Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mary Mitchell: Next mayor must be more than all talk

You will see this on our Blotter, you may well have seen this on FB. Mitchell tells the story of a call that took place near the 7100 block of South King Drive at 7 AM on a Saturday morning:
"The young lady appeared to be on some type of drugs. I watched her for 30 minutes. I tried to talk to her. Every time the light would turn green, she would jump off the corner into traffic. A truck almost took out the corner trying to avoid hitting her."

[Wanda] Askew said she called 911.

"Twenty-two minutes passed. Nobody came. I called back and told the dispatcher that I pay taxes, too. Somebody is going to get hurt, or she is going to get herself killed. Another 15 minutes went by before a police van pulled up," she continued.

"I met them downstairs. By then, she had been out there for an hour, and it looked to me like she needed medical assistance."

Askew said a black police officer showed up, and said to her: "You the one who called and said you pay taxes? You need to call Mayor Daley. This is not a priority call. We are getting shot at, and we are understaffed," Askew said the officer told her.

"I couldn't believe what I was hearing," Askew said.

"I told him: 'You still pick up your check, don't you? You knew all that when you filled out the application. If you don't like your job, get another job."

Eventually, Askew said the police scooped up the young woman and took her away.

"I support Jody Weis all the way," Askew said. "I couldn't believe it was 8 in the morning, and the police officer was arguing with me."
Of course this story is told in terms of the 2011 election. We will have a new mayor next year as Mayor Richard M. Daley will not run for a 7th term. Mitchell further notes that:
It is unlikely that Chicagoans like Askew will find themselves in one of the caucuses purportedly set up to decide which African American will run for mayor.

The City Council's Black Caucus is meeting every other day in an effort to come up with a consensus candidate.

West Side clergy are meeting.

Black business owners are meeting.

The remnants of the Operation PUSH crowd, and the standard bearers of the historic Harold Washington campaign are all meeting to try to whittle a field of about nine to about one or two potential black candidates.
Ah, what about the people in the neighborhoods. Whoever the Black Caucus or other more powerful Blacks in the city will decided ultimately the people in the neighborhoods will decide who will be Mayor. Who's to say that the Black community will make a different choice from what the aspiring "kingmakers" want us to make?

This column is worth a read when you get a chance.

1 comment:

  1. Community forums are being held across the City this week, next week and until the process is done. The purpose is to get input from the various communities. The Black Caucus' goal is specifically NOT to be a kingmaker but to bring the various groups, activists, ministers, youth, elders, elected officials into the room to avoid a train wreck. Our first item on the Agenda was to establish an agreed on platform for our community. So far we continue to meet and talk and have made more progress in re-uniting our community than has been made in 20 years.


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