Rep. Danny Davis now supports Dr. Willie Wilson for mayor
By Chinta Strausberg
Just a few days after filing 47,000 signatures to run for mayor of Chicago, businessman/philanthropist Dr. Willie Wilson held a strategy meeting at the Chicago Baptist Institute International where Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-7th) and others pledged their full support for his candidacy.
Saying he initially supported Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) then Cook County Comm. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, whom he has known since activist Rudy Lozano was killed, who was his “next guy,” Rep. Davis announced his firm support for Dr. Wilson’s campaign. “I’m here because of Willie Wilson. If somebody else” were running, Davis said he probably wouldn’t be there. ‘
“To me, politics is as serious as cancer,” Davis told more than 200 black ministers. “It’s the lifeblood of a people. I don’t play with it. I don’t play about it. I don’t shuck and jive in terms of what my positions are and why they are.”
“I study politics like some preachers study the bible,” said Davis. “I’ve been elected for 35-years.” He said  West Side political guru Richard Barnett let his campaign in 1979. “All the prognosticators said it wouldn’t happen because I ran as an independent.” Davis ran for alderman and won. He credited Barnett with helping to elect more black judges than anyone in Chicago’s history.
“I’m not playing when I come to support Dr. Willie Wilson. I don’t have any need to play,” he said. “I’ve got a feeling that we can be successful.”
Richard Wooten, a Chicago policeman who attended that meeting, said, “I think Dr. Willie Wilson is a great qualified individual to be mayor of Chicago and as much support as we can give him, we’ll be there.”
On Monday, December 8, 2014, at 9:30 a.m., Wilson, 66, is holding a meeting at Life Center Church, 5500 South Indiana, where he will film 30-second commercials with different people who have embraced his campaign. It is the same time and hour that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner will be at the same church thanking voters for electing him, according to Wilson.
He also announced that Richard Barnett will be his campaign manager and Tracey Alston, who heads The Danielle Ashley Group, will be his public relations director. “She was with Vice President Al Gore,” said Wilson.  Alston said she began with WBEE radio and that former WGN radio reporter/press secretary to Mayor Richard M. Daley Avis LaVelle is her mentor but her proudest moment was when she did PR for the Democratic National Committee.
Referring to Wilson’s mayoral campaign, Alston said, “This is a community driven campaign. This is our time. If you are ready to go, we are ready to go.”
Wilson also announced his campaign coordinator will be Rev. Dr. R.L. Patterson, president of the Baptist Pastor’s Conference of Chicago & Vicinity. Others present in support of Wilson’s bid for mayor were: Rikki Jones, president of the Cook County Democratic Women organization, Rev. Dr. Stephen J. Thurston, pastor of the New Covenant MBC and president of the National Baptist Convention of America, Rev. Greg Seal Livingston, founder and president of Uplift, Inc., Rev. Douglas Mayo, former Illinois Senator Rickey Hendon, Spencer Leak, Sr., head of the Leak and Sons Funeral Home, and many others.
Livingston said, "We have a movement. Dr. Wilson cannot be bought. They can't afford him.... He is not just a black candidate. God has blessed this man. He has a track record of giving. He did not close 50 schools.... We have a chance to change Chicago. When Dr. Wilson announced his candidacy, the fifth floor was shaking.... The black vote has always been taken for granted.... People treat us like slaves to the Democratic Party. They gave blacks Budweiser and a pork chop sandwich" to get their vote. Livingston added, "This is going to be a movement."
Wilson said when he looks at city government, “I don’t see enough reflection…enough make up of the whole city.” He said more diversity is needed.
A goal was set to raise $5,000 at that meeting. Wilson said he would be holding fundraisers in the near future. If elected, Wilson said he would use his salary to give to his favorite churches. He already gives his Social Security check away every month.
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