The most vociferous advocate for Black self-interests in the United States, relentless in his determination to the answer to the question, "What's in it for the Black People?" And if they don't like it, "You can tell 'em, Maze Said!"
If the 2019 Mayoral Election proves one thing, it is that the mythological Cook County Democratic Machine is either non-existent or a mere shadow of its former self. One only need to look at the 2019 Chicago Mayoral Election for proof. In what “Machine” scenario under say a Mayor Richard J. Daley, would the CHAIRMAN OF THE COOK COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY lose ALL 50 WARDS and only win 20 precincts out of 2069!?!?!? Under what “Machine” scenario would a Democratic Committeeman be able to have any respect if they could not persuade their voters to vote the “right” way? Under what “Machine” scenario would Democratic Committeemen be able to endorse any candidate other than the Chairman of the Party for the highest seat in the land?
You see, this race wasn’t for the local school council (although those races are very important), this was for the crown jewel, the highest seat in the land, the most coveted position in Chicago politics…MAYOR OF CHICAGO, GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD! And yet, there was Madame President Toni Preckwinkle, Chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party, in that exact scenario. She was out of money, off of TV, and on political life support against a relative unknown, a former employee, who had come back for a hostile takeover of the City she had once worked for. And instead of having the so-called “Machine” to rely on, she was left to work with a few political warlords, celebrity rappers, black businessmen, complete with an inexperienced staff who had never been battle tested.
Meanwhile, Toni’s former White progressive allies were rushing to the assist the insurgent Lightfoot, showering her with cash, resources, and the “Machine” remnants and gears hoping to rebuild a new type of machine, a smartphone type of machine. Think of it like the progression from typewriters to technology, from analog to digital, from snail mail to email, with all the iterations in between. Lori’s team was thinking and planning in the smartphone era, while Toni Preckwinkle’s team thought they were innovating with Harold Washington Campaign 2.0. Team Preckwinkle was insistent on selling the Black community a word processor even though all of us had smartphones in our pockets. In the smartphone era, credit and debit card run the “Machine” and Toni had neither with Black People.
But back to the so-called “Machine” Black People have been programmed to fear. That so-called “machine” that is the convenient vehicle for White People to use Black People to get what they politically want when it’s convenient. Be “loyal” Democrats when we want to raise and spend millions to take out a “disloyal” Ken Dunkin, but won’t raise $500K to help the Cook County Democratic Party Chairman win the mayor’s race. Be “loyal” Democrats when it’s time to slate the type of judges that get Jason Van Dyke home in 3 years, but stand by idly and watch as local police chiefs that they govern attack Kim Foxx. The so-called “machine” demands loyalty when it’s time for fear, respect, money, jobs, and contracts to be given to White Men with the most money and lowest voter turnouts. That’s the “Machine” that Black People have.
In the meantime, not one of the White so-called Machine bosses carried their wards for Toni Preckwinkle. As a matter of fact, none of them carried ONE PRECINCT for her and she is THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COOK COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY! That’s not “Machine” or “Boss!” That’s just straight bull, but that’s what you get using a word processor in the smartphone era like Black People seem to keep doing.
It’s time for Black People to leave the word processors behind and build our own new machine, and I’m not talking about a smartphone either. I’m talking about building the Black Political Terminator, an artificial intelligence driven robot that destroys anything that gets in the way of building Black political power. It’s time to junk our political word processors and prepare for a new day in Black politics! It’s time we get our own voter database and contact system, it’s time we train and create our own precinct captain, build our own bench, and elect Black politicians that are Black FIRST! It’s time to go from victims to victors!
(Now I recognize that some of you may not get the similes, metaphors, and analogies contained herein, which actually proves my point.)
MISSION: WHAT’S IN IT FOR THE BLACK PEOPLE ILLINOIS?
The mission of What’s in it for the Black People Illinois is to advocate specifically for Black self-interests through the acquisition of mainstream political power; rebuild the pillars of the Black community (business, politics, spiritual, education, and grassroots); and re-instill Black pride and self-reliance; while also ensuring that Black self-interests are included in city, state, and national policy development, REGARDLESS of traditional party affiliations and/or socially defined categories of persons. Our political interests are BLACK FIRST.
THE PURPOSE OF THE “WHAT’S IN IT FOR THE BLACK PEOPLE?” VOTER’S GUIDE?
The purpose of the “What’s In It For The Black People?” Voter’s Guide is to provide Black voters with a “guide, not a Bible” to use when they go into the voting booth. Often times we are forced to rely on voter guides, endorsements, and palm cards of organizations that may not necessarily make Black People a top priority. In some cases, we have been misled into using guides that include people that have an established history of working against Black People.
The goal of the “What’s In It for the Black People?” Voter’s Guide is to ensure that Black voters have a guide that provides an option to view candidates through a purely BLACK perspective. That does not mean that we will always choose Black candidates, specific party affiliations, or based on being “fair.” We are unflinching in our desire to elect candidates that will move the Black Community forward.
It is important to note that while candidates have tried to sponsor or advertise in the “What’s in it for the Black People?” Voter’s Guide, We have made a conscious decision NOT to accept the revenue in an effort to ensure that politicians do not taint our mission, and operatives who would rather pay for an endorsement than do the work that Black People demand do not get an easy pass.
We hope you find it useful and will take it with you when you vote, whether early or on Election Day, November 6, 2018.
For Republican incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner, it’s been a rough first term, having presided over a 3-year budget stalemate that left him wearing the jacket for devastating cuts in social service funding. He rode into Springfield on a dark horse after spending a personal fortune to essentially buy the Republican Party of Illinois for a chance to save Illinois from its evil Emperor Mike Madigan. Initially, it seemed as though he had a chance because Illinois had never seen anyone with that much money get in the race and win. People held their collective breaths, wondering whether the multi-millionaire could defeat the Emperor. Three years later, after being thwarted by Madigan at every turn, one would think that Rauner would try a new strategy, perhaps just bow down to Madigan like everyone else, and salvage his pride. But like most people with a lot of pride he’s going to go out swinging.
So instead of highlighting the wins he’s had in the areas of school funding reform, fair contracting for Black state vendors, and criminal justice reform, his platform is all Madigan all day with a few toilet commercials sprinkled in to break up the monotony. Recently, he’s been trying to catch JB up for tax fraud, which might have been a great story earlier in the cycle, but it’s probably too little too late. While Bruce Rauner was a titan of industry, Illinois politics might have been a little over his head.
On the other hand, seven months ago, while we were uncomfortable with Democrat JB Pritzker’s comments caught on an FBI recorded phone call, and Juliana Stratton’s 6 month tenure as a State Representative and Madigan tool, we still believed that JB was the best candidate for BLACK TRANSACTIONAL POLITICS, which is why we endorsed him in the primary (which he won handily BTW). Since then, JB has fallen into the same pattern of the Democrats before him, pandering to Black People during the primary and ignoring us in the general.
We only need to look at the amount of Black staff and confidants JB’s team jettisoned after the primary to confirm our beliefs. Gone is the cadre of local Black preachers, operatives, and campaign staff workers that accompanied JB to everything Black. Gone are the wise Black businessmen and fixers that knew how to quietly fix things and keep people moving forward together. Gone are all the Black People that gave us a modicum of trust in JB. All that’s left for Black People is JB and the Black Carpetbaggers from Georgia, Baltimore, and Detroit taking orders from an Italian from Philly. Combine that with the recent allegations of discrimination and campaign workers in blackface, and we are just not comfortable with JB anymore. To add insult to injury, when we looked at the D-2’s from the primary, JB spent more money with consultants and vendors from Philadelphia, Washington DC, and New York than in Chicago.
Once JB secured his 20-point primary win, we never saw him again, except in TV commercials or from a distance in the Bud Billiken Parade (which he used to make dancing negroes TV commercials). In the face of the LaQuan McDonald/Jason Van Dyke hearing, all we got was a tweet AFTER it was safe. We’ve heard nothing about his economic plan for Black People, and we won’t even talk about the fact that he’s talking about raising our taxes, while literally taking toilets out of his SECOND MANSION to save $330,000 and he’s a BILLIONAIRE.
With so many challenging issues specifically facing the Black People in Illinois, JB Pritzker’s performance in the Black community since the primary has been disappointing to say the least, and disrespectful considering he will most likely get 90% of the Black vote. We expected more from the Democratic nominee. Then there’s Libertarian candidate Grayson Kash Jackson who has delivered some of the best one-liners of the campaign season and would make a great protest vote if one were so inclined. Conservative candidate William “Sam” McCann is simply not a viable option for #WIIFTBP consideration .
#WIIFTBP RECOMMENDS: DO NOT VOTE FOR ANYONE UNTIL THEY ADDRESS THE BLACK COMMUNITY DIRECTLY!
In what has to be the most disappointing race of this election cycle, we have TWO Black candidates Erika Harold and State Senator Kwame Raoul running for Attorney General, and both are doing their best job to ignore Black People. The fact that Black People heard nothing from the TWO Black Attorney General candidates on the biggest trial so far this century for Black Illinoisans, the Jason Van Dyke trial, speaks volumes as to what we can expect from either of them. On this issue, there has been no discernible difference between the two. The Libertarian candidate has been virtually non-existent on the issue.
While we differ with Erika Harold on some policy positions, since she entered the race she has always been responsive, whether it is answering a questionnaire, attending an event, or providing an answer to “What’s in it for the Black People?” In the face of #MeToo and “The Year of the Woman,” we think that Erika Harold could be an inspiration to young Black girls throughout the state. She would also provide some much-needed balance in the executive branch of Springfield, especially in the event that Governor Rauner is unsuccessful. And perhaps finally we could get an investigation of the property tax racket that has run so many Black People out of their homes.
#WIIFTBP RECOMMENDS: (8) Erika Harold
SECRETARY OF STATE
Jesse White is a no-brainer versus Jason Helland (R) and Steve Dutner (L).
#WIIFTBP RECOMMENDS: (10) Jesse White
#WIIFTBP RECOMMENDS: NO ENDORSEMENT
Mike Frerichs is endorsed on the sheer number of Black People on his Executive Team. He made a commitment to Black inclusion 4 years ago and has delivered on that promise.
#WIIFTBP RECOMMENDS: (16) Michael W. Frerichs
While we have been critical of what our congressional delegation has brought back to the Black community, it is imperative that we maintain Black seniority in Congress while preparing new talent for the future.
98TH DISTRICT STATE REPRESENTATIVE- HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY
Black woman business owner and DuPage County elected official Alyssia Benford is a Black suburban political success story waiting to add another chapter, but first, she must defeat Democratic incumbent Natalie Manley. To do that, she’s going to need the support of the local Republican Party as well as all of the Black People that live in the district, which includes parts of Bolingbrook, Joliet, and Plainfield. While she’s not a Democrat, she’s definitely Black and not afraid to speak up on issues that impact her community, regardless of party affiliation. If you are Black and live in the Southwest Suburbs, ignore your instinct to hit the D and vote for your own self-interests. Alyssia will give Black People the voice on the other side of the aisle that we need.
METROPOLITAN WATER RECLAMATION DISTRICT COMMISSIONERS (6 YEAR TERM) VOTE FOR 1– Commissioner KARI K. STEELE 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 including chairing the Budget, Employment, Monitoring, and Research Committees.
#WIIFTBP RECOMMENDS: (52) Kari K. Steele
METROPOLITAN WATER RECLAMATION DISTRICT COMMISSIONERS (UNEXPIRED 2 YEAR TERM)
#WIIFTBP RECOMMENDS: NO ENDORSEMENT
*METROPOLITAN WATER RECLAMATION DISTRICT COMMISSIONERS (6 YEAR TERM VACANCY OF BRADFORD) This seat is up for grabs due to the unfortunate passing of Commissioner Tim Bradford who held the seat to ensure that the South Suburbs were represented at the MWRD. Progressives used Bradford’s passing as an opportunity to steal the seat from the Black community and give it to a White progressive. The Progressive Democratic plan to rob the South Suburbs of a voice on the MWRD alone is enough for #WIIFTBP to support Green Party candidate Geoffrey Cubbage over Cam Davis for the Bradford vacancy. #WIIFTBP does not believe that Progressives should be rewarded for their attempt to disenfranchise the Southland.
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, the continued defense of a regressive property tax system, sexual harassment scandal, and more Black People fired. Combine that with the fact that she’s trading away every bit of Black Power we have in the city in an effort to become the Mayor and the one-time progressive stalwart has been reduced to a run of the mill machine hack. Endorsing the unopposed Preckwinkle for a job she clearly doesn’t want would be the height of hypocrisy.
#WIIFTBP RECOMMENDS: NO ENDORSEMENT
#WIIFTBP RECOMMENDS: (72) Karen Yarborough
#WIIFTBP RECOMMENDS: (74) Tom Dart
#WIIFTBP RECOMMENDS: (75) Maria Pappas
Fritz Kaegi defeated Cook County Democratic Party Chair and Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios in the primary. Berrios had become the face of a property tax racket that was responsible for devastating Black homeowners. He faces Republican Joseph Paglia in what should be an election night romp.
#WIIFTBP RECOMMENDS: (76) Fritz Kaegi
COOK COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
The 3rd District Cook County Commissioners race is the only contested race on the Cook County Board that impacts Black People and it pits businessman and attorney William “Bill” Lowery against Chicago activist and political gadfly George Blakemore. While Blakemore is a walking government watchdog, his antics can and be distracting at times and might impede the work that must be done. Lowery conversely is a polished businessman that will fill the role of a politician easily. The key is will he deliver and can he stand up to his sponsor Toni Preckwinkle? We’re not sure but we think that George Blakemore will serve as an excellent watchdog to keep Lowery in line…from the gallery. #WIIFTBP RECOMMENDS: (81)William “Bill” Lowery
JUDGE OF THE CIRCUIT COURT (VACANCY OF DOOLING)
(113) Tom Sam Sianis
JUDGE OF THE CIRCUIT COURT (VACANCY OF EGAN)
(114) Rosa Maria Silva
JUDGE OF THE CIRCUIT COURT (VACANCY OF DUNFORD)
(115) Thomas F. McGuire
JUDGE OF THE CIRCUIT COURT (VACANCY OF FLANANGAN)
(116) Preston Jones, Jr.
JUDGE OF THE CIRCUIT COURT (VACANCY OF HARTIGAN)
(117) Cecilia Anne Horan
JUDGE OF THE CIRCUIT COURT (VACANCY OF JORDAN)
(118) Clare Joyce Quish
JUDGE OF THE CIRCUIT COURT (VACANCY OF MCGINNIS)
(119) Peter Michael Gonzalez
JUDGE OF THE CIRCUIT COURT (VACANCY OF PRENDERGAST ROONEY)
(120) Jack Hagerty
BALLOT FOR JUDICIAL CANDIDATES SEEKING RETENTION IN OFFICE
JUDICIAL RETENTION SUPREME COURT:
(201) Anne Burke
JUDICIAL RETENTION APPELLATE COURT
(203) Margaret Stanton McBride
JUDICIAL RETENTION CIRCUIT COURT:
(205) Kathleen Flanagan
(207) Moshe Jacobius
(209) Stuart Lubin
(211) Martin S. Agran
(213) Ronald F. Bartkowicz
(217) Catherine Marie Haberkorn
(219) James M. Varga
(221) Marcia Maras
(224) ****NO*** Peter Flynn IMPOSES EXCESSIVE BAIL ON BLACKS
(225) Paul A. Karkula
(228) NO Maura Slattery Boyle IMPOSES EXCESSIVE SENTENCES
(229) Mary Margaret Brosnahan
(232) NOMatthew E. Coughlin– Used his position to shield Burge accomplices that tortured innocent people. Partially blamed a 13 year old for his own death when killed by a drunk off duty cop. Regularly sentences black and brown marijuana users to prison. Peers deemed him disrespectful to attorneys and Black People NONO***.
(233) Joyce Marie Murphy Gorman
(235) Joan Margaret O’Brien
(237) Thomas David Roti
(239) Colleen F. Sheehan
(241) Carl Anthony Walker
(243) Daniel Patrick Brennan
(245) Grace G. Dickler
(247) Ellen L. Flannigan
(249) Carol M. Howard
(251) Jill C. Marisie
(243) James Michael McGing
(255) Mike McHale
(257) James Patrick Murphy
(260) ***NO**** Thomas W. Murphy TRIED TO OUST BLACK CHIEF JUDGE
(261) Ramon Ocasio
(263) Mary Colleen Roberts
(265) Diane M. Shelley
(269) Celia Louise Gamrath
(271) Lorna Ellen Propes
(273) Tommy Brewer
(274) Andrea M. Schleifer
(278) NO Thomas R. Allen TRIED TO OUST BLACK CHIEF JUDGE
(279) Erica L. Reddick
(281) Aicha Marie MacCarthy
(283) Lionel Jean-Baptiste
(285) Michael R. Clancy
(287) Regina Ann Scannicchio
(289) Diann Karen Marsalek
(291) Pamela M. Leeming
(293) Larry G. Axelrood
(295) Carl Boyd
(287) Daniel R. Degnan
(299) John H. Ehrlich
(301) Terry Gallagher
(303) William G. Gamboney
(305) Elizabeth Mary Hayes
(307) Martin C. Kelley
(309) Kimberly D. Lewis
(311) Edward M. Maloney
(313) Lisa Ann Marino
(315) Michael Tully Mullen
(319) Karen Lynn O’Malley
(321) Paul S. Pavlus
(323) Cynthia Ramirez
(325) Beatriz Santiago
TO THE VOTERS OF COOK COUNTY
“Shall the minimum wage in your municipality match the $13 per hour Cook County minimum wage law for adults over the age of 18 by July 1, 2020, and be indexed to the consumer price index after that?”
#WIIFTBP RECOMMENDS: YES
TO THE VOTERS OF COOK COUNTY
“Shall your municipality match the Cook County earned sick time law which allows for workers to earn up to 40 hours (5 days) of sick time a year to take care of their own health or a family member’s health?
#WIIFTBP RECOMMENDS: YES
TO THE VOTERS OF COOK COUNTY
“Should the State of Illinois strengthen penalties for the illegal trafficking of firearms and require all gun dealers to be certified by the State?”
#WIIFTBP RECOMMENDS: YES
TO THE VOTERS OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO
“In the event marijuana is legalized, should the City of Chicago appropriate revenue from the sale of marijuana to increase funding for Chicago Public Schools and for mental health services?”
#WIIFTBP RECOMMENDS: YES
TO THE VOTERS OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO
“Should the City of Chicago seek that the State of Illinois create a homeowners property tax exemption for families in municipalities of over 500,000 that have lived in their home for over 10 years and whose income is under $100,000?”
#WIIFTBP RECOMMENDS: YES
TO THE VOTERS OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO
“Should the City of Chicago ban the use of plastic straws within the corporate city limits?”
#WIIFTBP RECOMMENDS: YES
TO THE VOTERS OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO
“Shall Chicago adopt the following term limit for the office of Mayor effective for the mayoral election in 2019 and thereafter: No person may hold the office of Mayor for more than two consecutive elected 4-year terms (with all prior consecutive elected terms of the current officeholder counted in determining the term limit for that officeholder)?”
#WIIFTBP RECOMMENDS: YES
TO THE VOTERS OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO
“Shall Chicago establish an elected Consumer Advocate for taxpayers and consumers to replace the appointed Commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection? The office of Consumer Advocate shall be elected in 2019 and every four years thereafter in the same manner and with the same eligibility and candidacy filing requirements and removal provisions as the office of City Clerk. The Consumer Advocate shall receive the same salary as the City Clerk and a vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as a vacancy in the office of City Clerk. The Consumer Advocate shall hold office for a 4-year term and until a successor is elected and qualified. The Consumer Advocate shall have the following powers and duties: 1) protect taxpayers and consumers from unfairness and inequality; 2) monitor city compliance with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act; 3) promote a healthful environment; and 4) replace the appointed Commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection and manage all duties and responsibilities of the Department.”
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 BLACKTRANSACTIONAL 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.
The “What’s in it for the Black People?” Voter’s Guide, is just that, a guide of candidates based on their history, actions, and plans as they relate specifically to the interests of Black people. We decided to provide this list after receiving a recommended candidates list in the mail from a major political Party who shall remain nameless. After research and review, we found numerous candidates who had a record of being hostile to the Black community, regardless of Party affiliation. So we decided to create the “What’s In It for the Black People?” Voter’s Guide.
This list is not meant to be partisan and is unapologetic in its purpose, “to elect candidates in the best self interests of Black People.” We will also provide insights and explanations for our choices in the most controversial and contested races. It is our hope that providing this list will allow the Black community to begin electing candidates that best represent our interests, not because of the letter behind their name, but by the actions they have demonstrated.
THE “WHAT’S IN IT FOR THE BLACK PEOPLE?” VOTER’S GUIDE
SAFE ROADS AMENDMENT (For the proposed addition of Section 11 to Article IX of the Illinois Constitution)
2-Hillary Rodham Clinton & Timothy Michael Kaine
UNITED STATES SENATOR
You Pick- While not a fan of current US Senator Mark Kirk, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth continues to ignore the Black community.
ILLINOIS COMPTROLLER (Unexpired 2-year term)
15- Leslie Geissler Munger- Although Munger is a Republican she has consistently courted the Black community’s support, even hiring Blacks to highest levels in her administration. Her competitor, Susana Mendoza, has consistently proven herself hostile to the Black community, whether voting to expand the death penalty, supporting the LaQuan McDonald cover up, or voting to expand red light cameras, Mendoza will continue the politics that have driven this state to be the worst for Black in the nation.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE, STATE SENATE
Uncontested For future reference uncontested races mean they never have to answer “What’s in it for the Black People?”
METROPOLITAN WATER RECLAMATION DISTRICT 6-YEAR TERM (CHOOSE 3)
51- Barbara McGowan
52- Mariyana T. Spyropoulos
*53- Josina Morita (Most likely to be the Cook County’s first Asian-American elected official, this candidate has a history of working in the Black community and earned our respect when she publicly addressed a colleague’s hypocrisy on criminal justice reform. She’s one to watch.)
METROPOLITAN WATER RECLAMATION DISTRICT COMMISSIONER 2-YEAR TERM
58- Marty Durkan
62- Kim Foxx You already know the deal…Don’t front! GO KIM!
CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT
64- Dorothy Brown
RECORDER OF DEEDS
65- Karen A. Yarborough
JUDGE OF APPELLATE COURTS- EPSTEIN VACANCY
71- Eileen O’Neill Burke
JUDGE OF APPELLATE COURTS- QUINN VACANCY
NO Bertina E. Lampkin DO NOT RETAIN (Loyal Burge era prosecutor)
JUDGE OF CIRCUIT COURT- BIEBEL, JR. VACANCY
*73- John Fitgerald Lyke Make sure you vote for John. He’s got a bright future, let’s get him big numbers!
JUDGE OF CIRCUIT COURT-ELROD VACANCY
74- Rossana Patricia Fernandez
JUDGE OF CIRCUIT COURT- HOGAN VACANCY
75- Alison C. Conlon
JUDGE OF CIRCUIT COURT- HOWLETT, JR. VACANCY
76- Aleksandra “Alex”Gillespie
JUDGE OF CIRCUIT COURT- JOHNSON VACANCY
77- Carolyn J. Gallagher
JUDGE OF CIRCUIT COURT- KARNEZIS VACANCY
78- Mary Kathleen McHugh
JUDGE OF CIRCUIT COURT- LOVE VACANCY
79- Brendan O’Brien
JUDGE OF CIRCUIT COURT- O’BRIEN VACANCY
80- Mary O’Donoghue Hannon
JUDGE OF CIRCUIT COURT- PALMER VACANCY
81- Susan L. Ortiz
JUDGE OF CIRCUIT COURT- RUSCITTI GRUSSEL VACANCY
82- Daniel Patrick Duffy
JUDGE OF CIRCUIT COURT- WALSH VACANCY
83- Patrick Joseph Powers
JUDGE 1st SUBCIRCUIT- BRIM VACANCY
JUDGE 1st SUBCIRCUIT- HOPKINS VACANCY
JUDGE 2nd SUBCIRCUIT- SAVAGE VACANCY
D. Renee Jackson
JUDGE 4th SUBCIRCUIT- KUNKLE VACANCY
Edward J. King
JUDGE 5TH SUBCIRCUIT- EADIE-DANIELS VACANCY
92- Leonard Murray
JUDGE 5TH SUBCIRCUIT- STUART VACANCY
*94- Freddrenna M. Lyle
JUDGE 5TH SUBCIRCUIT- WILLIAMS VACANCY
96- Darryl Jones
JUDGE 6th SUBCIRCUIT- PONCE DE LEON VACANCY
Eulalia “Evie” De La Rosa
JUDGE 6th SUBCIRCUIT-SANTIAGO VACANCY
Richard C. Cooke
JUDGE 6th SUBCIRCUIT
JUDGE 7th SUBCIRCUIT-BURRELL VACANCY
JUDGE 7th SUBCIRCUIT- RIVKIN-CAROTHERS VACANCY
Patricia “Pat” Spratt
JUDGE 9th SUBCIRCUIT-BERMAN VACANCY
JUDGE 10th SUBCIRCUIT- HOWARD VACANCY
Eve Marie Reilly
JUDGE 11th SUBCIRCUIT- KELLY VACANCY
Catherine Ann Schneider
JUDGE 11th SUBCIRCUIT-ZWICK VACANCY
William B. Sullivan
JUDGE 12th SUBCIRCUIT- KAZMIERSKI VACANCY
Marguerite Anne Quinn
JUDGE 12th SUBCIRCUIT- MATHEIN VACANCY
James Leonard Allegretti
JUDGE 12th SUBCIRCUIT-TRISTANO VACANCY
JUDGE 12th SUBCIRCUIT- ADDITIONAL JUDGESHIP
James Edward Hanlon
JUDGE 12th SUBCIRCUIT- FECAROTTA VACANCY
Ketki “Kay” Steffen
JUDGE 14th SUBCIRCUIT- MURPHY VACANCY
BALLOT FOR JUDICIAL CANDIDATES SEEKING RETENTION IN OFFICE
*VOTE NO– By voting no, it allows you to select the judges individually and stop the bad judges from getting back in office. Included in this batch of judges are former John Burge accomplices, LaQuan McDonald decision makers, and judges that have upheld the wrongful convictions of people who were eventually proven innocent. It is here where we can make the most political impact on our daily lives. REMEMBER: If you vote “yes” all of the judges will be re-elected without having to answer for the decisions they made against the Black community.
SHALL EACH PERSON LISTED BE RETAINED IN OFFICE AS JUDGE OF THE APPELLATE COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT?
201- YES- Joy Virginia Cunningham
SHALL EACH OF THE PERSONS LISTED BR RETAINED IN OFFICE AS A JUDGE OF THE CIRCUIT COURT, COOK COUNTY?
VOTE NO FOR THESE JUDGES (DO NOT SKIP, YOU MUST VOTE NO)
258- Jeanne Cleveland Bernstein (Cook County Bar Association recommendation)
234- Charles Patrick Burns (Burge prosecutor)
304- Ann Finley Collins (blocked the appointment of Black judges)
232- Nicholas Ford (Burge prosecutor)
210- Vincent Gaughan (Issued gag order in LaQuan McDonald case)
262- Kay M. Hanlon (previously ran as Republican, switched to Democrat to get elected in Cook County)
222 -Bertina Lampkin (known as “Hang ‘Em High amongst Black judges, Lampkin was a Burge prosecutor, defended wrongful convictions, particularly hard on Black defendants)
240- Diane J. Larsen (Madigan ally, blocked redistricting reforms)
242- Daniel Joseph Lynch (sentenced Black man to 6 years in jail for contempt of court, removed by Illinois Supreme Court)
270- Patrick T. Murphy (publicly opposed Chief Judge Evans in attempted power grab)
282- Daniel James Pierce (led public charge against Chief Judge Tim Evans)
206- Irwin J. Solganick (Cook County Bar Association recommendation)
VOTE YES FOR THESE JUDGES
255- Robert Balanoff
299- Steven James Bernstein 211- Robert W. Bertucci 259- Kathleen Marie Burke 297- John P. Callahan 301- Bonita Coleman 251- Paula M. Daleo 213- Deborah Mary Dooling 253- Laurence J. Dunford
*215- Timothy C. Evans
305- Daniel J. Gallagher
235- Denise Kathleen Filan
279- John C. Griffin
203- Sophia H. Hall
291- Edward S. Harmening
285- William H. Hooks
229- Arnette Hubbard
217- Cheryl D. Ingram
219- Raymond L. Jagielski
307- Sharon O. Johnson
309- Linzey D. Jones
263- Thomas J. Kelley
*237- John P. Kirby
295- Geary W. Kull
287- Thomas V. Lyons, II
311- Terence MacCarthy
223- William O. Maki
293- Daniel B. Malone
249- Leroy K. Martin, Jr.
227- James Patrick McCarthy
265- Clare Elizabeth McWilliams
267- Mary Mikva
289- Raymond W. Mitchell
283- Allen F. Murphy
271- Timothy P. Murphy
243- Kathleen M. Pantle
313- Sandra G. Ramos
273- Jim Ryan
245- Kevin M. Sheehan
225- Sharon M. Sullivan
315- Susan Kennedy Sullivan
247- John D. Turner
275- Edward Washington, II
207- Alexander P. White
277- Thaddeus L. Wilson
ELIMINATE THE COOK COUNTY RECORDER OF DEEDS?
EARNED SICK TIME EMPLOYEE ACT
No. (This is a non-binding referendum designed to make Black people turn out to vote, with no intentions of passing the bill. We should only consider this if it is a BINDING referendum).
INCREASED PENALTIES FOR GUN CRIMES
No. (This is a non-binding referendum designed to take advantage of crime in the Black community. Chicago has the toughest gun laws in the country. More jail is not the answer, more jobs and resources are.)
SHOULD CHICAGO WORK WITH FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ON INFRASTRUCTURE
Yes. (Again this is a non-binding referendum. All three of these questions were placed on the ballot to prevent term limits for the Mayor from being voted on by the people.)
It is legal to take this list with you to your polling place. This guide is not meant to tell you who to vote for as much as to provide some insight from an unapologetically Black perspective on who Black people should consider voting for. Our recommendations take into consideration a variety of factors based on particular insights we may have Remember, this is the “What’s in it for the Black People?” Recommended Candidates Guide. If THEY are complaining about the list, or the candidates we picked, just ask their candidate, “What’s in it for the Black People?” If they get offended or don’t have an answer…you have you answer.
Early voting has already begun. Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th!
According to the Mayor and CPS officials, Chicago Public School students have made tremendous progress in spite of school closings and budget cuts. But as those students prepare to return to school on September 9th, they will feel the impact of the $500 million teacher pension crisis in the classroom. While most would agree schools are built for the children inside them, increasingly those children are losing to factors outside of the school. Combine that $500 million deficit with the gridlock in Springfield, and the trip back to school will be a difficult journey for Black Chicago Public School students and their parents.
To understand the impacts of a $500 million shortfall, it is important to understand how we got here. Currently, Chicago is the only school district in the state of Illinois that must fund its own teachers’ pensions.
“This budget reflects the reality of where we are today: facing a squeeze from both ends, in which CPS is receiving less state funding to pay our bills even as our pension obligations swell to nearly $700 million this year,” new CPS Chief Forrest Claypool stated. Claypool has asked the Illinois General Assembly to resolve that by having the state of Illinois cover Chicago teacher pension costs as well.
“We look forward to continuing to work with our leaders in Springfield to rank education funding reform and finally end the inequity that requires Chicago alone to take scarce dollars from the classroom to pay for teacher pensions,” Claypool said in a press release. Democrats have indicated that they are willing to aid CPS, but Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has made clear he will not support without passing his “Turnaround Agenda.”
“For Chicago to get what it wants, Illinois must get what it needs,” Rauner told a skeptical city council in a July address to the City’s governing body. With little to no progress in Springfield, and little expectation of any movement in the Rauner-Madigan face-off for the near future, it seems that CPS students will return to school with far fewer resources than last year, $68 million fewer to be exact. But what does that mean exactly for students?
It means 1500 layoffs district wide. Those layoffs will include 479 school teachers, 866 in-school support staff, and 146 citywide employees. According to CPS, those cuts will impact less than 2 percent of teachers citywide, including 204 high school teachers and 275 elementary school teachers. While that number may seem nominal, it means direct impact to the lives of students, particularly on the South and West Sides of Chicago. Not only does it mean increased classroom size, it also means less support for those teachers who will be operating with increased classrooms, which are predicted to grow to almost 40 students.
The impact of increased classroom size is compounded, when special needs are factored in. According to a Catalyst Chicago Report, “Specialty schools for high-needs students lost on average 16.8 percent of their staffing since the start of last school year — significantly higher than the average 1.6-percent staffing reduction that other district-run schools saw.”
Upon further analysis, Catalyst Chicago concludes, “Schools with high concentrations of African-American students and students in poverty make up many of the schools hardest hit by staffing loses, again reflecting enrollment trends. Among those same 75 schools, more than half were schools where 95 percent or more of the student population were black or low-income.” Essentially, as the city continues to grow, cuts to the budget are coming disproportionately out of Black schools that arguably need the most resources.
In addition to the fact that services cuts are disproportionately affecting Black and special needs students, the school day will shift anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. In the case of elementary schools, students may begin as early as 7:45am, and in the case of some high schools, start times will begin as late as 9:00am. According to CPS, the change in start times will save about $13.5 million annually. While the savings will be significant for CPS, they may be more expensive for the parents who will have to make childcare arrangements to accommodate the changes.
Elementary schools students will also take a blow as the 2015-2016 CPS budget removes funding for all elementary school sports programs. Unlike the cuts to special services, the removal of elementary school sports is not disproportionate to schools that are predominately Black, because they were removed from all elementary school programs. Like all cuts CPS maintains that they are fair and equitable across the board, which appears to be the case with elementary school sports. It is important to note that CPS did not ban elementary sports totally, but required the schools to do their own fundraising to support their teams.
Critics point to the fact that the more affluent CPS schools on the North and Southwest Sides have greater fundraising ability to support their athletic programs, while predominately Black schools struggle to find the more resources like basic supplies and school books. Additionally, with cuts to music and arts programs as well, many are Blacks are concerned that Black children will be left without the necessary programs to keep students engaged and well-rounded.
The 2015-2016 school year for CPS is shaping up to be one of the most challenging years ever. With a $1.1 billion structural deficit and no relief from Springfield anticipated in the near future, the back to school season is going to be a costly issue for parents and students alike. For parents it will be everything from adjusting work schedules, paying for after-school activities, and the massive property tax hike which appears inevitable. For kids it will be adjusting to larger classrooms with fewer teachers, resources, and extracurricular activities. Next week will definitely be back to school week, but with all the cuts, there will be a lot fewer familiar faces and activities for Black students.
(as published in the October 7-13 Chicago Defender)
When Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that he would be proposing over a $588 million property tax increase in the city of Chicago, a collective groan was heard across the neighborhoods. While many knew that the day of pension reckoning was finally upon us, the shock of actually hearing Emanuel deliver the message was palpable. While he discussed a wide range of services savings and cuts, most Chicagoans fixated on the $500 million property tax increase.
A $588 million increase that equates to an approximate 58.1% increase over what Chicagoans had been paying. That increased property tax assessment could potentially have a dire effect on the Black community whose property values are rapidly increasing, while their incomes are not. Combine that with the fact that the Black community has not fully recovered as quickly as others from the recession, while struggling to hold on to their homes. At the same time, White developers are buying every bit of property they can get their hands in anticipation of the Obama library on the South Side, and Silicon Valley 2.0 which is being built on the near West Side.
In an effort to provide some relief from the enormous tax increase, and prevent some of those things from happening, Mayor Emmanuel proposed an exemption for homes that are valued under $250,000. The move was hailed as an attempt to ensure that the cities most vulnerable homeowners would be spared the massive increase that would eventually drive them from their homes and communities, a fact that members of the Chicago Aldermanic Black Caucus applaud.
“I believe it will encourage investment, while lessening the impact on people with less income,” said 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. who represents a portion of the West Side and West Loop, where high-income development is booming.
But to get the necessary relief, the mayor’s budget relies on approval from a dysfunctional Springfield that has not been able to pass its own budget. As a matter of fact the state of Illinois has been operating without a budget for the past five months with no solution in the foreseeable future. In spite of that, Burnett remains optimistic that “Governor Rauner will do the right thing, help the city of Chicago, and low income residents.”
While all parties would agree that the city of Chicago is on the brink of financial peril all parties do not agree on the solution, the most important of which is Governor Rauner, who has called for a statewide property tax freeze. Combine that with the fact that when Governor Rauner addressed the Chicago City Council back in July, he made it perfectly clear that if Chicago expected to get any relief from the state he expected that they would make concessions in Springfield. Regardless of Rauner’s ominous statements, Springfield insiders remain optimistic that they will be able to pass the property tax exemption and get Governor Rauner to sign it.
Assistant Majority Leader Art Turner, Jr. (D-Chicago) is one of those insiders. “Most of the constituents I represent would benefit from the exemption and I am for it. It’s progressive which is something that we should look at on the state level as well. Those who can pay more should,” Turner states.
“The City of Chicago is the largest economic engine in the state, and while I think it will be tougher to get through Springfield, I am confident that the Governor understands how important Chicago is to the rest of the state. Mayor Emanuel has taken the first step in fixing the situation, but because he and the Governor have a working relationship and talk regularly, I think we will get a bill passed and signed,” Turner explained.
Turner’s optimism is based on Emanuel and Rauner’s relationship, because Rauner’s relationship with Democratic leaders in Springfield is tense to say the least. Governor Rauner and Illinois Speaker of the House Mike Madigan are currently locked in a budget fight to the death over who will control Springfield, and neither seems willing to compromise. But if the city of Chicago hopes to plug its budget holes and pension problems, it must rely upon cooperation with legislators, leaders and the Governor to get it done. But so far no party has shown any willingness to give, which is what makes Emanuel’s role in the situation so crucial.
Mayor Emanuel has stated, we must fix the “structural deficit” and we cannot “kick the can down the road any longer” as he has so often accused the previous administration of. And, while he is careful not to blame the Daley administration by name, one only need listen to Emanuel talk about the city’s financial situation to know that he will not wear the jacket for the massive property tax increase alone.
One thing is clear, if the City of Chicago wants to keep growing, it must tackle the financial woes created by years of underfunding police and fire pensions. The intentional underfunding of police and fire pensions have reduced Chicago’s bond ratings to junk status, driving the cost of borrowing money to unmanageable levels. But with the property tax increase, Emanuel and the Chicago City Council still have to convince voters why they should accept such a large property tax with very few to no new services.
To combat the perception, Emanuel has also proposed using a rare state law that allows the city to levy a $45 million school improvement tax to ease the tensions associated with such a large increase. Emanuel has also tried to make the increase more palatable by phasing it in over 3 years, with increases being $318 million in 2015, $109 million in 2016, $53 million in 2017, and $63 million in 2018.
But none of that will make a difference if he can’t get Springfield to work together, something they have been unable to do for the last five months. Emanuel needs them to if he hopes to save Chicago from being devoured by its pension obligation.
(from the September 16-22, 2015 edition of the Chicago Defender
Fifth District State Representative Kenneth “Ken” Dunkin seems to have no problem keeping his family commitments and travel schedule even if it comes into conflict with Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan’s political power plays. Some might even infer that those “family commitments and travel schedule” include a broader family, the residents of his district, and in some cases the even larger Black community of Illinois.
Born and raised in Chicago’s notorious Cabrini Green Housing Projects, Dunkin has always been one to go against the grain. “Even as a kid, we called him ‘GQ’, because Ken was always trying to achieve a higher standard. Whether it was how he dressed or the way he carried himself, he always knew we could do better,” recounts childhood friend and fellow Phi Beta Sigma brother Cyril Nichols. Dunkin went on to graduate from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia and received his Masters from the University of Chicago. Dunkin ran the Robert Taylor Boys and Girls Club, before being elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 2002.
While in Springfield, Dunkin established a reputation as a legislator who was willing to buck Madigan to cut a better deal for the constituents of his district. Dunkin even aligned himself with former Governor Rod Blagojevich when it made the most sense for his constituents. Because of his alliance with Blagojevich, Dunkin faced numerous Madigan backed challengers early in his career, soundly defeating all challengers. During the last remap, Madigan went as far as to map Dunkin out of his home base, but being the consummate campaigner, Dunkin adapted and was re-elected with little fuss.
In 2009, when Madigan wanted to put his full power on display against his than political mortal enemy Governor Rod Blagojevich, “family commitments and travel schedule” kept Dunkin from being present to vote on the impeachment. Dunkin’s refusal to take part in the process was symbolic of Dunkin’s unwillingness to kick Blagojevich, who was wildly popular in the Black community in spite of his legal issues, while he was down.
Since the House voted 114-1 to impeach Blagojevich, Dunkin’s absence was easily missed, but when Senate Bill 1229 failed, and Madigan said “If Mr. Dunkin were here we would have had 71 votes” because of those same “family commitments and travel schedule,” it sent a ripple through Springfield. When Dunkin was quoted to ABC 7 reporter Charles Thomas as saying, “There was not enough in the bill for Black people!” that ripple became a shock wave.
Dunkin sent a shockwave through Springfield, because for the first time, he dared to interject the interests of the Black community into the political death match between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democrats led by Speaker Madigan. Because the Governor has veto power, the Senate has a bullet proof super majority, and the House has a super majority, the state budget impasse has reached gridlock. Dunkin’s break from Madigan over Black issues could become the game changer for either side, up to this point, only Rauner has been even willing to discuss the needs of the Black community specifically.
Springfield Power Dynamics
In the Illinois Senate, President John Cullerton listens closely to the advice and counsel of Assistant Majority Leader and Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Senator Kimberly A. Lightford. Additionally, the Senate Black Caucus has taken the lead in identifying areas of compromise, but are leery to trust Rauner, who they say has yet to back up his campaign promises. “We haven’t seen the business he was supposed to bring.” Lightford said, but she did indicate that there was room for compromise. “I can see some term limits if you think some people have been there too long and have a monopoly (on state government)” she continued in a veiled reference to the 40 year Speaker of the House.
In the Illinois House the situation is a bit different. While the Illinois Speaker of the House is widely regarded as the most powerful man in Illinois, his position of strength relies on his ability to control his members. In this situation, Madigan must be able to corral all 71 of his members to be able to override Rauner’s ability to veto, and any defection leaves Speaker Madigan in the weakest negotiating position of the three major players. Always the master strategist, in the past Madigan has typically been able to convince at least one Republican to vote with Democrats, but since Rauner entered the scene, he has commanded the loyalty of the House Republicans, led by Minority Leader Jim Durkin.
While Cullerton has the strongest Democratic position, he and his Senate colleagues have taken a backseat to the “Madigan v. Rauner Show.” Equally in the background, is the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, who until this point has also been overshadowed, even though they control the second largest Caucus in Springfield. Rauner has openly courted their support, and has been rumored to have offered the Black Caucus a menu of social service and economic concessions tailored to the Black community. The Black Caucus so far has rejected Rauner’s overtures because of his stance on basic “Democratic core values.”
Meanwhile, Madigan has yet to even mention the issues that concern the Black community, with many suggesting that he is at the root of Blacks being excluded from equal participation in state contracts and the political decision making process. As a matter of fact, during Madigan’s 40-year tenure as Speaker, he has never had a Black person on his Senior Leadership Team. He has been able to count on the unquestioned support of the Black Caucus members, without ever having to confront his own record in the Black community… until Ken Dunkin missed that vote and audaciously mentioned, “Black People!”
Senate Bill 1229
When Black State Representative Ken Dunkin missed the vote on Senate Bill 1229, he took on two of the most powerful forces in Springfield, Speaker Madigan and organized labor. The bill, which would have strengthened state employee labor union AFSCME’s negotiating power and proved Mike Madigan as the biggest boss in Springfield failed by 3 votes, and Madigan blamed it singularly on Dunkin’s absence, he inadvertently gave the Black community their strongest negotiating tool in almost two generations.
Traditionally, state workers negotiate their contract with the Governor and the Executive Branch not the Legislative Branch, but because of the extreme anti-union position Bruce Rauner has taken against unions, AFSCME sought the assistance of the General Assembly to gain additional leverage. Because AFSCME needed to involve the Legislative Branch in the negotiations because things are not going so well, Dunkin saw it as the perfect opportunity for Black legislators to leverage concessions from the trade union that represents state workers including downstate prison guards.
Dunkin admits he voted for the bill initially, but after Rauner vetoed the bill and he had more opportunity to ask questions, AFSCME representatives told him that they “don’t typically share that information.” Dunkin admits he was incredulous at the fact that the union would not provide the information he requested, but still demanded his vote and unquestioned support. Dunkin knowing that he had previous commitments said “he informed House leadership that he would be unavailable” the following week. House leadership scheduled the vote anyway, and added SB 570 to restore childcare subsidy levels, on the same day with the hopes of guaranteeing Black lawmakers would be present for the vote.
When Dunkin followed through with family plans and travel schedule as he had previously communicated, the Speaker called SB 1229 in his absence. When the bill failed by 3 votes, Dunkin alone was vilified by the leader of the Democratic Caucus for the bill’s failure. Then knowing that he did not have the votes to pass the childcare bill, SB 570, the Speaker called it and it failed by one vote. Insiders speculated that Madigan called the bill knowing it would fail, so that it could be used against Dunkin in future campaigns. It is common practice in Springfield to leverage Black social service needs to secure votes on issues important to him. While SB 570 failed, Rep. Jehan Gordon made a motion to reconsider, which allowed SB 570 to be called again, a fact that has been lost in all of the rhetoric.
While the Speaker and AFSCME continue to attack Dunkin, for being “disloyal,” they fail to mention that 40% of AFSCME’s downstate membership voted for Governor Rauner in the past election. They also fail to mention that they spent the better part of two years attacking Democratic governor Pat Quinn. They also fail to mention that their leadership threatened to “punish” Dunkin for not supporting their bill.
In the Black community, the narrative has been all about the failure of SB 570, but the real battle was SB 1229, because it would have given Madigan and AFSCME the upper hand in their negotiations with Rauner. When Dunkin made the declaration, “I don’t work for Mike Madigan,” he dramatically shifted the power of the supermajority out of the hands of the all-powerful Madigan into the hands of a Black man. It’s a position that Blacks have not been in very often, and are very uncomfortable with.
While most Illinois Legislative Black Caucus members have remained silent, it is clear from their response that they are not happy with Dunkin. They have refused to speak out publicly against the former Chairman of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, but behind the scenes many are calling for the Speaker to “punish” Dunkin, but that would leave the Speaker in a precarious position.
While the House Democrats have a supermajority, there is no room for error. If they lose one vote, the Governor’s vetoes stick, making the supermajority worthless unless they can increase it. As we saw this week after Dunkin’s no show, the power dynamic shifts pretty fast in Springfield if anyone, particularly anyone Black leaves the proverbial “plantation,” a notion thought unthinkable until Dunkin rebelled against Madigan publicly last week.
That leaves the Speaker with a whole lot to think about, and based on his record in the Black community, that is not something he’s had to do for 40 years.