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Monday, April 23, 2007

Election sends message: Black officials have to deliver

The Sun-Times' Laura Washington talks about the municipal election both the February 27th and the run-offs from last week. And to be sure she even takes a dig at current Cook County board president Todd Stroger...

That brings us to the New Black Vote. Is it my imagination, or have black voters been poorly served by their elected officials? Remember, it was black voters who put the Toddster in charge of Cook County government. We voted him in, and now he's laying off nearly 500 doctors and nurses who care for the county's poor. We voted him in, and he's hiring more relatives and public relations flacks while shutting down the county's long-term care at Oak Forest Hospital.

This is the beginning of the end of the age-old argument in black politics that "you don't want to put a brother out of a j-o-b." Our elected officials have to deliver.
Well we'll see I mean we're stuck with him until 2010. Still how about those aldermanic elections. Like I said earlier if you're looking to become an alderman you should be taking notes on how to run a campaign and then maybe you should be taking note on what your alderman is doing and then figure out what not to do. Some of the aldermen who lost probably should have been doing that all along.

There's is plenty of analysis here and strangely Washington never really discussed the new black vote. Who are they? Do they have money, better education, own a home, a professional job, or are the truly fed up with their lives in their wards?

Anyway let's tackle one important issues. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has been rumored to be interested in running for mayor. He could have done it this time around and decided not to go for it. Perhaps he figured it wasn't his time yet, but maybe he got the process started by getting involved in the recent city council contest...

In the February vote, Sandi Jackson swept the 7th Ward floor with Darcel Beavers. The architect of that win, her husband, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., was feeling his oats. Chicago's biggest black boss, former 7th Ward Ald. Bill Beavers, is toast. Jackson knew that victory could ignite his own political blitzkrieg. He dispatched his arsenal of polling, billboards and troops into neighboring wards where political incumbents talk up a pro-black economic and social agenda but, whenever push comes to shove, side with the Machine.

Junior removed a key obstacle to his mayoral aspirations. He also endorsed a white insurgent over a longtime black alderman, a move bound to boost his bona fides with white voters who bitterly complain that black leaders are narrowly sectarian. The Black Nationalist crowd already despises Jackson; they'll never forgive him for backing a dyed-blond aldermanic wannabe over a "sistuh" in the 2nd Ward.
You know maybe this new black vote could care less about what your skin color is and more about are they doing the job. The 2nd ward is changing maybe there weren't enough black votes there that could keep Haitchcock in power. I heard that the ward is about 40% white and maybe a good number of them were fed up with her. And that means a ward represented by a black alderman since 1915 is now to be led by a white alderman.

Here's more...

People in Madeline Haithcock's ward couldn't get her to respond to the simplest of complaints. People in Dorothy Tillman's ward knew they paid for the edifice she built in honor of Harold Washington, but it is run by Tillman's daughter. They live near 47th Street and the L, where they're afraid to walk in the dark.

The people tired of listening to Shirley Coleman whine that her opponent was an ungrateful ex-alcoholic instead of doing her job.
The first two were basic complaints that I've only read about both. This last sentence about Ald. Coleman is interesting. I read somewhere that she was pegged as a not very effective legislator.

The neighborhood she represents, Englewood, is slowly changing but it's been struggling for years perhaps her stewardship of that ward left a lot to be desired. What probably helped out a lot of these Aldermen is the support of the Mayor and that didn't help the ones who got defeated this time around. So in Englewood not only will there be something of a physical change but a change of leadership as well.

Oh yeah I want to go back to Bill Beavers for a second. His machine certainly took a hit during the February municipal election. He may take another hit still for helping to orchestrate Todd Stroger into his dad's, John Stroger, county president seat. I think what happened during that period of time last summer up thru November last year might have hurt him.

I would wonder if Beaver hadn't of decided not to leave the Chicago city council for a seat on the county board and stood for election himself, would we be talking about Sandi Jackson as Alderman-elect of the 7th ward of Chicago? Also could this election become a barometer for the 2011 elections? Might this be the start of a new era in Chicago?

All I can say is these next four years are going to be interesting.

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