeman the next year and in the 2003 aldermanic race gathered 75 percent of the vote.
Then there's a little bit more about Carother's early life on the West Side...

"I grew up on the West Side, near where my grandfather owned a grocery store and a bar called the Oasis," the 50-year-old alderman says. "I worked at the store when I was young and later helped in politics with my grandfather and father, going door to door with them, meeting the people face to face."
Of course there was mention of courtroom drama within that family...

But it was not all fun. In 1983 his father was convicted of extortion and sentenced to three years in prison. Two years later, he was ordered to help pay $152,000 in damages for organizing, while in prison, a 1982 campaign of physical violence. (The current alderman, his brother and another man were indicted on charges of beating a rival campaign worker, but were later acquitted).
Either way before he became Alderman he worked in the Cook County Public Defender office. Then was a superindendant in the water department. Director of Internal Audit in the Chicago Park District and finally was a Deputy Commissioner in the Department of Streets and Sanitation in 1997.

This is how the 29th ward was described...

It has been down for a long time and though crime is still a major problem, the alderman eagerly talks about such ward bright spots as the new 15th District police station; a senior housing development; a 14-screen movie complex; a labor training center; and new restaurants. He gets up to show a drawing of a proposed, new $20-million Hartgrove Hospital.

"Things are changing much for the better," he (Ald. Carrothers)says.
Finally this is how Carothers describe his role as Alderman...

"I see us, the aldermen, as being 50 little mayors. We are the architects of our wards. This job is all about service. My philosophy is that people need to be shown how money is being spent, actually see their tax dollars at work. There are a small percentage of people who create all the problems here. The majority of the people who live in this community are good people who just want to work every day, just want to get by."

4 comments:

Rich Miller said...

The last time I emailed you it bounced back as not working. Could you email me please?

richmiller at capitolfax dot com

Bill Baar said...

email rich Levois...

I love this series Kogan is doing on Alderman. I wish the mag section had more of this...more pictures too.

Cynthia said...

Interesting article. But Ike is the 29th Ward Alderman.

cynthia said...

I still think Ike is a Thug and he is a puppet. I worked the part of the 29th Ward and had a hard time with Ike and his people. They had certain individuals they wanted to win the election and they strong-armed elderly people to get their goal accomplished. In addition, from an anonymous source, when it was apparent that they were losing the election in their ward, they have people vote at least three times in the election using different names. We need to find some way to remove him from this position. And, don't get me started on Danny Davis. The man is taking advantage of the Black community, he is not who he appears to be.

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