An election is a “job review” for the incumbent. If he or she is doing a wonderful job, no one challenges. Or if someone runs, the incumbent easily wins because the voters approve of the job being done.
We have an election coming up on Feb. 24. It is not a primary. It is a non-partisan election where the winner is whoever gets 50% of the vote plus 1. So if three people vote, the winner is whoever gets two votes.
Voting is important. Whether you like it or not, politics affects everything you do. From your “mandated by man” birth certificate to your “mandated by man” death certificate, there is literally nothing that you do in this society where politics and politicians don’t play a role. Fortunately, we get to pick who our elected officials are every four years in this city. We pick them by voting — and in default by not voting.
Four years ago, when the current mayor was running, he had been given a pseudo-endorsement by President Obama. Black folks ran around saying, “Rahm is Obama’s boy and we gonna get something because of him.”
Well, we got 51 schools closed, the majority in black neighborhoods. We got more red-light and now speed-light cameras, insultingly, some placed where the park is not even playlot-sized but a strip of land for bicycling. We also got his infamous Chicagoland series where he played Superzero. And as the campaign progresses, we are seeing those commercials touting accomplishments as his own that were done by others. His latest, which talks about all-day kindergarten, goes out to people who are looking at the closed schools across from their homes.
Four years ago, when NAACP held a candidates forum at Friendship Baptist, 5200 W. Jackson, neither Rahm nor Gary Chico took the time to show up. The budget for the city of Chicago was $6.15 billion. Back then I wrote: “So hell yeah, the so-called front runners aren’t willing to come to the West Side and tell you what they plan on doing with all that money. Rather, they look at us as being so stupid that all they have to do is run a few commercials or appear with Pastor This, Bishop That or Reverend Whomever and we’ll rush to the polls and give them our vote.”
Sadly, black voters did just that. Now four years later, what do we have to show for it? Nothing.
The political atmosphere has also changed. Very few people like the mayor and for just cause. His political ambitions were always greater than just being mayor. He was kicked out of Washington and we need to fire him out of Chicago.
What kind of “job review” rating would you give someone who made three visits to the mother of Shimaya Adams, who was killed eating s’mores at a sleepover, yet when it came time for the funeral, he had “pre-existing plans with his son”? Or that his security staff runs red lights and are able to get their tickets dismissed while the rest of us are forced to pay?
Would you keep an employee (as the mayor’s job is to the citizens of this city) who tells someone as he did Karen Lewis, “F U Lewis.” That was the same terminology he used when he first went to Washington with the Obama administration. When told he needed to set up a meeting with the black caucus, his response was, “F the black caucus.”
There will again be a candidates forum at Friendship Baptist on Saturday, Jan. 24 beginning at 11 a.m. Now that the mayor needs our vote, let’s see if he shows up this time.
I’m sure many people want him to do a lot of explaining.