Covering the WestSide as it is today and Challenging everyone to become involve as we move into the future.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Why Their Happy Asses Were "No Show!"
In last week's column, I inadvertently stated that Harold Washington ran against Bernard Stone. I should have said Bernard Epton. I do apologize to Alderman Stone for the error.
Now with that out of the way, you know I have to talk about the Westside NAACP's candidate forum. I see that we have a two-tiered mayoral race going on. If the event involves television and non-political black folks, then Gery Chico and Rahm Emanuel are front and center. But if the audience consists of politically astute black folks asking hard questions and wanting answers, then the two aren't to be found.
I had been forewarned that Rahm, although in town, didn't consider the NAACP forum to be worth his time. My friend, who is working his campaign, wasn't as enthusiastic as she had been as she made excuses for why he didn't feel the need to come before the audience at Friendship Baptist Church last week. So I'll say it for her and him: "Hell, we're just Westsiders. We don't count or matter. We get the last and worst of everything. We don't complain. And when we do, it is just amongst ourselves. As rumor has it, we don't even half vote. So there's no need for the so-called front-runners (Emanuel and Chico) to waste their gasoline on us unless they have a minister or two at their side."
That's just my opinion, but before I continue on my tirade, I need each and every one of you to understand exactly what is at stake in the quest to be the next mayor. Thanks to Dwayne Truss of the Westside NAACP, we started the forum off with a PowerPoint presentation as to what kind of funding the current mayor has under his belt.
The mayor controls, first and foremost, the city of Chicago's budget: $6.15B. Yup, that "B" is for billion. Add in the CPS budget of $6.6B; CTA, $2.6B; CHA, $1.6B; City Colleges, $582M, McPier, $480M; Park district, $398M; O'Hare expansion $6.6 to 15B; Tax Increment Financing (TIF), $1.2B; and as head of the Public Building Commission, the mayor controls contracts worth tens of millions, totaling billions, depending on the project. And folks, that is each year. So there is a lot at stake as to who gets their hands on that money in the next election and how it is spent in our community.
When Mayor Washington got into office, he issued an executive order that began to redistribute that money to black folks. But few politicians want black voters to be knowledgeable, so they don't talk about what is at stake. Rather, they offer us scare tactics of the monster "Republicans" and what will happen if they get in office. But the mayoral primary election is non-partisan. It's simple: Whoever gets 50 percent of the vote, plus one, wins.
So hell yeah, the so-called front-runners aren't willing to come to the West Side and tell you what they plan on doing with all that money. Instead, they view us as being so stupid that all they have to do is run a few commercials or appear with Pastor This, Bishop That or Reverend Whomever, and we'll rush to the polls and give them our vote.
Well, I know my people and we ain't falling for the okey-dokey this time. We saw thru Alexi Giannoulias when he campaigned and expected that the Obama effect would glide him into the U.S. Senate, and the same is true for Emanuel. Plus, he still has to survive the court challenge to his candidacy, which I hear isn't looking so good.
The four candidates who did come to the NAACP forum were Carol Mosley Braun, Patricia Van Pelt Watkins, Miguel Del Valle and William "Dock" Walls. They answered questions about their priorities when they become mayor, what they will do regarding the huge ex-offender population on the West Side, if they had ever attended a budget hearing, and questions regarding education.
To be fair, I won't write about any of their answers so that I won't be accused of favoring my candidate over the others. But if you visit my blog, I did tape a lot of the forum and you can see what they had to say.
The Feb. 22 primary election is more important that the 2008 one in which we elected President Obama. Why? Because whoever leads us through the next four years will have to be creative, resourceful, innovative and technologically savvy to put Chicago back in the running as a major player in the world economy. That is why the president of China, Hu Jintao, is making this city the only other place he visits besides Washington. He sees Chicago as a Chinese economic gateway to America, the same way my candidate sees Chicago becoming the nano-technology capital of the world.
We are still talking politics every Sunday night on WRLL 1450AM from 10 until midnight on the Garfield Major Show. Call-in number is 773-591-8000. Share this with everyone you know
LISTEN TO LIVE EVERY SUNDAY WRLL 1450 AM - 10pm UNTIL 12am
Sunday, Garfield Major's show, “Talking To The People” on WRLL 1450 AM from ten until midnight. Call 773-591-6777. To reach Garfield Major, call 773-638-8462 or 8463.
Also visit ONIXLINK.COM to see my postings under the Writer's Block section.
EMAIL ME: WESTSIDE2DAY@YAHOO.COM
Arlene Jones' Biography
I was born in Chicago. I grew up in Cabrini Green. I attended Wells Sr High, the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle where I majored in Spanish and minored in Education. I have a diploma in Computer Programming.
I moved to Austin when I purchased a home here. I have two children.
I have been active in the community since moving here. I started with my blockclub. In the early 1990s, I worked with several people to try and form the North Austin Homeowners Association. I even went on patrol with a group of people who had a walkie talkie car patrol of the neighborhood.
As with most programs in the AA community, many factors led to the demise of those groups. Lack of support from elected officials was at the top of the list.
There were several people who had a group and we met out of DaVinci Manor. DaVinci Manor was at the corner of North Ave and Central where Walgreen now stands. Again there was very little interest in saving that building and our community lost a beautiful hall.
I have protested the state of the Central Ave bridge. I worked with Leola Spann and did many a smoke out including one in the 1500 block of North Lorel where drug paraphenalia layed on the ground. I have over the years here in Austin worked with the following groups at one point or another:
Northeast Austin Organization (Mary Volpe, Tom Hosea);
Northwest Austin Council;
Brotherhood of Black Men;
Westside Health Authority;
Every Block A Village;
25th District Housing Committee;
African American Employees at the Merchandise Mart (AAEMM);
Lafollette Park Advisory Council;
Garfield Park Conservatory Advisory Council;
Westside Executive Advisory Council;
Austin Landmark Cultural Center;
Concerned Citizens of East Garfield Park
and so many others that it gets hard to remember.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. -- Malcolm X