Have you ever wanted to be a part of history? Have you ever studied the past and wondered what it was like to have been a part of the civil rights movement, or heard a speech by Dr. King or wondered what Chicago was like as we worked to elect our first black mayor, Harold Washington?

When Harold first ran, I had no interest in politics. But I saw people wearing that blue button with the sunrise pattern, and I wanted one, too. There was a sense of urgency in the campaign for Harold Washington. Black people had been continuously insulted, and we wanted a change. I remember how excited I was to get to the polls early in the morning so my vote could be cast.

I have previously written about my support for Bill “Dock” Walls to replace our current mayor. Dock is an attorney, a graduate of the Chicago Public School system, a member of Trinity Church and was Harold Washington’s top assistant and traveled with him locally, nationally and internationally for 3 years. He learned from the best and now wants to do put his lessons to work by becoming our next mayor.

He has plans that all of Chicago needs to hear?”plans to make sure everyone who wants a job, gets a job. Plans to make sure that high-paying city jobs like firemen, policemen and EMTs are given fairly to everyone throughout the city. Plans to make 300 people millionaires during his first three years in office. Yeah, I knew that one would get your interest.

How can he do all those things when the current mayor of this city seems to have “no money for this, no money for that?” Well, I invite you to come out and hear. So I’m calling on Westsiders. I’m calling on ex-offenders. I’m calling on the unemployed. I’m calling on the young and the old. I am calling men, women and children to stand up and show up as Bill “Dock” Walls makes his official announcement for the mayoral race. If 100,000 folks can show for a march on illegal immigration, then black folks need to be out there 500,000 strong to support a change in an administration that has reduced us to less than a mere afterthought.

Now I know you have questions. The first is where is this announcement going to be held? Well, it will be downtown. Good! That is a spot we all can make. When is the announcement? It will be on Sunday, April 23, 2006. Wait a second! I got church that day, so it better be after service is over! What time on Sunday? It will be from 3:30 to 6 p.m. OK, but I want to drive, and do I have to pay a meter? No, parking is free downtown on Sundays. OK, where downtown? Well, Dock will make the announcement where hundreds of people live. But wait, before you start planning on visiting some upscale condo or fabulous loft, we will meet where the homeless live. Where is that place? It’s at Michigan and Wacker Drive, river level.

That’s right! In downtown Chicago with brand new condos, lofts and townhouses being built for rich people to live in, the homeless are still living underground on Wacker Drive. In a city that spent half a billion dollars to build Millennium Park, the homeless are still living underground on Wacker Drive. In a city that has torn down public housing before any replacement housing was built, the homeless are living underground on Wacker Drive. As property taxes rise and people can no longer afford their homes, the homeless are living underground on Wacker Drive. As mental and VA hospitals have closed and sent their clients to the streets, the homeless are living underground on Wacker Drive.

Now many of us are just one paycheck away from being homeless?”paychecks that are taxed constantly to pay for every whim the mayor comes up with. Now ask yourself: If you miss that paycheck, will living underground on Wacker Drive be the place where you would have to live?

E-mail me?”I don’t bite!: westside2day@yahoo.com