We are getting down to the wire in the mayor’s race. There is not a primary for it; rather it’s a “winner takes all” election that allows whoever gets fifty percent of the vote plus one to be the winner.
Therefore in every ward in the city, if only three people vote, whoever gets two of the three votes is declared the winner. Scary isn’t it? Yet that law was put in place by Democrats wishing to control who wins and loses an election. Those same Democrats are also the reason why the election is held in the cold of February, as opposed to the milder temperatures of spring.
This is by design to suppress the black vote without claiming the need for literacy tests or any of the other hindrances put in place to keep us away from the polls.
While we don’t have a superstar candidate running, we do have the super-zero current mayor whose dislike of black people and the black community cannot be overlooked. During the debate at the DuSable Museum, where the focus was on issues of importance to the black community, all he offered was “I got a Negro as a friend card.”
His lists of accomplishments for the black community are that young children now have full day kindergarten and a rebuilt red line. Those children’s parents are not working and a rebuilt transportation system isn’t taking folks on the south side to jobs and opportunities.
Chicago was once a factory town. Elston Avenue was once filled with factory after factory. So was the area just west of Halsted and north of the Eisenhower. As such, the jobs that could be found paid a living wage and paid taxes that kept this city moving. Retail will never pay in taxes what industry pays.
Yet in the race for mayor, the questions asked of the candidates were the same tired ones that we hear over and over again. For me, I want to know why prime properties such as former car lots on major business streets are being turned into senior housing? Real estate taxes on housing don’t come close to making up for the taxes paid by a car dealership.
Besides the taxes on the cars, there were taxes on the parts used in making the repairs and jobs that went along with it. But as the city still gets its sales taxes based on the purchase of the car, there doesn’t appear to be much interest in all the other aspects of revenue.
Now some people will quickly declare that they “don’t care. Granny has a place to live.” Yet if the car dealership once paid $50,000 a year in taxes and the senior housing now only pays $15,000 a year in taxes, it will be us the other residents of the city who will have to make up the $35,000 difference.
And even though we as homeowners work, we are living on fixed wages with average increases of only two cents on the dollar. So our “fixed income” is as precarious as anyone else’s when those that run the city want us to pay more and more in taxes as the city continues to spend with no regards for the lack of income it is taking in.
Early voting will end this Saturday. The municipal election will be on Tuesday. I hope that everyone comes out and votes like their life depends on it—for in reality it does!
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