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Moving into our second week of the New Year has not slowed down the political campaign trail; as temperatures begin to warm up above the 40-degree mark—hot heads prevail.

Nathaniel Pendleton endorses Chris Kennedy at a press conference on the Westside. PHOTO: Mary L. Datcher

Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy kicked it off with a press conference on the West Side surrounded by African American community leaders including senior ranking Congressional members Bobby L. Rush and Danny K. Davis along with his running mate, Ra Joy. Special remarks by Nathaniel Pendleton, the father of slain teenager Hadiya Pendleton, on the impact of losing a loved one was somehow overshadowed by Kennedy’s statement about Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s laid out plan to drive Blacks out of Chicago.

One thing we tend to forget is a plan was in motion before Emanuel’s mayoral term. Yes, it’s easier to shift the blame on the person who currently sits on the throne but where was all the ruckus when then-Mayor Richard M. Daley was barely pouring any resources into our communities? We won’t defend every move from the current administration but the city was in deep financial crisis left over from over several decades of machine style politics, police misconduct and financial mismanagement which goes back as far as Richard J. Daley. We’ll let that thought sit there and marinate.

75th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS — Pictured: Oprah Winfrey, Winner, Cecil B. Demille Award at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 — (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC)

Oprah Kills It at the Golden Globes

We love Oprah! We miss Oprah! But, will we vote for Oprah Winfrey if she considers a presidential run in 2020? While jaws dropped and birds held their poop until the former Queen of daytime talk television finished one of the most powerful speeches in Golden Globe Awards history—twitter thumbs were hashtagging #Oprah2020. Long-time partner Stedman Graham said in response to the big question: “it’s up to the people.” Well, at this point, what does the Democratic party have to lose? As the National Democratic party recovers from the Clinton lost, they are scrambling for a strong candidate who will go toe-to-toe with Trump and ignite a fire under voters across generations. So far, names have popped up from Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to Illinois Congressman Luis Gutièrrez.

Chicago Journalist Suffers Stroke

Veteran journalist and former Senior Editor at Jet Magazine Clarence Waldron recently suffered a stroke which resulted in the loss of using his legs. Well respected and loved throughout the media world, a Gofund me page has been set up to receive donations towards his medical expenses. He is currently in rehab to regain strength in his legs and functionality on his left side. To donate, please visit: http://www.gofundme.com/clarencewaldron

Stay Woke, Go Vote Campaign

The primaries are in fast motion with less than three months until the March 20 election. A productive effort to facilitate and encourage high school seniors to register to vote at certain CPS schools is underway this week. “Stay Work, Go Vote” will be visiting Air Force Academy on Thursday and South Shore High School on Friday. Thus far, the voter registration initiative has visited Simeon Career Academy, Kenwood Academy and Bogan High School earlier this week. Headed up by Cook County Commissioner (3rd District) candidate Charise Williams—she created the program to help youth get more engaged with the legislative process. Working with Dave Jeff (Phli), Bobby Simmons (Succezz) and Rico Nance (Litehouse Grill), the program will host a special free concert featuring G Herbo, Young Chop, DJ Mike P. and other guests at The Promontory this Saturday, Jan. 13 from noon – 3pm. Students must be pre-registered. www.staywokegovote.com

Great job to the next generation of political stakeholders.

Gallery Showing at Blanc Gallery

If you’re looking for an awesome dose of visual beauty, make sure to stop by Blanc Gallery (4445 S. King Drive) from January 12-February 26 for Painting Exhibition. Poland artist Michal Rejner will be presenting his works featuring the beauty of the Black woman. Inspired by his admiration for women of African descent from all over the world, his entire exhibition will feature different paintings of Black women. The exhibition premieres Friday, Jan. 12 at 6 pm.

Estelle Hits Chicago

Britain R&B artist Estelle will host the Heineken Red Star Access day party featuring DJs Toure, Papa G. and Mark Flava on Sunday, Jan. 14 at Untitled Supper Club located at 111 Kinzie St. Presented by Juan and Only Events, it’s a day party so make sure to get there at the designated time or else you will miss out on the fun. To purchase tickets: HKfirstday18.eventbrite.com

Black Girls in Media Magic

Congratulations to Ericka Mauldin and Michele Franks Santiago for producing their first Black Girls in Media Magic event at Cinespace’s Stage 18. It was an intimate group of Black women in film, production and media brought together to network, have great dialogue and be motivated by Mauldin and Santiago who shared their stories of success in a challenging film industry. There were college students, producers, script writers, and aspiring filmmakers in the room—all there to grow and build. The group hosted a wonderful vision board session, encouraging the ladies to realistically lay out their goals. Shout out to all who attended and invested their time in a program that is destined to grow.

Amazon Smiley celebrate birthday Jan.12

Birthday Shout-outs

As we celebrate the countdown of Capricorn season, we can’t help but to hate on a little because they have the most festive time of the year! Happy belated birthday wishes to Rolling Out City Manager and hip hop lyricist Eddy “Precise” Lamarre and House music pioneer and former retailer Benji Espinoza on Jan.7.

Much love to party promoter Raymond Ramzy and long-time friend Liz Izzo-Williams, who celebrated on Jan. 8. One of Chicago’s most talented comics and personalities Damon Williams and Local 2 Chicago fireman Kahlill Van Zant light up the sky (not literally) on Jan. 9. Radio personality and proud dad Shawn Knight blows out more candles than the year before on Jan. 10. Mega hugs to natural hair salon trailblazer Amazon Smiley; talent manager/event planner/caterer/writer Allison Jordan; Phli Creator and trend influencer Dave Jeff and music marketing executive Thornell Jones, Jr. on Jan.12.

Condolences & Prayers

Our condolences and prayers to Cook County sub-circuit Judge Travis Richardson and his family on the loss of Frank Richardson, Sr. His father made his transition on January 2 in his hometown of Pine Mountain, Ga. Like thousands of families who migrated from the South to the North, Mr. Richardson moved his family to Detroit where he gained employment with General Motors.

He leaves to cherish his memories, three sons, Jeffery Richardson, Frank (Jada) Richardson, Jr., and Travis (Lessa) Richardson; five darling grandchildren, Matthew, Andrew, Maya, Alex, Ellison; his sister, Sallie Richardson (Charlie) Hand; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, in-laws and extended family.

Got a scoop? Send us your celebrations, promotions, anniversaries and events: mdatcher@chicagodefender.com

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