Daisy Camps
“The only thing I know of, not personally, but a lot of young people have been eligible for city jobs, but by the time they got down there to apply, the job was already taken. Meanwhile, there have been other people who applied for the same jobs and were hired, so I guess you have to know somebody just to get a summer job. When we have young people who want to work and learn, it is unfortunate they are not given a fair chance because they are not part of the patronage system. In my years of living here, this seems to be the routine for Chicago.”

Eunice Wigfall
“There are a lot of people on the patronage system that do not have any experience at all. They get on because of their relatives. There was an incident not so longer ago where a young man was a building inspector and he was paid a fortune, and I guess he’d been on the job more years than his age. He allegedly was only 19 years old, and this was a total disgrace. The mayor claims he does not know anything about patronage and I find that hard to believe. The mayor’s chief of patronage and three other senior officials were all found guilty of patronage abuse, and the mayor wants us to believe he did not know?”

Dolores Fox
“I’m thinking about all those who have gone to City Hall, applied for jobs, took the test, qualified ?” but never got the job. All the political people got these jobs, and people who were qualified for the jobs and ordinary citizens like me never got the jobs. I think that was terrible and deplorable. We need jobs in the black community. Often these patronage people can get jobs anywhere. They should not take the jobs from people who are qualified and really need the job. They usually have friends in private industry that they can get a job with. The patronage system has made certain groups appear lazy, when in reality, they didn’t know the right person, even though they were qualified.”

Zakiyyah S. Muhammad
“I have a friend who currently is filing suit against the Water Reclamation Department for overlooking her for a position that she is qualified for, and they are putting a white man in who is connected to the patronage system. Streets and Sanitation has often ignored the black communities, and shown favor to the white communities where they have connections. The park district personnel has always favored keeping parks in white communities up to par. Yet, in black communities parks have been ignored. The Forest Preserve has been known to hire only persons with patronage connections. All city services and job promotions are denied to the black community unless there is a connection. Our city services are full of patronage, and it makes a difference in how our black communities look when they are not serviced fairly. As taxpayers, we should all receive the same city services we did under Mayor Harold Washington.”

Father George Clemons
“I’ve been asked about patronage [which] is just another form of what’s called ‘nepotism,’ and nepotism is when you hire people that are related to you or that you know because you got the power to do that. The point about patronage and nepotism is that they do it all the time, and what we need to do is get into power so that we will be able to appoint people that we know are going to be for everybody and not just for a few. We black folk need political power. We can get that if we just get out and vote. One of the things that I use to do when I was pastor at Holy Angels is; anybody that wanted to register their child in our school had to show us a voter’s registration card. And I think that you got to be able to vote if you really want to have a say so in what’s going on. So I say this about patronage, let us make sure that each and everyone of us has a registration card, get out and vote, and let’s make sure we put the rascals out.”