The February 22 2011 Municipal General Elections in Chicago are upcoming. A lot is at stake in this election, since the long time mayor Richard M. Daley, is not running for re-election. This unexpected turn of events has stirred up Chicago politics like a hornetâs nest. The race for City Hall initially started with approximately 22 candidates, but today there are basically six who have garnered enough attention to be included in mayoral debates.
In addition to the mayoral seat, the offices of city clerk, city treasurer and 50 aldermanic posts are at stake along with several referenda. A side note: please discount any pre-election polls; they are often misleading and, in some cases, actually shape the outcome of elections. Make sure you vote to ensure that your voice is heard! With that said, the following are the Chicago Crusader's endorsements for the upcoming Chicago Municipal Elections.
Mayor of the City of Chicago: CAROL MOSELEY BRAUN. The Office of the Mayor of the City of Chicago is an important one. Whoever is at the helm should be an experienced public servant with the ability to work with a broad sector of people in order to get things done. Carol Moseley Braun has this experience, albeit some of her public statements have made her controversial. We must not, however, fall into the pit of confusing personality with effectiveness. While we may criticize a candidate for a blip made in a public debate, the more pressing concern should be what that candidate can deliver for the community.
If we allow emotions to reject a candidate because of misplaced comments, others, who have not made the same verbal missteps can slide into office and wreak havoc on the community. Case in point: the outgoing mayoral administration has cost the Chicago community a lot, especially when observing the parking meter fiasco which has deeply hurt the pockets of Chicagoans. We need someone in office who has the background to understand the needs of Chicago's diverse communities. Carol Moseley Braun, who promises to be the mayor of all Chicago, also promises to emphasize the needs of poor and working people. Moreover, we must remember that Braun was selected as a "consensus candidate," and if the Black community wants to attain direct access to the fifth floor of City Hall, it must come to a consensus upon one candidate. It's a poor dog that doesn't wag its own tail; the Black community in Chicago should take heed. There are other viable candidates, and Patricia Van Pelt Watkins is an excellent one among several others. She has a lot of community experience and a lot of good ideas. She is also someone who might be able to handle the city's dollars, with a CPA degree.
She is not, however, as experienced as Braun, who is an experienced legislator on the state and federal levels, and who also served as Cook County Recorder of Deeds and as a United States ambassador. And on another note, it does not need to be a foregone conclusion that the "frontrunner" (Rahm Emanuel) will snatch the golden ring. With all of his donated millions, you can believe that "he who pays the piper calls the tunes," and the tunes, in this case, were not called by Chicago's working citizens, for the most part. It's fair to assume, therefore, that they won't be the primary beneficiaries. We must also remember that the great equalizer is the vote - we each have only one. We believe that Braun has the intelligence and the will to effectively carry out duties as the Mayor of the City of Chicago. The Crusader, therefore, endorses her candidacy.