Scott Lee Cohen and his Independent Campaign for Governor must be serious about his outreach to Black grassroots voters in that Cohen and his media director John Davis have met with me as a former Chicago and State Field Director for the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr and The Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and Cohen himself has met personally with the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr to state his case for why Jackson and Rainbow/PUSH supporters may welcome the candidacy of Cohen and his Lieutenant Governor running mate Baxter Twilley as live options over that of Incumbant Governor Pat Quinn whom Jackson as late as last Saturday's PUSH Broadcast and Press Conference has publicly challenged Governor Quinn over his silence on key issues affecting Blacks and poor constituencies in Illinois.
I have had a number of personal conversations with John Davis over the past few months and have had talks with him regarding whether I still maintained my contacts with grassroots organizers who were my state contacts when I did Illinois voter registration, voter education, and voter partcipation campaigns not only from my days as Field Director for Rev. Jackson and The Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, but also when I was with The Chicago Urban League as Voter Education and City/County Government Relations Specialist as well my recent efforts as one of the National Community Organizers for Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network's 12 Month Action Plan.
I have known John Davis personally and professionally for over 20 years as an activist as well as one of his strong supporters when he was a news anchor and reporter with CBS2 Chicago. I have worked with John on numerous community projects over the years and he would often seek me out when seeking leads and real people to talk to on many news stories that he reported on or civic projects that he was involved in. I respect and am humbled that Joh would think to seek me out in term of helping out The Cohen Campaign with new visibility efforts at reaching key Black grassroots activists and organizers in Chicago and across the state and how that could serve as credibility and boost to the campaign of Cohen, especially at a timew when more and more voters appear to be expressing negative attitudes towards Quinn or Senator Brady's campaigns.
This is all just courtesy discussions among long time friends as Joh has not made any specific offers in terms of joining the Cohen Campaign in any officlal staff or consultant capacity, however I did reach out to other activists like Wallace "Gator" Bradley and hundreds of others who did respond to Cohen's campaign to solicit signatures for Cohen's effort at over 130,000 signatures to make the ballot. Many people who did circulate petitions did not make endorsement of Cohen, but many were responding to the call that provided many with the opportunity to make some legal money circulating petitions, and kept many from being drawn into illegal economies as many were unemployed and had no source of legal income. Making some legal money was important to them as well as the history of Cohen's Primary Campaign's hosting Job Fairs for the unemployed.
I was with Rev. Jackson recently at PUSH last Saturday but I did not share with him about the fact that John Davis was talking to me about assisting with helping Cohen get access to many of the Rainbow/PUSH organizers and supporters across ther city and state that used to work with me on Rainbow/PUSH City and State voter education issues and campaigns, and neither did Rev. Jackson mention anything to me that Cohen had reached out and met with Rev. Jackson directly about his campaign.
Truthfully, I have known Governor Quinn for over 20 years and we used to have a close working relationship with the over 300 community organizers and activists I regularly work with but in this campaign Quinn and I have posed for some photo opportunities when we have been in the same places, but Quinn nor his campaign has ever sought me out to be s ataff member, consult or otherwise support his campaign for Governor, but I thank John Davis for reaching out to me, and only Rev. Jackson himself can speak to the outreach by Cohen and their meeting, but to reach directly to me and Rev. Jackson is a credit to the Cohen campaign for it does reflect their seriousness about trying to reach out to Black and grassroots voters in Black and poor communities. While Quinn does meet with Black leaders, I have yet to see any specific agenda that speaks to Black grassroots voters nor even mention a Poor people's agenda on behalf of the poor.
Today, I remain Independent and free to talk with any candidate, not gicing preferance to any party, but to those who truly come to meet directly with Black grassroots organizers, activists, and those who represent the empowerment agenda's of the poor and the least of God's people.