I hear that the new political/executive leadership of The Metroplitan Water Reclamation District are about the have their leadership elections on this Thursday. I want to lend my personal and public voice as a veteran political operative of over 40 years that current Commissioner Kari Steele SHOULD BE publicly supported as the new President Of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District SIMPLY BECAUSE she is uniquely qualified at The District in ways that I have seen no other in all my years of political activism.
In my over 40 years in political operative I have worked to empower a long list of Black and other candidates who went on to become actual elected officials at the current Water Reclamation District, and even going back to when it was called The Metropolitan Sanitary District without any real regard as to what the true qualifications were.
I respect current Commissioner Barbara McGowan who I met many years ago when she was a secretary to the late former Commissioner Joe Gardner. McGowan took the time through the the years to become even more educated on the real inner workings of this agency to the point of being qualified herself for election as an actual Commissioner.
I knew Kari Steele as a youth organizer in the 6th Ward under her father who I knew and worked with as Attorney John Steele working under former Alderman and former Mayor Eugene Sawyer. Steele went on to become Alderman and then Judge.
Kari Steele worked her way not just a youth in the Ward organization, but then further as a leading member of The Illinois Young Democrats. And even further, and more significant, the young Kari Steele went even further as an Intern, and then her higher education degrees as a real water chemist!!
Commissioner Kari Steele has planted her seeds in The Water Reclamation District in ways like no other in my judgement and is uniquely qualified like no other to serve as President Of The District.
I am going to have a very hard time trying to listen to our Black elected officials of influence and others if they try to explain to me and the public just WHY Kari Steele was not uniquely qualified to be chosen as President Of The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.
As one Black Committeeman told me personally that I agreed NOT to name publicly, that “on paper” Kari Steele SHOULD be the President of The District with her education, BUT this decision is not about one’s education, but the politics.