Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Change Ahead for Once-Powerful Ward Groups - Chicago News Cooperative

Freshman Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) said he will run for committeeman in his ward in March. Freddrenna Lyle, the council incumbent that Sawyer unseated, still leads the Democratic organization in the South Side ward.

Sawyer’s father, former mayor and alderman Eugene Sawyer, once served as the ward’s committeeman and commanded an organization whose members included Roland Burris. Sawyer said he wants to build up his ward’s Democratic organization, which he believes has withered since his late father’s era.

“It’s important for someone to build a strong ward organization,” Sawyer said. “I came from a strong ward organization.”

The ward organizations can provide programs for the neighborhood, he said.
I'm curious as to what types of programs he hopes to provide to the community as 6th Ward Democratic Committeeman. The article notes that being a committeeman isn't what it used to be back in the heyday of the dreaded Chicago Machine.

They noted that during former Mayor Eugene Sawyer's tenure as Alderman/Committeeman former US Sen. Roland Burris was a member of his organization. You want to know that history read this post.

BTW, I was looking for an excuse to post this but since we know of Alderman Sawyer's future political plans it's worth showing here. This is from one of last month's Russ Stewart columns. He more or less covers politics on the northwest side, but he notes Ald. Sawyer if he were to run for 6th Ward Democratic Committeeman:
Bulls: For these aldermen/committeemen, their ward is their kingdom, they rule with an iron fist, and they brook no opposition. Patronage may no longer be plentiful, but they have a loyal cadre of workers, have their precincts covered, and can raise up to $100,000 annually. The most domineering of the "bulls" are Dick Mell (33rd), Ed Burke (14th) and Pat O'Connor (40th), whose power extends beyond their wards. Another 23 committeemen, of varying degrees of seniority and political acuity, rank in this category. All but three seized the committeemanship after being elected alderman to protect their power base.

Those three -- Mary O'Connor (41st), Michele Smith (43rd) and Matt O'Shea (19th) -- reversed the process: They were elected Democratic committeeman in 2008 and used their election as a springboard to win open 2011 aldermanic races.

In the April election, two venerable Northwest Side "bulls," Banks and retiring Aldermen Pat Levar (45th), were pastured with the sheep after their aldermanic choices lost. Levar, however, says that he is going to run for his party post in 2012.

Expect freshman Aldermen Proco Joe Moreno (1st), Will Burns (4th), Roderick Sawyer (6th), Mike Chandler (24th), Jason Ervin (28th), Deborah Graham (29th), John Arena (45th), James Cappleman (46th), Harry Osterman (48th) and Sposato to attempt to rise to the "bull" level next year.
Hmmmm, Ald. Sawyer a "bull"? Would he even care for the distinction? Well one reason to look forward to 2012. Not only the race for the Presidency, but in next year's Democratic primary the race for 6th Ward Democratic Committeeman!

1 comment:

  1. Well I'm expecting some more candidates to announce that they want that seat. I guess election season part 2 has started.


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