Bobby Rush isn't exactly sure how a million dollars was used for his Bobby L. Rush Center for Community Technology project. According to the Chicago Sun-Times: "That was many years ago,” Rush said. “I have no answer for that. I have no way of knowing that." So I guess the only logical thing to do is ask the $1 Million Question Was The Bobby Rush SBC/AT&T Grant A Quid Pro Quo?
According the Chicago Sun-Times at the time this ambitious project was announced in 2001 (and after the first installment of an SBC grant was dispersed), U.S. Representative Bobby Rush just happened to be sitting on the very House Telecom Sub-Committee that was deliberating on legislation that SBC/AT&T was seeking support on.
Coincidence? I doubt it but I do try and be fair and objective when it comes to these "political horse-trading deals" that are so prevalent in Illinois Politics. After all, had this ambitious project been completed it would have been a very, very good thing for an area of Chicago that so desperately needs these sort of programs and give it an economic boost.
But as I continued reading the article the only thing I could deduce was that Bobby Rush, family members and friends benefited most as SBC/AT&T continued doling out money in support of Bobby Rush. Again, according to the Chicago Sun-Times: "From 2008 through 2011, AT&T spent $303,000 to host receptions in Rush’s honor, according to lobbyist disclosure reports that show the company paid for hotels, entertainment and other expenses for the gospel-themed galas. Most of them were timed to coincide with the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. Rush said as many as 2,000 guests attended the receptions."
For the complete article regarding the Bobby L. Rush Center for Community Technology and Rebirth of Englewood Community Development Corporation please click here. I will leave it to you to decide if the $1 Million Question is a legitimate one or not.
Now anyone who has read this blog for awhile would know I have long advocated for the improvement of impoverished areas such as Englewood. But I have also brought up my fears that the people of those areas have not been paying attention to what their elected and community leaders are doing (or not doing) for them as they blindly re-elect them despite the lack of results or improvement.
Decade after decade, it seems, the impoverished areas remain impoverished despite millions upon millions of dollars given to Community Groups, Churches, etc.. So again and again I have to ask the same question - are the so-called leaders of these communities nothing more than slick politicians and charlatans?
I mean look. Anyone who has lived in the City of Chicago for any considerable amount of time can confirm that the more things supposedly change - the more they have stayed the same. The issues of today are eerily identical to the issues of yesteryear and one has to ask what that is all about? Why is it that the poor and impoverished areas continue to lag behind in everything from an equal education to economic development and improvement?
As such, asking where all that money went is pretty fair and reasonable.
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Tags: AT&T, Bobby L. Rush Center for Community Technology, Bobby L. Rush Center for Community Technology Project, Bobby Rush, Chicago, City of Chicago, Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference, Englewood, House Telecom Sub-Committee, Illinois, Illinois Politics, Legislation, Lobbyists, News and Opinion, Op Ed, Politics, Quid Pro Quo, Rebirth of Englewood Community Development Corporation, SBC/AT&T, US Congress, US Representative Bobby Rush