compiled by Maze Jackson
The “What’s In It For The Black People?” Political Action Committee is the premiere organization focused on the advancement of Black self-interests particularly in the areas of business, politics, grassroots, education, and spirituality. Our goal is to serve as honest brokers for the Black community ensuring that Blacks get our fair share of all the opportunities that impact the Black Community.
It is with that understanding that we encourage you to review the “What’s in it for the Black People?” Voter’s Guide. This does not tell you who to vote for, but rather who we think you should consider if you are voting based on Black self-interests. Often times we vote on emotions, who had the best commercial, or who we “like.” The goal of the “What’s in it for the Black People?” Voter’s Guide is to provide a list of candidates that have been vetted based on their ability to ACTUALLY get something done.
With that in mind, we hope you will review our list and consider the candidates we have recommended.
As the “What’s in it for the Black People?” Voter’s Guide, we almost feel an obligation to support the candidacy of Tio Hardiman/Patricia Avery (6)– As the only Black candidate in the Governor’s Race, Tio Hardiman was the odds on favorite to be the #WIIFTBP nominee for Governor, although he was one of the last candidates to submit answers to our questionnaire. When asked why he took so long to submit, Tio stated he didn’t think he had to, which is essentially how Black Illinoisans got into our current position, LAST! Unfortunately, we’ve been taken for granted by our Black elected officials, even more so than White politicians. It is our expectation that Black candidates run TOWARDS the question, “What’s in it for the Black People?” not FROM it!
While Tio is woefully underfunded and will face an uphill battle in a general election against a multi-millionaire, who are WE as #WIIFTBP PAC to say he cannot aspire to the highest office in the land. When he points to the fact that he garnered almost 30% of the vote in the 2014 Democratic primary against Pat Quinn, combined with the fact that the Black Community is growing increasingly frustrated with a Democratic Party that has consistently taken us for granted, we have to take him seriously in a 6-way primary.
JB Pritzker/Julianna Stratton (1) – While we are still uncomfortable with JB Pritzker’s comments on an FBI recorded phone call, and Juliana Stratton’s six month tenure as a State Representative and weapon of the Ken Dunkin destruction, we believe JB is the best candidate for BLACK TRANSACTIONAL POLITICS. In previous years, JB Pritzker would have been a welcome addition to the race. Well funded, compliant, and willing to put “money in the streets.” But after LaQuan McDonald, Rekiya Boyd, Quintonio LeGuire, and a host of other disrespects, the paradigm has changed. Black People are just not feeling the same old song and dance. However, in comparison to the rest of the candidates, JB clearly has the most to offer. He has done everything he’s been told by his Black advisors. He’s hiring Blacks on his staff at all levels to opening multiple campaign offices in various Black communities around the state. JB Pritzker has even put together comprehensive policies to address Black issues and expressed his willingness to commit to a “Black List” of staff hires and appointments to state boards and commissions.
Whenever we have posed the “What’s in it for the Black People?” to JB Pritzker, he has not only attempted to answer, but provided an in-depth plan to address Black issues with more than just a sound byte. When it comes to staff, JB has the largest and Blackest staff of all the campaigns, with many Blacks in senior staff level positions. As far as we can tell JB’s biggest flaws are his Black operatives, who have left a lot of Illinois Black influencers outside looking in. If JB makes it through the primary, he will need to fix that if he hopes to inspire a disaffected Black electorate.
While the Chris Kennedy/Ra Joy ticket bills itself as the outsider ticket, Kennedy was the ultimate insider, until he wasn’t, and it was only then he became a champion of Black issues. As a member of Green Team royalty, Kennedy was not concerned with equity for Blacks when he was building his Wolfe Point Tower or when he presided over the steep decline in Black students at the University of Illinois. His unwillingness to ensure developers have a workforce reflective of the state’s population and his firm stance against reparations disqualified him.
Daniel Biss and Litesa Wallace are easily the most likeable candidates in the race, but have not spent much time trying to lock down the Black vote. They also have a very strong message when they come to the Black neighborhood. The problem is, they rarely come to the Black neighborhood. Litesa Wallace, who is a star on the rise, seems to be marginalized in a campaign that initially selected someone else as its Lieutenant Governor nominee. Illinois is the worst state in the country for Black People, and we need a Governor that will make us a priority.
The Daiber/Todd ticket features the only down-stater in the race Bob Daiber. Jonathan Todd is well-known and respected on the local political scene, but the two have not mounted much of a statewide campaign. Their campaign was largely symbolic.
Dr. Robert Marshall is also running.
#WIIFTBP endorses Tio Hardiman (6) for those that choose to cast a protest vote against the Democratic Party establishment. JB Pritzker (1) is recommended for everyone else.
ATTORNEY GENERAL’S RACE
No less than eight candidates have entered the race to replace Lisa Madigan as Attorney General. Former Governor Pat Quinn and State Senator Kwame Raoul are deeply flawed front-runners, but with so many people in the race and a high number of undecided, it’s still anyone’s race. Maryland native Sharon Fairley is the media darling and Nancy Rotering has the inside track on suburban White women. State Representative Scott Drury is the only person who can say he voted against Mike Madigan, while TV commentator Renato Mariotti, hasn’t gotten much traction. Throughout it all, former Public Defender and Attorney Aaron Goldstein continues to impress. His thoughtful approach to the office, his history of beating The Machine (he took out the all powerful Dick Mell), and his sensitivity to Black issues can’t be ignored. His wife is Black and he has two kids that while mixed, will eventually be Black too. All that aside, in a crowded race Goldstein has consistently resonated with Black audiences whenever they’ve actually had the chance to hear him. While he is a long shot to win, it is for that reason, Aaron Goldstein (15) is endorsed.
SECRETARY OF STATE
Jesse White (16) Is this Jesse’s last stand or will he be back again in 4 more years? Fact of the matter is Jesse White is and will remain the most popular elected official in Illinois. Perhaps this is why the radio sounds like one long Jesse White commercial. Let’s hope Jesse saves some of his credibility for himself. He deserves it. Jesse White is endorsed.
NO ENDORSEMENT- SHE IS NOT OUR FRIEND!
Michael Frerichs (18) is a good guy with lots of upside (literally) and we expect to see him running for something else in the future. He consistently hires Blacks to senior level positions and has made a consistent effort to make Black issues a priority when he can. Frerichs is endorsed.
Like it or not Congressman Danny K. Davis (22) has been in the fight for the Black community since before many of us were born and he deserves the respect of an elder, but the time for new leadership is NOW. It’s doubtful that Anthony V. Clark (23) will beat him, but we look forward to the Congressman being able to enjoy the fruits of his labor in the very near future, at which time we believe there will be a robust contest for his seat. Ideally, he will give it up before the remap, allowing himself to be a mentor for his replacement, available to help him or her navigate the halls of Congress.
The same can be said about Congressman Bobby Rush (21) who doesn’t have a challenger this time around.
Congresswoman Robin Kelly (22), the New York transplant went home to get money from Michael Bloomberg to get elected on an anti-gun platform, but has gone on to distinguish herself in the US Congress and among her Congressional Black Caucus colleagues. She’s taken a leadership role and has some of the best Black staffers in the country. She represents Illinois well, and we hear whispers from the Illinois delegation that she could be a potential Senate candidate when Durbin retires.
All three candidates are endorsed, along with Chuy Garcia (24) to replace Luis Gutierrez in the 4TH Congressional District.
*STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEMAN/WOMAN
This election is VERY IMPORTANT because these are the people who elect Mike Madigan as the Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois. They run the state of Illinois Party. This is the closest opportunity voters outside of the 22nd District have to directly impact his role as Speaker…if that was something you were concerned about. WE WILL ONLY LIST CONTESTED RACES. PLEASE DO NOT SKIP THESE RACES IF YOU SEE THESE NAMES ON THE BALLOT!
*2ND STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEEWOMAN
This race pits one of the brightest stars in Congress against the one of the last of the old school political bosses left in the Black Community. And while we enthusiastically support of Robin Kelly for Congress, we must support Carrie Austin (32) for re-election as state , just as enthusiastically. You see this is a PARTY BOSS position, and Carrie Austin is just that, A PARTY BOSS. What that means in this instance, is when White Party Bosses start getting out of their body, she has no problem reminding them. Just ask any Black judge, state representative, or young woman who she’s mentored, helped start a business or get a promotion. And when a certain Queen Sugar teamed up with the Green Team to oust Tim Evans, guess who saved the day…Carrie Austin. So until Mike Madigan steps down, we can’t give up our baseball bat for a tennis racket. And all you have to do is hear her on the campaign trail to know she can still hit it out of the park. Carrie Austin (32) is enthusiastically supported for 2nd State Central Committeewoman.
*2ND STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEEMAN
As enthusiastically as we support Carrie Austin her knowledge of the Party and being an insider, we offer the same enthusiasm for millennial William Calloway as 2nd State Central Committeeman. While Al Riley has served with distinction in the Illinois House, we believe Calloway will bring a new perspective. Ideally, a combination of Carrie Austin and Will Calloway working together might just make the 2nd State Central District the most powerful in the country for Black People in the DNC. William Calloway (34) is enthusiastically endorsed.
7TH STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEEMAN– DANNY DAVIS (32)- Danny Davis has made a career of standing up to the powers that be in the state Party, so we see no need to replace him at this time.
STATE REPRESENTATIVES (ONLY BLACK CONTESTED RACES…CHECK FOR THESE NAMES)
1ST DISTRICT STATE REPRESENTATIVE- The younger brother of Green Team King Alderman Ed Burke is in the political fight of his life, and Black People are not his issue, as a matter of fact, Black folks can save Burke, a fact which he acknowledged when he sat down with us. Burke has 7 Black precincts that could make all the difference in this race. In previous years Burke represented large swaths of the Black community and ensured that he hired from within. So while the Chuy-backed Aaron Ortiz is gaining momentum, what efforts has his campaign made in those seven Black precincts. According to our sources, little to none. Dan Burke (51) is endorsed.
4TH DISTRICT STATE REPRESENTATIVE- IRIS MILAN IS ENDORSED (53)
5TH DISTRICT STATE REPRESENTATIVE- Ken Dunkin is the likely winner in this 5 way race after being unceremoniously dumped by the Party two years ago. He has the highest name recognition in the race, although Felicia Bullock is someone to watch in the future. Dilara Sayeed was endorsed by the major papers and seemed to be cruising until she got caught in a pay to play media scandal. While we will not offer an endorsement in this race, DO NOT BELIEVE Lamont Robinson reflects the values necessary to BUILD the Black Community. The handpicked candidate of Mike Madigan and Alderman Pat Dowell (of whom we can’t ignore the rats in Mollison, the $55 million TIF theft, or the closing of NTA), Robinson has allowed himself to be the face of the White People funded “SELLOUT” ad campaign in the Black community. We do not need to send any more Black elected officials to Springfield that put the Party before the People! No endorsement is offered, but Black we don’t believe that the campaign Lamont Robinson is reflective of the values we’d like to see in a Black State Representative.
25TH DISTRICT STATE REPRESENTATIVE – As an attorney, brewery owner, husband, and father, Curtis Tarver (52) is the perfect example of the intersection of Black People who are working on taking advantage of the economic opportunities in our state. He will represent us all well in Springfield. Curtis Tarver is strongly endorsed.
Flynn Rush, Angelique Collins, Anne Marie Miles, Grace Cham McEbben, Adrienne Irmer and William Calloway are also running.
27TH DISTRICT STATE REPRESENTATIVE – NO ENDORSEMENT
28TH DISTRICT STATE REPRESENTATIVE – NO ENDORSEMENT
29TH DISTRICT STATE REPRESENTATIVE – COREAN DAVIS (53)
31ST DISTRICT STATE REPRESENTATIVE – All you need to know in this race is that the current state representative Mary Flowers has been in Springfield for 30 years and nobody knows what she’s accomplished. When her challenger Willie Preston (52) asked to debate she refused. The question we want answered is “Where’s Mary?” and since she won’t answer, we proudly endorse father, carpenter, and activist Willie Preston for “a new breed of leadership.”
38TH DISTRICT STATE REPRESENTATIVE – DAVID BONNER (55)
METROPOLITAN WATER RECLAMATION DISTRICT COMMISSIONERS (6 YEAR TERM) – COMMISSIONER KARI K. STEELE (63) is the MOST QUALIFIED CANDIDATE for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. As the only chemist and environmentalist on the board, the job is about more than politics for Kari, which is why she has taken on so many leadership positions at the MWRD from chairing the Budget, Employment, Monitoring and Research Committees. KARI K. STEELE (63) is enthusiastically endorsed for re-election. *MARTY DURKAN (64) is endorsed.
METROPOLITAN WATER RECLAMATION DISTRICT COMMISSIONERS (UNEXPIRED 2 YEAR TERM) – NO ENDORSEMENT
METROPOLITAN WATER RECLAMATION DISTRICT COMMISSIONERS (6 YEAR TERM VACANCY OF BRADFORD) – WRITE IN: SIMON GORDON
PRESIDENT OF THE COOK COUNTY BOARD – While there’s a lot that could be said about Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, they can be summarized as: the “pop tax,” subsequent revenge tactics, “pop tax part 2,” the Stroger lie, and the continued defense of the regressive property tax system. She became what she spent so many years fighting. Bob Fioretti (72) is unspectacular but still endorsed. If we don’t like him four years goes by pretty quick. Just ask Todd Stroger.
COUNTY CLERK – Karen Yarborough (73)
COUNTY SHERIFF – Tom Dart (76)
COUNTY TREASURER – NO ENDORSEMENT
COUNTY ASSESSOR– Joe Berrios is the face of the regressive property tax system in Cook County, which disproportionately affects Black People. Fritz Kaegi (81) is hesitantly endorsed. We are still not sure how he gets around Madigan and Burke, but the change has to start somewhere.
COOK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS – 1ST COUNTY BOARD- While we believe Brandon Johnson is a fighter for the people, politics is transactional and it’s a business, which is why we have to throw our support behind Richard Boykin (91). When every other Black Commissioner stood with the Democratic Party on the infamous “pop tax” Boykin chose to stand with the people, and the pop tax was eventually overturned. But Boykin choosing the people over the Party got him in trouble which meant a well-funded challenger in Brandon Johnson. The thing is, if Boykin goes down for standing WITH the people, very few Black Politicians will have the courage to stand against the Party when needed. That’s why we are enthusiastically supporting Richard Boykin!
COOK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS – 2ND COUNTY BOARD- While we like Darryl D. Smith for his years of experience, when Dennis Deer (92) was called upon to vote against the pop tax he did. That is enough to earn our endorsement for Dennis Deer this time around.
COOK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS – 3RD COUNTY BOARD – This seven-person contest to replace retiring Commissioner Jerry Butler, features some very impressive candidates including two women and five men. That bodes well for a person like former MWRD Commissioner Patricia Horton who already has some name recognition. The most colorful character in the race is easily Horace “Washington” Howard, but the most qualified is Bill Lowry (92), who we endorse in this race. March 20th is just the beginning though, because whoever wins has to face George Blakemore who is running as a Republican in the November General Election.
COOK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS – 4TH COUNTY BOARD – Ever since Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore (92) and Latino Caucus Chairman Gilbert Villegas were teamed up as Directors of Workforce Development at IDOT in the early 2000’s, Stanley has always vociferously advocated for Black People getting contracts. He also ran against the Madigan Machine for State Representative and paid a dear price, like so many others who have challenged the Machine. Even after he voted for the “pop tax” initially, he was the elected official that offered support for #WIIFTBP. As a matter of fact, he bought all the pop for the event and got us permits when everyone else was acting funny. When the time came to repeal the pop tax, Stanley Moore was a co-sponsor of the ordinance. Stanley Moore was asking #WIIFTBP in 2007 and has been asking ever since. Stanley Moore is strongly endorsed.
COOK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS – 5TH COUNTY BOARD- We were willing to give Incumbent Deborah Sims a good look, even though she was the last holdout on the “pop tax.” But when she unflinchingly, and unequivocally stood by Mike Madigan, it gave us pause. After hearing from all three candidates including Commissioner Sims and Tim Parker, we settled on Dr. Audrey Lynn Tanksley (93) as our choice. Bright, energetic, and full of ideas, we think it’s a great idea to have an actual medical Doctor on the Board, especially considering the Cook County Health and Hospital System is the largest part of the state budget.
COOK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS- 6TH COUNTY BOARD- Donna Miller (93) is endorsed. This is a no brainer Black People!
COOK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS – 7TH COUNTY BOARD – This is a primarily Latino District, if you are Black and have an opportunity to cast a ballot in this race, you’d be wise to cast it for Angeles Sandoval (91). Angeles is the daughter of State Senator Marty Sandoval, who has gone above and beyond to develop a relationship with the Black Community. And if the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, then we can expect Angie to be negotiating for tangible outcomes, not just living off of old pictures of Harold Washington. If Blacks and Latinos are going to ever forge an alliance, it will begin with the negotiation, and there are fewer Latinos better to negotiate with than the Sandovals. Angeles Sandoval is endorsed.
COOK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS – 10TH COUNTY BOARD – If you live on the Northwest Side of Chicago, know that Bridget Gainer (91) spends a lot of time relationship building on the South and West Sides. Some say she’s got mayoral aspirations which may not be a bad thing, but first she needs to be re-elected. Bridget Gainer is endorsed.
COOK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS – 12th COUNTY BOARD – John Fritchey (91) keeps a tan in the winter, keeps his medical marijuana card in his pocket , and voted against the “pop tax.” He is endorsed.
COOK COUNTY BOARD OF REVIEW 3RD DISTRICT
LARRY ROGERS (101)
JUDGES ARE VERY IMPORTANT…DO NOT SKIP THESE VOTES! THEY ARE VERY IMPORTANT
121- JUDGE OF THE CIRCUIT COURT (VACANCY OF BREWER) – ORAN F. WHITING (121)
129- JUDGE OF THE CIRCUIT COURT (VACANCY OF CLAY) – LORI ANN ROPER (129)
130- JUDGE OF THE CIRCUIT COURT (VACANCY OF DOOLING) – TOM SAM SIANIS (130)
133- JUDGE OF THE CIRCUIT COURT (VACANCY OF EGAN) – ROSA MARIA SILVA (133)
134-JUDGE OF THE CIRCUIT COURT (VACANCY OF DUNFORD) – THOMAS F. MCGUIRE (134)
136-JUDGE OF THE CIRCUIT COURT (VACANCY OF FLANANGAN) – PRESTON JONES (136)
140-JUDGE OF THE CIRCUIT COURT (VACANCY OF HARTIGAN) – KEITH L. SPENCE (140)
141-JUDGE OF THE CIRCUIT COURT (VACANCY OF JORDAN) – CLARE JOYCE QUISH (141)
145 – JUDGE OF THE CIRCUIT COURT (VACANCY OF MCGINNIS) – PETER MICHAEL GONZALEZ (145)
148- JUDGE OF THE CIRCUIT COURT (VACANCY OF PRENDERGAST ROONEY) – MABLE TAYLOR (148)
152-JUDGE OF THE 1ST SUBCIRCUIT (VACANCY OF HAMBRIGHT, JR.) – ERIKA ORR (152)
152-JUDGE OF THE 2ND SUBCIRCUIT (VACANCY OF LAMPKIN) – FREDERICK H. BATES (152)
154- JUDGE OF THE 2ND SUBCIRCUIT (VACANCY OF LAWS) – ADRIENNE ELAINE DAVIS (154)
155-JUDGE OF THE 2ND SUBCIRCUIT (VACANCY OF RHODES) – TOYA T. HARVEY (155)
158-JUDGE OF THE 2ND SUBCIRCUIT (VACANCY OF TURNER, JR.) – IESHIA GRAY (158)
159-JUDGE OF THE 2ND SUBCIRCUIT (VACANCY OF WILLIS)- DEBRA A. SEATON (159)
163-JUDGE OF THE 2ND SUBCIRCUIT (VACANCY OF TURNER)- ARTHUR WESLEY WILLIS (163)
151-JUDGE OF THE 3RD SUBCIRCUIT (DELEHANTY VACANCY)- PATRICK THOMAS STANTON (151)
152-JUDGE OF THE 5TH SUBCIRCUIT (VACANCY OF BANKS)- YVONNE COLEMAN (152)
157- JUDGE OF THE 5TH SUBCIRCUIT (VACANCY OF JONES)- DAVID L. KELLY (157)
158-JUDGE OF THE 5TH SUBCIRCUIT (VACANCY OF WASHINGTON, II)- ROBERT HARRIS (158)
152-JUDGE OF THE 6TH SUBCIRCUIT (VACANCY OF CHEVARE)- KENT DELGADO (152)
155-JUDGE OF THE 6TH SUBCIRCUIT (VACANCY OF COOKE)- CHARLES “CHARLIE” BEACH (155)
157-JUDGE OF THE 6TH SUBCIRCUIT (LOPEZ CEPERO)- LINDA PEREZ (157)
154-JUDGE OF THE 8TH SUBCIRCUIT (VACANCY OF FABRI)- ROBIN DENISE SCHOFFNER (154)
151-JUDGE OF THE 15TH SUBCIRCUIT (VACANCY OF SCULLY, JR.)- ASHONTA RICE-AKIWOWO (151)
154-JUDGE OF THE 15TH SUBCIRCUIT (VACANCY OF ZELEZINSKI)- ANTHONY C. SWANAGAN (154)
The following are NON-BINDING REFERENDUMS, put on the ballot to crowd out real issues that tha would give Black People a direct say in their government. These are essentially opinion polls.
TO THE VOTERS OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO – “Should Governor Rauner act to protect the 650,000 Illinois residents who obtained health insurance through the Affordable Care Act by supporting legislation amending the Illinois Insurance Code to preserve important benefits like pediatric services and maternity care, and by investing in outreach campaigns to encourage residents to sign up for health insurance?”
TO THE VOTERS OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO – “Should Governor Rauner support Illinois legislation to ban firearm bump stocks and strengthen penalties on illegal gun traffickers?”
TO THE VOTERS OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO- “Should the State of Illinois develop a comprehensive strategy to address the recent rise in opioid-related and heroin-related deaths including committing additional state resources for addiction treatment and requiring health insurers to cover opioid alternatives and limitations on prescription length?”
We hope you find this information useful and encourage you to share it with your friends and family. We have provided so much detail, because we don’t just want Black People to “VOTE!” We want you to VOTE SMART and in our collective Black best interests. Download, print, share, and take it to the polls.