Petition filing week kicked off with political heavy weights hand delivering hundreds to thousands of completed forms to the Board of Elections office on Monday. With cameras and reporters on hand to capture the dramatic affair—incumbents Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and County Board Assessor Joseph Berrios made it clear they are running for another term.

On the same day, both Democratic Gubernatorial candidates JB Pritzker and Chris Kennedy released their tax returns. According to Pritzker’s spokesperson, from 2014 to 2016 Pritzker made $15.3 million in personal charitable donations in addition to his Foundation donations of $53.8 million. During this time, Pritzker paid $24.95 million in Illinois taxes and $128.97 million in federal taxes.

Other candidates who put in their petitions ahead of the Dec. 4 filing deadline are Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough; Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart; Metropolitan Water Reclamation Commissioners Kari Steele and Debra Shore.  Board of Review Commissioner Larry Rogers, Jr. (3rd District), Attorney General candidate Kwame Raoul, Cook County Commissioner candidate William Lowry (3rd District) and others. Speaking of the 3rd District, another candidate in the running for the Cook County Board office is Charise Williams. Williams is one of the fresh faces to watch as she garners solid support which includes State Representatives Art Turner and Will Davis; Alderman Carrie Austin (34th Ward); Alderman Pat Dowell (3rd Ward); Alderman Derrick Curtis and her boss—Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs.

Congressman Luis Gutièrrez (D-IL) 4th District

We Just Lost One

This week, Congressman Luis Gutiérrez announced he won’t be seeking another term for the U.S. House of Representatives. This is a surprise to many who relied on Gutiérrez to lead the charge on immigration reform and just recently the Hurricane Maria relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

Gutiérrez came up in the political ranks as a city councilman during Harold Washington’s administration where he and a group of Hispanic community activists built a solid alliance with Black public officials. He’s represented the 4th Congressional District since 1993. At 63, he is stepping down during a crucial time where the Democratic party is opposed both in the House and Senate on several bills from the Affordable Health Care and Tax Reform plan.

By endorsing Cook County Commissioner Jesús “Chuy” Garcia to run for his seat, the Congressman wanted to emphasize the importance of sending a clear signal to the White House on their stance on immigration. Garcia, who helped Mayor Harold Washington gain Hispanic support in the 1980’s, forced a mayoral run-off against incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2015. There was speculation of a repeat bid in 2020 to challenge Emanuel.

We know there will be more developments on Gutiérrez’s bombshell decision to not run again. Meanwhile, the interest of Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa may also be eyeing the Congressional seat. He’s young, energetic and has a fresh outlook, which is what the Democratic party is missing to engage new and young voters.

Although Gutièrrez’s 4th district consists of a large Hispanic constituency—it has become heavily gentrified with non-Latino residents and residents who are not eligible to vote.

Lost in Translation

Who didn’t love riding down Lake Shore Drive heading north past the museum campus to admire Chicago’s beautiful skyline? One of the symbols of our rich African American culture touching the sky was the marque signs of Ebony and Jet on top of then-Johnson Publishing building.

The iconic building located at 820 S. Michigan Ave. was put up for sale by Columbia College and once again has a new owner. Real estate developer 3L Real Estate acquired the 46-year-old building which housed America’s leading Black publications under the guidance of founder/publisher John H. Johnson for several decades.

The 11-story building had been vacant since 2010 when it was sold to the college. It exemplifies some of best architectural designs throughout the building by John Moutoussamy when it was built in 1971.

The plans for the building include the conversion of “150 affordably priced rental apartments,” according to 3L Real Estate. Construction and build-out on the property will begin early 2018.

Marv Dyson’s birthday Nov.28

Monique Scott celebrates Dec.2

Birthday Shout-Outs

Happy Belated birthday wishes to former music retailer Nellie Thomas-Collier and a beautiful hug to the man responsible for my start in the broadcast industry, former GM of WGCI-FM Marv Dyson on Nov. 28. Shout out to firefighter and DJ Kendrick Drack Muse; along with hip hop artist Milli Rokks on Nov. 29. Best wishes to brand marketing manager Stacy Ward on Nov.30. In town for a spell, special ‘big ups’ to music producer Hearon Trackz; and Nikki Butler who light candles on Dec. 1. Black Girl Magic reigns true for jewelry designer Danielle T. Carroll; and Ellis Park Executive Director Monique Scott on Dec.2. Chicago’s best dance BOT squad leader Shkunna Stewart; Flavor Restaurant co-owner Jerome Kemp; and sound and visual engineer Greg Granit hold it down on Dec. 3. To my New York peep and awesome writer Thembisa Mshaka; modern-day revolutionary “The Chairman” Fred Hampton, Jr.; and around-town photographer Tito Garcia, who all celebrate on Dec.4.

In Memoriam

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, we were saddened to hear of the passing of ABC-7 news anchor and media vet Cheryl Burton’s mother—Mrs. Hattie Burton. At 87, Mrs. Burton made her transition on Wednesday, November 22.

Cheryl Burton and mother, Mrs. Hattie Burton

This year, we asked several media personalities to contribute the meaning of being a daughter for our Mother’s Day issue. Cheryl provided this special tribute of her mother.

“I always say I am so grateful and thankful God chose Hattie Burton to be my Mom because we don’t get to pick our parents. I feel so blessed and honored to call her my mom! She is 87 years old and she gave me life and brings me joy! Me, my brother and 3 sisters affectionately call her “Frey!” She is beautiful, brilliant, so loving. She is the wind beneath my wings, my biggest cheerleader and teacher!  She made me ALWAYS believe I could accomplish anything!  She touched the lives of thousands of children as a special education teacher for nearly 40 years in CPS!!” Burton said.

“She enjoys her children and considers us her greatest achievements and greatest gifts! She always tells me to be kind to everyone because you never know how a smile can make someone’s day, and never let anyone steal your joy!”

H is for hilarious and a heart of gold!

A is for Attitude of Gratitude

T is for Timeless

T is for Teacher

I for Inspirational

E is for Ever present and Evolutionary

Send your prayers and sincere thoughts to the Burton family.

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