MARK ALLEN TALKS —- One thing that is clear that you do not hear in the latest media battles between Governor Quinn and Senator Bill Bradley or Mark Kirk and Alexi Giannoulius is WHO best has a grassroots Black or poor people’s agenda and they are on the ballot with 5,000 signatures. And the indpendent campaigns of William “Dock” Walls and Scott Lee Cohen who ARE actively engaging the grassroots Black and poor people’s agenda have to get over 100,000 signatures just to make the current 25,000 signature requirements and ironic that the established party candidates who only got 5,000 signatures to be on the ballot are to fight like hell to make sure that only they can be the candidates to choose from in November.
Where are the major Democratc and Republicans when thousands of poor Black people have been in the streets for months and months publicly begging to get off the streets and have been lobbying for Wal Mart and local jobs? Black and poor people in the streets BEGGING for any type job to get out of the desperate economic conditions they are in and not a public word from the Democrats or Republicans who want to be their Senator and Governor. WHO elected the Unions to use their influence to block these poor people from the jobs that they are publicly asking for. I thought Unions could only represent their dues paying members and last I checked I didnt see or hear any of these Black and poor people say that they asked for the Unions to represent them in their fight for Wal Mart jobs in the Black community.
Thousands of at-risk Black youth and adults have been got their non profit and Green Job certification and have been lobbying for funding proposal support to create thousands of new green jobs by using empty lots and transforming them into community gardens. These jobs would help prevent them from being drawn into the gang, drug, and other illegal street economies and life threatening environments this summer, but no word of public support from the major party candidates that want Black and poor peoples votes for Senate or Governor.
The major party candidates for Senator and Governor want to be elected in the grassroots communities that helped elect President Barack Obama yet will not acknowledge or respond to The Black and poor agenda items developed by many of the same Chicago community organizers who worked with Barack Obama during his own days as a Chicago community organizer. These candidates want to be judged by their symbolic appearances in Black churches, photo ops with Black leaders, symbolic appearances on WVON, but they offer nothing of substance to offer grassroots Black and poor people who continue to live under the worst of desperate economic conditions with no sprecific plan to lift them up the major party candidates that want to be Governor and Senator.
As the Black grassroots and poor communities continue to listen to the everyday media campaigns from the major party candidates for Senator and Governor, why can’t they stop long enough to answer some basic questions like;
* Do they have any campaign funds deposied in Black banks or credit unions?
* Do they use Black vendors for their printing or othrer campaign literature?
* Do they use any Black talent in the creation and production and airing of their major media buys?
* Do they have paid Black senior management staff or consultants?
* Do they have any offices from Black owned realtors in the grassroots Black and poor communities?
* Who in their campaign staff publicly represents grassroots Black and poor people’s issues.?
* Will they meet regularly with leaders from Black grassroots and poor people’s groups?
Now these are just some of the questions that have been sent to the major candidates for Senator and Governor for several months with no response, yet they keep on with their campaigns and media buys that absolutely does not ever mention or address grassoots Black and poor people’s issues. If they are not going to address grassroots Black and poor people’ issues, why then why try and force the candidates off the ballot like Cohen and Walls that are trying to address the grassroots Black and poor people’s issues.?
Grassroots Black and poor people are not Democratc or Republican but “poor ” and want to have the opportunity to choose from candidates in November that best addresses their issues that they have developed, but to date, there is absolutely no grassroots Black and poor people’s agenda being seen or publicly addressed by Governor Quinn, Senator Brady, Mark Kirk, or Alexi Giannoulius.
Veteran Black activists Mark Allen, Wallace “Gator” Bradley and others have met with over 300 Black grassroots leaders over the past few months and will continue to meet and organize and not continue to allow the major candidates to promote a symbolic Black and poor people’s agenda that does not address the items that grassroots leaders came up with themselves and will not be fooled by the usual response from candidates who want to name drop or photo-op with Black people as an answer to very specific questions being raised on a Poor people’s agenda. Black and poor people MUST rise up and put an end to symbolic cam,paign promises over items of substance.
Mark S. Allen, Associate Editor, The South Street Journal; Board member of The Black Wall Street-Chicago Project; Board Member of The Chicago Gospel Music Heritage Museum; Founder of The Black Leadership Development Institute, BLDI. 449 East 35th Street, 1st Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60616 (312) 624-8351 or cell (773) 392-0165
Rev. Al Sharpton calls Mark Allen “One of Chicago’s legendary poltical activists,” and Allen and Bradley serve as some of the national community organizers of Rev. Al Sharpton’s 12 Month National Action Plan where local leaders are developing specific political agenda that can be measured.