I found this posting from Crain's Greg Hinz via Newsalert last night. Then I made sure I wrote a post about this at my neighborhood blog, The Sixth Ward. Every ward in Chicago during a presidential primary elects a party committeeman to represent Democrats, Republicans and even the Green Party since in Illinois they're considered a major party though not as major as the Ds & Rs. All the same Hinz makes a plea for Republicans to run for these positions.
BTW, a committeeman here can be referred to as a "ward boss" regardless of your party:
Doug Ibendahl, a former attorney for the state GOP, has been waging a bit of a one-man campaign to drum up interest in the job of Republican ward committeeman as part of an effort to spark some grassroots activity. The local party chiefs will be elected in the March primary, and snagging a spot is surprisingly easy.
Mr. Ibendahl notes that getting on the ballot requires the signatures of no more than 30 registered voters in most city wards. And actually getting elected can take almost as few.
In 2008, for instance, 3rd Ward GOP committeeman winner Bobbie Johnson had just 65 votes to his opponent's 57. Linda Rockett won 40-26 in the 9th Ward and Margaree Jackson just 47 in the 28th Ward.
Now, all of those admittedly are predominantly African-American wards, in which Republicans are as scarce as elephants. But hey, fame costs. So move, already.
Besides, it really doesn't take a ton of votes to win almost anywhere. Up on the lakefront 49th Ward, for instance, winner Robert Shearer garnered just 274 votes.
Then there was the wild 25th Ward contest, pitting Dennis DuBois against Hector Escarzaga Jr. and Billy Ying Fook Moy. Who says there's no diversity in the Republican Party. (Mr. DuBois won, with 162.)
So here's your chance, folks, to be a big shot, have your own personal soap box and get on Sarah Palin's Christmas card list. You might even help rebuild a second party in distinctly one-party Chicago.
Though I would expect that well no one should aspire to be on Mrs. Palin's Christmas card list. Now if she were to pay a visit to Chatham for example or even Englewood now hopefully that should give any aspiring Republican activist some pull! Either way you still have time to circulate petitions just pay a visit to the Chicago Board of Elections for more information!It's OK to get the attention of prominent Republicans or Democrats but from either side Black neighborhoods should get attention. Not saying either should provide a one-size-fits-all solution to all problems because there's no such thing, however, Democrats seem to be the only one doing the talking on depressed urban areas. So yeah if you're running for ward committeeman in our city I hope that you can bring in some pull and not just be seen just to be seen.
BTW, since Republicans are very much minorities in Chicago it doesn't take too many petition signatures to run for this volunteer position. Sometimes even less votes, especially if you're unopposed!