Let’s tell Trump, ‘You’re fired!’

America please don’t be fooled by the recent ABC news poll that says Hillary Clinton has a 12-point national lead on Donald Trump.

Don’t fall for the shenanigans!

I won’t be surprised if some Republicans are actually conspiring to vote for Hillary, in order to throw a monkey wrench in the polling data and to lull our side to sleep.

Everyone knows this country is more polarized than ever and Mr. Trump is effectively using his brand of dog whistle politics in order to speak to the racial animosities and fears of his angry Republican base, many of whom are frustrated with the Obama administration.

Don’t be fooled! This is a close presidential race!

You may not be in love with Hillary Clinton, who, I admit, is a flawed candidate, and blacks may be somewhat disappointed with how the Democratic party has taken them for granted for decades, but please beware.

I will do everything in my power to pull the cover off of this man, who the Republican Party has given to us as their presidential nominee.

In Donald J Trump, the GOP has nominated for president the most unrealistic, childish, prejudiced, racist, bigoted, fascist, misogynistic, homophobic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic and unpatriotic candidate we’ve ever had in modern history!

No wonder most Hispanics, Muslims, women and African Americans are committed to stopping Trump — the new face of white supremacy — from becoming the next Commander in Chief of America and the new leader of the free world.

On Nov. 8, it will do my heart well for the American people to say, with a collective voice, what this egomaniac enjoys telling so many others: ‘You’re fired, not hired!’

— Rev. Ira Acree,

Greater St. John Bible Church, Austin 

Include the West Side in the Community Catalyst Fund

The Mayor has proposed the new $100 million Community Catalyst Fund designed to invest in businesses in communities that are most in need.  A governing board consisting of the City of Chicago CFO, City Treasurer, Commissioner of Planning and Development, and four mayoral appointees will establish investment criteria and policies with input from an advisory council consisting of two aldermen and three community representatives. The targeted communities and manner in which investment decisions will be made are yet to be determined.

We, the members of the North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council (NLCCC), support the overall concept of the Community Catalyst Fund, and would encourage the team responsible for the implementation to solicit further input from local communities as the program is finalized. This will only strengthen the program. 

NLCCC is a group of North Lawndale stakeholders, including nearly 300 community-based organizations, business owners, elected officials and individuals that have come together to guide our community’s first comprehensive planning and implementation process since 1958.  We believe that there should be representation from Chicago’s West Side on the Community Catalyst Fund (“the Fund”) governing board as well as the advisory council. In times past, the West Side has been excluded from a number of the City’s innovative economic development programs, and we are under-represented on the governing boards for various City commissions. It is important that communities that are in most need also have a voice at the policy level to ensure that programs are responsive and deliver the maximum impact.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to small business development, and every establishment is different. The Fund should take a comprehensive approach that will tap into a variety of public and private resources to provide a broad array of financial products and services to small businesses that are at varying stages of development, from start-up to mature.  Examples include low interest micro-loans, New Markets Tax Credits, mezzanine debt and equity investments with longer investment horizons. At the same time, the Fund should provide funding for community-based CDFI’s (community development financial institutions), SBA-certified Small Business Development Centers and other intermediaries to provide technical assistance to small businesses seeking funding in order to minimize investment risk.

The Fund’s board should develop investment criteria that are more flexible than conventional financing while safeguarding investor capital, and prioritize projects that will create jobs and provide incentives for hiring residents of the communities in which the projects are located. There should also be accountability to ensure that jobs that are promised materialize. Finally, the Fund should consider clustering public works projects to enhance its investments and spur additional private investment in high need areas. 

We look forward to an investment fund that will catalyze investment on the West Side, and high-need communities around the City of Chicago.

— North Lawndale Coordinating Committee Exec. Subcommittee

Valerie F. Leonard, Rodney Brown and Dr. Dennis Deer, Members