How will Election Day in February 2011 fare for the city of Chicago? This is the question I ask myself when voters will go to the polls four months from now. With all the hoopla going on around here in Chitown, I wonder what the outcome will be for the nation’s third-largest city.
Taking center stage at the moment are the gubernatorial and senatorial elections. Mayoral and aldermen campaigns seemed to have taken a back seat to the impending nationwide election occurring next week. This is my first mayoral and alderman election as a resident in Chicago and there are a few things that have made an impression on me.
Right now, the mayoral bid seems to looming in “no man’s land.” There doesn’t seem to be any direction a voter can go presently to help them make that all-important decision–selecting a mayor. I don’t really like making last minute decisions. Perhaps several factors have affected the up-coming race, causing it to drag its feet with so little time left.
Lots has been happening on the mayoral and aldermen fronts. We have had a scandal with Jesse Jackson, Jr. that involved a “social acquaintance.” Jackson had to re-consider his bid for mayor. Sandi Jackson, his wife was also involved. She wanted to run for mayor, too, however in light of her husband’s affairs, she also decided to decline a bid for the top job. Keep in mind she is presently an alderman who might possibly seek re-election in her ward.
Then there was the excitement of Rahm Emanuel resigning his White House chief of staff position in D.C. to come home and bail out our city of its woes. The statesman threw his hat into the campaign ring of candidates, thrust forward with his “Tell It Like It Is” walking tours to reconnect with the people. But the fear is that he will rule the town like Mayor Daley and that doesn’t sit well with some folks.
Rev. Meeks was initially leading in the early mayoral polls. Popular and well-liked, he envisioned taking on two tough, demanding jobs: leading his mega-church as well as the city. Well, that didn’t sit too well with folks, either. Meeks eyes were too big for his heart. (This was in the right place, but perhaps just a little too ambitious).
The Black Caucus can’t seem to find a consensus candidate either. Meet as they will, the group has yet to dub a successor to the “throne.” It’s taking a long time for them to find their solid candidate to vie for Daley’s seat. And, we’re still waiting…
Carol Moseley-Braun has expressed an interest in running for mayor. Still no official word from her camp as to whether she will move forward to pursue the post. In her last mini-interview, which I caught on TV, she said she is exploring the possibility. She is doing her research, so voters and aficionados will continue to wait for her announcement. Hopefully it will be soon.
Over the weekend I watched a local Chicago program that unveiled a new candidate in the campaign for the downtown headquarters. Add Christopher Cooper to the mayoral wannabes list. The Civil Rights attorney, who hails from New York (oh yeahhh!), has an impressive political portfolio, mind you. When interviewed he seemed to have lots of answers, stating he would make crime his number one priority if elected mayor of the Windy City. And, it doesn’t necessarily take a native Chicagoan to do the job, citing that Harold Washington came from Mississippi. (Interesting, I didn’t know that).
Chico and Ald. Flores are running, but you don’t hear too much about them in the news. Finally, one cannot overlook the fact that this whole mayoral election appears like a free-for-all quite possibly because Daley did not name a successor. Someone we, the people might be able to buy into. (Although some are glad the mayor declined to name one).
As a first-time voter for mayor in Chicago, I am certainly hoping the field shapes up soon. I need a few real, viable candidates to consider. The trees need to stop shaking; the ground needs to be still. When will we learn exactly what the candidates plans are for saving our city? To balance the budget deficit? To bail out education? And, what about jobs and crime? It’s time for the candidates to step up to speak to the people. We need to hear from them soon. After Nov. 2nd, it’s time for our city to focus on a very important election–a new mayor for Chicago. After all, February is only a few short months away. Let’s get busy, Chicago!
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