Silvana Tabares or Rudy Lozano Jr., who would it be?

It’s not easy being a politician!  Most Chicagoans believe that a lot of elected officials in Illinois are in for the personal gain, the power trip, the status, and in petty cases the free meals and drinks at expensive restaurants, clubs and hotels.  Just remember our two former governors.

But what is worse than a corrupt politician? It would be a citizen or taxpayer who doesn’t know who represents him or her in Springfield, those who go about their daily lives not knowing or ignoring how a public servant gets elected.

In the newly created 21st District of the Illinois State House of Representatives, we are about to vote for either Silvana Tabares or Rudy Lozano Jr.  One of them will be proposing and voting on laws that affect residents of the neighborhoods of Brighton Park, Garfield Ridge, Little Village and the suburbs of Summit, Lyons, Stickney and Cicero.  The new representative’s job would be to improve the lives of residents of these communities, use their taxes in a wise and productive manner, and provide public safety.  But sadly sometimes the newly elected becomes a lobbyist, representing the interests of corporations and the powerful people who supported their campaigns.  I hope this won’t be the case with whomever gets elected.

Silvana Tabares 

Tabares is inexperienced, particularly in politics.  She was tapped to replace Susana Mendoza former representative for the 1st district.  But because Tabares didn’t meet the residency requirements she couldn’t be Mendoza’s replacement.  Mendoza, the new Chicago City Clerk, didn’t want her either; when she told me last year that Tabares didn’t have the qualifications needed for the job.  Lozano Jr. and other politicians think that Alderman Ed Burke, the big cheese of the Democratic Party, is manipulating Tabares.  Juan Rangel, CEO of United Neighborhood Organization (UNO), is the person who approached her to replace Mendoza.  And he is also skillfully influencing her.  Rangel works now behind the scenes on Tabares’ campaign for state rep.  Take also into consideration that Rangel is a close ally of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  I wanted to talk to Burke and Rangel.  But I couldn’t and wouldn’t because Tabares refused to grant me an interview.  She did not return several phone calls made to her personal cell phone.  She did not reply an email and neither a FaceBook message.  And since the number at her campaign office was disconnected, I showed up there unannounced.  I found her doing what politicians do, when they want your vote.  She was carrying somebody’s baby, but as soon as I entered with my videographer she disappeared.  Her campaign manager assured me she wasn’t there.  I must’ve seen her ghost! The baby was there but she was gone. A colleague of mine said, “Tabares should’ve done what seasoned politicians do, talked to the media”.

In her campaign webpage, Tabares writes “Together we can bring real change and an independent voice to Springfield”.  How independent can she be when the person who gave the green light to her campaign has been a Chicago alderman since 1969?  I have a serious problem with people who hold on to a political post for more than a term. Let alone a lifetime in the same public office.  So I wonder, if she were to be elected who would call the shots in Springfield, Tabares or Burke? Burke didn’t even know Tabares a year ago.  Rangel introduced Tabares to Burke; even though she has no political experience and has not done any community service whatsoever.  This makes me question Rangel’s motives as well.  I believe that the only reason Tabares was asked to be a replacement in state congress and now a candidate is the fact that she took a leadership workshop with UNO.  But that doesn’t make a state representative, not even a member of a local school council. At the same time, she has the right to pursue the post; just as we have the right to ask questions about her campaign.  Because she worked for a local weekly publication, she should know that. But then again she is a political neophyte.

If she were to become my state representative --I happen to live in the 21st district-- I will remind her of her written promise to “protect our neighborhoods and keep gangs off the streets, drugs off the corners, and graffiti off our homes”.

Rudy Lozano Jr.

Lozano Jr. says that he’s been doing community work for the last 15 years; and that he has worked as a teacher, a community organizer and director of after school programs.  It is true.  But does he have what it takes to represent the thousands of people who live in the district?  Some say no.  Others say that he is capable and experienced to become a legislator. Those who don’t believe in him say that if he were to win the elections, it would be because of “name recognition”.

His father Rudy Lozano Sr. was a union organizer who was murdered in 1983.  A Chicago Tribune article published in 1985 reads: “No clear motive for Lozano’s murder was established although there was speculation that it was the result of an argument over a debt involving a drug deal or participation of gang members in Lozano’s aldermanic campaign”. One gang member was convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison for the killing. Another one was freed for not having sufficient evidence against him.  Supporters of Lozano Sr. accused the current state prosecutor, Richard M. Daley, of mishandling the case.  Many believe that it was a larger conspiracy with political roots or ramifications, and that those truly responsible for his death have not been identified.  The activist and union leader has become a role model for Latinos in Chicago.  Today we have a Library in Pilsen and a High School in Little Village named after him.  Lozano Jr. says that he was inspired by his father’s commitment to community work, but he is his own man.

Lozano Jr. says that like his father he will “defend the rights of workers”, but will also defend the rights of “immigrants, women and youth”.  He was one of the organizers of the movement and hunger strike behind the construction of the relatively new Little Village Lawndale High School and has “helped kids get off street corners”. Lozano Jr. says he helps them “graduate from high school and go to college, something that improves their lives tremendously”.

I do believe him, but I also believe that if Lozano Jr. wants to beat Tabares and her political allies, he needs a lot of help. And he knows it.  In 2010, he ran unsuccessfully for state congress in the 23rd district against the incumbent Dan Burke, Ed Burke’s brother.  “It was a great experience,” he says. “We didn’t win, but it was a victory for ourselves because we were able to challenge the Burkes and the Madigans and the (political) machine, the entire machine of the Southwest side.  They were supposed to beat me by a landslide and they didn’t”.  We shall see if he pulls it off in 2012.

In the mean time, I extend an invitation to both candidates to have debate using Punto EGF as the platform.

Enrique García Fuentes

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  • fb_avatar

    We don't need anymore political pawns. Tough times require strong leadership, RUDY LOZANO delivers results.

  • In reply to Cindy Cambray:

    Cindy,

    That might be the case! But what do you think about a debate? Would't that be a great opportunity for all to know the candidates and their political platform. Thanks for your comment! Let's have a debate! EGF

  • Enrique, a debate requires two people. And if she wouldn't even give you an interview, what makes you think we can get her to agree to a debate?

  • In reply to Paletero05:

    Dear Paletero05,

    I would like to give her the benefit of the doubt. I think she has the right to say no to an interview. But at the same time, the residents of the 21st district deserve to know who she is and what she plans to do as a potential legislator. It is also our right and responsibility to ask for such a forum, to pressure her into a debate. I would like people to take an active role in deciding who can represent them in Springfield. And please don't think that because she refuses to talk to me or be part of a debate, she cannot win. Thanks for your comment! EGF

  • fb_avatar

    Hi Enrique,

    I have actually worked with Ms. Tavares before and honestly i do wish her the best but, i would not vote for her and yest i am a resident of the new 21st district. All i have to say is i am voting for Mr. Lozano Jr since i believe he has more experience and i would trust him more than Ms. Tavares.

  • In reply to Tony Technics:

    Hello Tony,

    You are entitled to your opinion and you may vote for whomever you want. Thanks for being honest and straight with all of us and particularly this blogger! This exchange will continue because there is much more to write about this race. Stay tuned!!! EGF

  • A debate would give candidates an opportunity to express themselves and also to make a deeper commitment to the voters, and give people a chance to know them,

    I hope they agree!

  • In reply to Ariel Waisburd:

    Alleluia! Alleluia! Thanks for reading my blog. You and I need to talk about Tango and your projects. I owe you an apology for not showing you the interview I did with your father in Buenos Aires! He was the man!!! Remind me, please. Best wishes! EGF

  • fb_avatar

    Disclosure: I'm a freelance journalist and personally know Silvana Tabares.

    I absolutely agree a debate should take place, but I'm not so sure your blog is the proper platform for it. Here's why: I think you're entitled to your opinion, and I agree with a LOT of what you have written here. But I'm disappointed you wouldn't choose to disclose your own biases before you painted a picture of Silvana Tabares, as just another candidate hiding from the media.

    I know this is a blog, and blogs aren't necessarily held to the same standards and ethics of other forms of journalism. But, I know you are a trained journalist Mr. Garcia Fuentes, and I would have hoped you'd do better. I don't think it's appropriate for a journalist to conduct an interview with someone they were once friends with. I think it's a conflict of interest. I haven’t really spoken to Silvana since she started campaigning and I am just as curious to find out where she stands on issues; but if I was tapped to do a story about her or her campaign, I would decline because I may find it difficult to remain unbiased.

    And even then, with Chicago politics and media being such a small world, I understand sometimes there are exceptions to the rule. If the story had to be told and it could only be done by you, to not disclose that information to your readers is misleading and only represents half of the truth.

  • In reply to Adriana Diaz:

    Hello freelancer!

    Good to hear from you. First of all, thanks for agreeing "with a LOT of what ( I ) have written here".
    Also, thanks for recognizing that I’m a trained journalist. But at this point in my professional life, I don't need your recognition, nor anybody else’s. I am beyond the Emmys and the applause of people in my field.

    What I need from you is to wake up and understand that you have a social responsibility, if you call yourself a journalist. It doesn’t matter if you are a freelancer. As a colleague, please do not assume that Silvana and I were friends. How do you know that? Did she tell you? If she were my friend, perhaps she would’ve given me an interview. And then I would’ve said, “I am asking you as a journalist, not as a friend”.

    You should know that she is not talking to a lot of Chicago media. She didn’t even want to talk to a writer from her former employer –Extra Bilingual Newspaper.

    And the only conflict of interest lays in the fact that you are defending her. Can you be objective and think about what Silvana publishes on her web page? Do you actually believe she is independent? Do you think she is not being manipulated? Why is she hiding? I gave her an opportunity to talk. She didn’t want to.

    I don’t want to be friends with people who one day wanted to be “journalists” and then suddenly became politicians.

    And by the way, I was never tapped to do a story about Silvana, as she was tapped to be something she is not prepared to be. Please understand this is an opinion piece, not an investigative report.

    If she wins I’ll make sure she does her job, not because I’m a journalist but because I’m a resident of the 21st district. The same goes for Rudy Lozano Jr. Thanks. EGF

  • In reply to Adriana Diaz:

    Adriana,

    Do you define yourself as a real journalist because you would decline to comment about someone you personally know?

    I think you should change your career then!

  • fb_avatar

    Dear EGF,
    As these comments are moderated, I don't mind if you publish this comment or not, I honestly would rather have a conversation with you, but you don't have an email address on your page. I just want to provide some clarification. My previous comment, wasn't in defense of anyone, but in defense of journalism. I wasn't giving you recognition for being a trained journalist, I was holding you to a standard because of it.

    Again, I know blogs are blogs, and this is your opinion. But I still think a disclosure is necessary. You should admit to your readers that at one point you and Silvana were friends.

    I'm not a resident of the 21st ward, nor am I for or against Silvana's campaign. And as I'd mentioned, I absolutely believe a debate needs to take place. However, you might not recall, but you and I have met. And if I'm making any "assumptions" based on your past friendship with Silvana it wasn't based on anything she has or hasn't told me. They are based on my own observations.

    best.

  • In reply to Adriana Diaz:

    Hello Adriana! I am also willing to talk to you about this. I think blogging helps people come together, discuss issues, share ideas and expose the truth. In regards to your comment about Tabares being my friend, I can tell you she is as much of a friend as Lozano Jr. is. Also, I've noticed your tweet. As a journalist, I do not assume. So, please do not think that I am taking your tweeting as a personal attack. Here is my number: 773 879-1219. This is for you and for anybody else who wishes to call and talk about this. Hasta pronto, EGF

  • Nice Mr. Garcia Fuentes!
    Many times political candidates are thrown to our voting ballots and voters we don't even heard any political movement until weeks before elections. Who is Silvana Torres? And Rudy Lozano Jr? From Rudy, I know for bad or good that his dad was an activist from the 70's. Now, just taking Rudy Lozano Jr. profile, besides that he is young, optimistic, and new age activist, I have my worries. He can be playing another political group's agenda, and he can be used or manipulated using his dad's name to approach voters. Our community needs more people involved on politics, clear and non-self profit.

  • Thanks Alicia! You are right! We need to question everybody; and anybody could be manipulated. That's exactly why we need to know who is asking for our vote! Keep commenting there will be plenty more columns or blogs to read.
    EGF

  • Enrique, everyone knows you are a good friend of Rudy's and you have been for some time now. I know blogging does not have teh same rules and journalistic integrity, but you used to be journalist on an actual news station, so I thought you would have learned a thing or dos. When you read actual journalists write a piece on someone with whom they have a personal relationship, they actually let the reader know so they can justify any subjective slant.

  • In reply to Marco Verdad:

    Marco Verdad,

    Once again! This is not a news story. And the only person who can really say that I'm Rudy's friend would be Rudy himself. So, please ask him. I would be interested in knowing his response. And by the way, I am still a journalist. I produce and report news in Spanish for Televisa and other international networks. Please watch sometime. Thanks! EGF

  • Why Would I ask him, I am not the "journalist" in this conversation. The following is a link to ethics in journalism, since you consider yourself one. http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp
    You may want to read up on it, I can have it translated too if you would like it in Spanish for you to share with Televisa. Oh, and below is a nice picture with your good amigos--where was that taken? Perhaps you were covering a wedding out of town and just happened to bumb into your friend Rudy.
    See picture below:

    http://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/photo.php?fbid=2028061114608&set=t.1238172355&type=3&theater

  • In reply to Marco Verdad:

    Dear Marco Verdad,

    You don't have to do anything you don't want to. And yes I am the journalist and you are not. You are just somebody who seems to be very upset about what I wrote about Silvana Tabares. I repeat, this is not a news story. This is a blog! And I thank you for reading it. I suspect you will continue doing it.

    About the picture, if every person I am photographed with happens to be my friend, I would have thousands of them; which is not the case. I also have a picture with Tabares; and she is not my friend or is she? It now seems that Tabares is yours. So please help her get elected and make sure she does a good job in Springfield. That's what I want to accomplish with this blog, make sure our next representative represents us well. Otherwise what's the point?! By the way, thanks for the picture!
    Enrique García Fuentes

  • Rudy Lozano,Jr. is tearing down his opponents signs with 22nd Alderman Ricardo Munoz and his employees. Alderman Ricardo Munoz is quarterbacking Lozano's campaign. Alderman Ricardo Munoz is a ex-Latin King gangmember and he has admitted it publicly. Munoz family members like his father and nephew were arrested and indicted for the fake-id ring in Little Village that is putting many at risk for identity theft and terrrorism. Lozano brother Pepe works for a community paper and well as Rudy Lozano in the past. Pepe wears a community Soviet Union had with the flag and is proud of his communism. We dont need that type of leadership. Lozano and his brother are know to smoke and do drugs with alderman Munoz. Look at mUnoz arrest record possession of cocaine and possession of a fire arm. I quess well vote for Silvana Tabares.

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