Well the next mayoral election is coming up and I at least know that Daley has two known challengers Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown and Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Now I should have mentioned Rep. Jackson's rather socialist tendencies on this blog before as he was a supporter of this ordinance, but it is in full view here in this discussion over the big box ordinance. This Sun-Times editorial touches upon this.
Here in this editorial we see a discussion of the history of organized labor and their relationship with blacks...
Ever since 1925 -- when A. Philip Randolph had to wage a 12-year fight to have the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and Maids recognized as the bargaining unit for employees of the Pullman Company -- blacks have had a tenuous relationship with organized labor. It wasn't until 1935 that the union received a charter from the American Federation of Labor, making it the first labor organization led by African Americans to be granted that status.I could say that I was a supporter of Jesse Jackson Jr. for mayor. As much as I want to see the dawn of a new day in Chicago (that is without a political machine and without one man having a solid grip on a deliberative body), Daley I think took the right stand on this issue.
Since then, the relationship between labor and blacks has been strained. African Americans in the city, for example, have long complained about being locked out of apprenticeship opportunities, a situation that continues to deprive them of high-paying jobs today.
Tensions also existed between blacks and the unions representing the city's fire and police departments to the degree that black employees felt compelled to form their own unions -- even though these unofficial groups have no bargaining status.
Given this sad history, it's little wonder that the battle over the big-box ordinance -- which gambled with the economic development in neighborhoods so blighted some are referred to as "food deserts" -- was seen as a matter of race.
More telling was a union move that went beyond threats when organized labor recently trained more than 250 aldermanic hopefuls -- seemingly to make good on its vow to target aldermen who opposed the ordinance, many of them black.
Did Daley play the race card?
We don't think so. The mayor played with the cards that were in the deck.