MacArthur’s Restaurant garden area was the site where West Side politicians, activists and business people gathered Oct. 24, to hear Cong. Danny K. Davis’ endorsement of Cheryle Jackson’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate, a seat formerly held by President Barack Obama.

“If you’re going to endorse a candidate for the senate,” Davis said, “you may as well be where the best food in the state of Illinois is located. I’m pleased to be joined by a number of elected officials, former president of the Cook County Board, the honorable Bobbie Steele; state Rep. LaShawn Ford; Marquetta Smith, trustee from Broadview; state Sen. Rickey Hendon; Dorothy Walton, 9th District candidate; as well as a number community activists and citizens who live, eat and play politics. We are here for the purpose of endorsing our choice for the U.S. Senate.”

Rep. Ford said, “I’m here to pledge my support for Cheryle Jackson because the U.S. Senate is made up of 100 senators. And the only way we are going to represent all of the people is to have diversity in the senate. Doesn’t mean you have to be black, but you have to have a diverse mentality; you have to understand all the people in the United States. And I know Cheryle Jackson can represent white, black, Hispanic and all of Illinois.”

Bobbie Steele added, “Who do we need to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate? Do we need a rich white man? The senate is made up of more than enough of them. Or do we need someone who shares our experiences, someone who has been in the trenches fighting for jobs, for small businesses? The answer is clear, Cheryle Jackson.”

Jackson said she was honored and humbled to see emerging support for her candidacy. These are tough times, she noted, and it is time to demand the right kind of leadership.

Austin Weekly News asked, “Are you sick and tired of questions that are asked of you as a black woman that are not posed to other candidates?”

“You know it’s because I’m different,” she replied, “and it’s OK. People have lots of questions about things that are different, and I don’t mind being different. If being different means that I understand people’s problems better, then that’s OK, they can ask those questions. If being different means that I know having a special insight and perspective of problems facing people today, like joblessness, fighting to keep the doors open in small businesses, fighting to access to health care, foreclosures, veterans who have been overlooked and forgotten about, then that is OK. I’ll accept those questions and answer them every time.”