Are we ready for a Black mayor or governor?


EDITOR’S NOTE: Not too long ago an informal discussion occurred among a handful of Black men re: the political future of Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers and what was the outlook for him as a candidate for governor or mayor of Chicago. As a result of that discussion lifelong Chicagoan, Antwan Dobson was invited to pen his opinions on the general topic of a Black mayor for Chicago. His observations are below, immediately followed by my thoughts on a Black mayor, and that running for governor might be Mr. Summers’ best bet.

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Hillary Clinton will be a president in the making for more than 40 years

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. Continue reading “Hillary Clinton will be a president in the making for more than 40 years”

Presidential candidates shun Black voters.

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. Continue reading “Presidential candidates shun Black voters.”

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

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. Continue reading “Lucas, Hobson, and Emanuel blew museum deal by ignoring the little people”

Rahm should follow the leader

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_placehol 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. Continue reading “Rahm should follow the leader”

Lack of progress calls for third political party

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

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. Continue reading “Police superintendent can make a difference”

Put less focus on voter registration

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

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.

Continue reading “Medical cannabis dispensary plans July opening”

Do we need 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.

Continue reading “Do we need a third political party?”