Thursday, March 30, 2017
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Hillary Clinton will be a president in the making for more than 40 years

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Bill Clinton may be the first Clinton president
If Hillary Clinton is elected POTUS she and former President Bill Clinton will have pulled off the most strategic move in U.S. political history
Seeking Democratic nomination for president
Presidential run goes back to the Clinton dating days

For those who read the seemingly interminable Autobiography of

Bill Clinton
Former Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton is instrumental in bringing his wife to the victory line for President of the United States

President Bill Clinton – “Between Hope and History” – you might remember a small passage buried in those 1,100 pages. It is a passage about Yale Law School dining room conversation where the yet-to-be married Clintons committed to eventually both being President of the United States.

We have to suspect there are and have been thousands of politically astute couples over the decades who have made similar commitments.  The most intriguing part is from all appearances it looks as though this couple might pull it off. If Mrs. Clinton does become the 45th POTUS it will be a job more than 40 years in the making.

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Presidential candidates shun Black voters.

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The late poet-activist Amiri Baraka was among the organizers of the 1972 convention

Some remember the monumental Black National Political Convention held in Gary, In in March 1972. It was convened by former Gary Mayor Richard Hatcher and author/activist Amari Baraka and Michigan Congressman Charlie Diggs, both of the latter are now deceased. It was the first time a collective of African Americans exclusively set out to forge an agenda in America focus solely on Black people. This weekend June 10 and 11, the same mission, with another group of African Americans from all walks of life is set to take up the mantle from 1972.

Bobby Seale and Jesse Jackson
Back Panther leader Bobby Seale confers with the Rev. Jesse Jackson during the 1972 National Black Political Convention

The main difference this year is that the top three presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, all were invited to address the convention and be part of a panel discussion. Guess what? Despite a Black captive audience, a near-guarantee of national media exposure, and the opportunity to rebut some of the criticism leveled against them by Black backers, all three refused the invitation. Their refusal speaks volumes about how little they regard connecting with Black voters.

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Lucas, Hobson, and Emanuel blew museum deal by ignoring the little people

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George Lucas loses bid for lakefront museum
Failure of Lucas to connect with the everyday people doomed his Star Wars-themed museum
Mellody Hobson, Star Wars Museum
Mellody Hobson, Chicago native and wife of George Lucas

The fiasco that was to be a Star Wars-themed museum nestling Lake Michigan demonstrated a little discussed fact – the uber rich don’t think like the rest of us.

When George Lucas, creator of Star Wars and his Chicago-bred wife initially proposed the 300,0000 square foot edifice approximately two years ago they sought the blessings of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, which turned out to be mistake number one.

Of course there was no doubt the mayor could put the proper spin on why the museum was the best thing to come to Chicago since Lake Shore Drive, and that he knew what numbers to toss regarding how many jobs would be created. He and his predecessor Mayor Richard M. Daley had gone through this drill countless times.

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Rahm should follow the leader

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DeVonne Boggan
DeVonne Braggon of Richmond's Office of Neighborhood Safety really makes thing safer

Instead of repeatedly throwing ideas against a wall to see if any stick Mayor Rahm Emanuel should follow the lead of the Office of Neighborhood Safety in Richmond, CA.,http://_wp_link_placeholhttp://www.nccdglobal.org/sites/default/files/publication_pdf/ons-process-evaluation.pdf der

Gun violence
The mayor should admit he is clueless when it comes to reducing violence

where shootings have dropped precipitously. It has been reported countless times that Mr. Emanuel usually believes he is the smartest person in the room. When it comes to solving the violence issue he doesn’t get a C.

Understandably it is not the mayor’s job to make sure gun violence doesn’t get out of control; but it is his obligation as the city’s C.E.O. to make our streets as safe as possible. That is where he is failing miserably.

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Lack of progress calls for third political party

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Tru,[. Sanders, Cruz,Clinton
Voters are rejecting front runners from both parties

By LeRoi Brashears

It is time African-Americans to form or join a new political party.  Our support for the Democratic Party has increased steadily over almost 60 years, yet, our political fortunes and standard of living have not truly improved.

1994 crime Bill, President Bill Clinton, crime bill controversy
President Bill Clinton is shown in 1994 signing the crime bill

American Blacks identifying as Democrats went from 58 per cent in 1960 to 76 per cent   in 2012.  In 1960 60 per cent of Black folks voted Democratic compared to 93 per cent in 2012.

Over that period of time, Black unemployment consistently remained twice that of whites—twelve percent for Blacks and six for whites in 1960 to 13.4% for Blacks and 6.7% for whites in 2013 with no favorable “blips” during the tenure of Democratic presidents.

How can such a loyal constituent base be punished so severely by the society the Democratic Party represents?

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Police superintendent can make a difference

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Supt. Eddie Johnson
The superintendent-in-waiting has the opportunity to redefine police-community relations
Superintendent Eddie Johnson
Superintendent Eddie Johnson has a tough road ahead convincing residents CPD will be different

It’s difficult to watch a news conference or interview with Chicago police superintendent-in-waiting Eddie Johnson and not think about music. For  Johnson it’s the Mission Impossible theme song that seems to be playing in the background. When Mayor Rahm Emanuel arrives to talk police, Frank Sinatra’s “I Did it My Way” looms in the distance.  Mr. Johnson takes the helm of the Chicago Police Department when local law enforcement controversy is at an all time high.

Chicago is poised to pay another $4.9 million to the family whose son was subjected to repeated Tasing by CPD officers and drug handcuffed from a cell into a hallway. Click here to read Chicago Tribune story. It is the second such payment in less than six weeks. So Johnson, who took office in the last week of March, is charged with not only turning around what some see as a rogue culture w/in CPD; but getting folks on the South and West sides to see CPD in a less-harmful, less-threatening light. Animosity over the  murder of unarmed 16-year-old Laquan McDonald by former CPD Officer Jason Van Dyke simmers just below the surface in those community. That is Mr. Johnson’s Mission Impossible. Young McDonald’s family also is scheduled to receive a $5 million wrongful death payment.

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Put less focus on voter registration

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Voter registration
Getting people to register to vote is not the problem. The problem is getting them to go vote after they are registered

While plethora organizations and individual opt to affect change in the political process by conducting voter registration drives, the DVC philosophy is it critical to work to get the one million registered, but inactive Chicago voters to the polls.

This approach can VoteSticker_FINALbetter utilize the energy expended to find, register and inform those who have yet to register. Reaching out to those already registers is more efficient too because:

  • Their whereabouts are largely known
  • Unless they have moved or married and changed their names, the old registration is still good
  • Their reasons/explanations for not voting can prove invaluable in crafting future GOTV campaigns

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Medical cannabis dispensary plans July opening

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medical cannabis
A one-ounce bag of medical marijuana sold through a California dispensary

Editor’s note: The words cannabis and marijuana are used interchangeably

Across the nation medical cannabis legislation is being crafted, reworked and debated.cannabis-big

Given that Illinois had legislation in place since August of 2013 the focus on medical cannabis has been at the local rather than state levels. When all the legislation was in place and licenses awarded to be a marijuana grower or dispensary, only one African-American firm was on the list – Illinois Grown Medicine (IGM). The company met staunch opposition to its original proposed Calumet Heights location; but according to IGM CEO Les Hollis “the law restricted us to Hyde Park Township, which encompasses most of the city’s South Side.

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Do we need a third political party?

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Third political party
The state of politics today tells me we need to strongly consider adding a third political party.

♦Editor’s note: The 2016 presidential primary campaign has been one of the most contentious and vile in recent memory. The level of acrimony has re-ignited in many circles the call for a third political party. DePriest Voters Chronicles, in hopes of facilitating meaningful dialogue on that topic will offer readers a series of essays from everyday citizens on the pros and cons, as well as whether there is a necessity to have a choice besides Democrats and Republicans. 

The level of outright nastiness, lies and revisionist history we are seeing at the presidential nomination campaign level can be described as nothing less than shameful. America has seen vitriol in politics, but not to the level we are witnessing today. While the Republican presidential primary bears a remarkable resemblance to a school yard fight; and the Democratic run is only slightly better. One truth is extremely clear. America needs a third political party. Discussions and examinations of the issues has taken a backseat to presidential aspirants playing the dozens.

Dissatisfaction with both major parties has some voters calling for the establishment of a third political party
Dissatisfaction with both major parties has some voters calling for the establishment of a third political party.
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When Rahm leaves, then what?

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Rahm Emanuel resignation

Amidst all of the clamor for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to resign in light of his refusal to release CPD dashcam video of a white veteran police officer shooting an unarmed Black teen 16 times, the question not being asked is what if the mayor does quit, then what? We know that should the mayor opt of completing his term – the most unlikely of any scenarios – Alderman Brendan Reilly of the 42nd Ward is in line to serve as interim mayor.

Brendan Reilly, Rahm Emanuel successor, Chicago City Council,
Alderman Reilly’s ascent to the mayor’s office, although temporary, will cause chaos.

His council colleagues will then set a date for a special election to fulfill Mr. Emanuel’s unfinished term. Next we should expect a mad scramble of  real contenders, also-rans, and perennials to start courting voters. There’s been no shortage of job-seekers for the city’s top post in the last two elections. In the foreseeable future, there is no reason for that scenario to change much. We should expect to see at least one major new mayoral candidate name in the scrum,

Her ties to the business community and statewide name recognition positions her as a potentially prolific fund-raiser
Her ties to the business community and statewide name recognition positions her as a potentially prolific fund-raiser

and that is president of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and Public Building Commissioner (PBC) Mariyana Spyropoulos. She is a Democrat with strong ties to the business community and brings tremendous fundraising capabilities. Her PBC role provides her insights about the city’s future development that her opponents won’t have. As a millennial Caucasian, female, M.B.A., attorney, Ms. Spyropoulos will bring a background to the race not seen in decades. Currently, there isn’t much conversation about her potential candidacy, but she surely is among the credible to keep an eye on. A Rahm resignation would not give her enough time to complete her biggest hurdles – connecting with and being embraced by African-American voters, but should he remain another three years, that is plenty of time for her to accomplish that mission.

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