Yesterday, I was invited to a weekly campaign meeting for the historic campaign of Illinois Appellate Court Justice Joy Cunningham's campaign for Illinois Supreme Court. Historic in that the Illinois Supreme Court already has made history with the election of its first female and the first Black male, and when elected Justice Cunningham would break new history as the first Black female member.
During this meeting at Josephines Hard Times Restaurant on East 79th Street, the campaign managers, fundraisers and management team after opening the meeting with introductions turned the focus of the meeting on Bradley, hired as Cunningham Campaign advisor who introduced a whole team of key grassroots contacts who have major contacts and rapport with the constituencies of grassroots organizers, crime intervention and preventions specialists, youth and young adult organizers, veteran petition circulators, cable tv producers, hip hop promoters, ex-offenders, and other grassroots social media people.
At the end of the reports, the campaign seem to have exceeded the number of good petition signatures needed to file for Cunningham to make the ballot for the 2012 Primary election. Then the social media contacts counted up the numbers from their respective blogs and e-blast services and they ended up with over 200,000 contacts that they committed to Bradley to promote the campaign of Justice Cunningham to a grassroots constituencies usually off the radar by most political establishment. It looks like Justice Cunningham is set to benefit from the same group of contacts that Bradley (known now as the "urban translator") brought to the campaign of another successful Judge Michael Hyman, who also took all kinds of local and national political and media focus for his hiring of the controversial Bradley and his grassroots contacts when Hyman ran for election as full Circuit Court Judge after his serving as an appointee. Judge Hyman stuck with Bradley and his grassroots outreach contacts and was elected, and again, it looks like Cunningham wants to also benefit from the voters that Bradley and contacts are able to reach out to, especially since Hyman and Cunningham have a record they want to promote to ex-offenders, at risk youth and other grassroots constituencies they have advocated for in their legal and justice careers.
As a veteran activist myself, I looked around the campaign outreach meeting for Cunningham and recognized a whole number of familiar political operatives. I saw Chinta Strausberg, former longtime political reporter for The Chicago Defender, veteran petition organizers like Ron Sistrunk, Al Kindle, Tracey McLemore, Jim Allen from The Movement, Carl West of the hip hop and next generation leadership Truth B Told News Service and so many other grassroots organizer faces I recognized. And as I looked at The campaign literature being distributed to these key contacts, it is highlighted by the quotes of endorsements of established Black political powers like Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, U.S. Congressman Danny Davis, and Secretary of State Jesse White. Now this constituent meeting follows last weeks meeting of major interfaith religious leaders who have pledged their public support to the historic Cunningham campaign from the same Josephine's Hard Time Restaurant headed by longtime business owner Josephine "Mother" Wade..
Throughout these reports at this meeting, I looked at the key notetaking and various nods of approval by senior management staff of Cunningham being done by Michael D. Harkavy, Founder/CEO of Global Media Strategies.
It seems that the focus for the campaigns of Judge Hyman and now Justice Cunningham and other justices they want to reach those constituencies in low and very low income communities that no matter what negative environments they come from, if they are registered to vote they must engaged in the electoral process.
And in full disclosure, I have to admit that by the meeting, I also pledged my various e-blasts lists and blog sites to the promotion of the candidacy of Appellate Court Justice Joy Cunningham's campaign for Illinois Supreme Court.
Mark S. Allen
Veteran Political Activist