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Houston, we have a problem. There will be a delay for early voting. Originally set for Feb. 8, with a record number of challenges by candidates finding every tool in the toolshed to knock their opponents off the ballot, it has ultimately overloaded the Cook County Board of Elections capabilities for a timely system. Although ballot numbers have been issued to candidates—early voting may not take place until the latter part of February. DuPage County officials are dealing with a similar situation.

League of Women Voters’ 25th District State Rep. Forum at Montgomery Place Senior Living. PHOTO: Mary L. Datcher

The first IL 25th District State Representative Candidate forum took place this past Sunday at Montgomery Place—a resident village for seniors in Hyde Park. All seven candidates were in attendance to discuss several topics; the forum was hosted by the League of Women Voters of Chicago.

Moderated by Diana White (LWV, Chicago), the discussion featured 25th State Rep. Candidates: William Calloway, Angelique N. Collins, Adrienne Irmer, Grace Chan McKibben, Anne Marie Miles, Flynn Rush and Curtis Tarver II.

Over the weekend, a group of Democratic candidates running for various offices kicked off a South Side satellite office on 87th and Halsted. Those at the office included: Attorney General candidate Kwame Raoul; State Rep. Justin Slaughter (27th); Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore (4th); Judge Travis Richardson (2nd sub circuit) and Marty Durkan, candidate for Water Reclamation District. Also, in attendance was Commissioner for Water Reclamation Kari Steele; Latricia Payne, candidate for the Judicial 2nd subcircuit and others who stopped by.

Hold Up, Wait A Minute

The latest drama from the Blago and JB FBI wiretap recordings is the exchange between the two men discussing who should be the next Senate appointment to replace Barack Obama’s seat. According to the Chicago Tribune, who revealed the audio where Pritzker is advising then-Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich on the probability of appointing Secretary of State Jesse White to the vacant seat. The conversation revealed Pritzker’s distaste for Jesse Jackson, Jr. and later jokingly considering Rev. Jeremiah Wright—Obama’s former pastor.

JB Pritzker at a Westside rally. PHOTO: Mary L. Datcher

It was disturbing to hear a conversation between two powerful men when Blagojevich secured a major percentage of the African American vote and now-Democratic gubernatorial candidate Pritzker wishes to do the same in this election. In addition, nearly half of the Black Aldermanic Caucus and state officials have endorsed him, including Jesse White. No longer in politics, Jesse Jackson, Jr. is out of the public eye but his brother, Jonathan Jackson is currently working as a political consultant on Pritzker’s campaign. Some advocates for Pritzker will admit, it’s suspect to release such recordings 50 days from the primary election and this shouldn’t sway voters from all of the philanthropic work of Pritzker over the years—yet it opens another can of worms.

The day after the article was published, Pritzker immediately called a press conference at MacArthur’s restaurant on the Westside, flanked by Blacks business leaders and public officials. Nine years after the conversation, Pritzker apologized for his comments in front of the media.

“Today, I want to be clear about one thing. I wasn’t my best self on that call, and I apologize for that. I regret some of the things I said and some of the things I didn’t say, but that is not what is in my heart and those are not my values.

In my life, I have tried to live up to the values that my parents have taught me – the values of fighting for equality and inclusion, fighting for civil rights and social justice. That means creating jobs, providing school breakfast, and expanding early childhood education,” said Pritzker.

Secretary of State Jesse White was present and steadfast in his support of Pritzker along with Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), Ald. Walter Burnett (27th), Ald. Michael Scott, Jr. (24th); city of Chicago treasurer, Kurt Summers and others.

Released by the Pritzker camp, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle added her endorsement to the long list of Democratic officials who’s seeking to make Bruce Rauner a one-term governor.

“I’ve seen JB’s record and I know what’s in his heart. This is a leader who has been there for our communities. From expanding early childhood education and providing school breakfasts to low-income students, to supporting critical organizations like the Center on Wrongful Convictions, the DuSable Museum, and After School Matters, JB has done the real work to build opportunity in our communities. Right now, the only question our community should be asking is who has a record of showing up for us, and I truly believe that JB is that leader,” said Preckwinkle.

To Black people, this conversation reveals how some of us are viewed as being “safe” and “conformative” versus others as “militant” and “threatening.” How the privilege and entitled have these conversations everyday—changing the democracy of our nation while viewing us as “useful” for a limited time. On the other hand, it drives home how much our vote matters in putting someone in office. We also have a track record of just how much our community will forgive but not forget. Let’s see how this pans out for Mr. Pritzker.

Black History Month

Shout out to attorney Randy Crumpton for producing the Langston Hughes Birthday Celebration last week at City Winery. It was great to see awesome talent grace the stage, reciting the words of Hughes from Malcolm London; the Wordsmyth Malik Yusef; Broadway actress and singer Felecia Fields; Golden Globe award-winner Regina Taylor; actor Timon Kyle Durrett (Queen Sugar); former radio personality and actress LaDonna Tittle (The Chi) and R&B singer Terisa Griffin. Both Griffin and Fields gave an electrifying vocal performance with the band between poets—it added a different twist to the show.

Actor Jesse Williams

Chicago’s very own Chance the Rapper and SocialWorks will join forces with Scholly® to provide the Scholly app and millions of dollars in scholarships to Chicago Public School students at the Scholly® Scholarship Summit. Hosted by Scholly chief executive officer Christopher Gray, Chance the Rapper, and actor and activist Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy), 1,500 Chicago Public School students are expected to attend the event that will take place on Saturday, February 10th at 1 p.m. at XS Tennis Village in Washington Park.

The summit will feature a discussion with Chance, Williams moderated by Scholly chief Gray, along with Scholarship Expert Panel Discussion moderated by a Coca-Cola scholar.  Other speakers include Chicago natives Derrius Quarles and Jason Mayden, founder of Super Heroic and former Nike Jordan global design director. Scholly will also award one (1) lucky student with a $10,000 scholarship.

SIB’S Breakfast Club PHOTO: Laurencio Nalls of Forty Photography

If you haven’t heard about SIB’S Breakfast Club, then it’s time to get with the program. Sibyl Holloway, a 2014 Chicago Defender Woman of Excellence award recipient is the founder who started out inviting various people from her friend circle to patronage Black owned businesses in the community back in 2008. The group is comprised of professionals, entrepreneurs and game changers in their industry who are “making a major difference” in the community, she says.

Be sure to see SIB’S Breakfast Club making the rounds for Black Restaurant Week next week.

Birthday Shout-outs

Snow, sleet and ice won’t stop this group from celebrating their birthdays! Belated wishes to Asha Matthews and former Defender publisher, David Milliner who celebrated Feb.6. The Urban Translator and political consultant, Wallace “Gator” Bradley pumps his fist in the air on Feb.7. Former colleague and Def Jam Records alumni, Thomas Lytle celebrates another year on Feb.8 and Chicago’s favorite original b-boy emcee, Larry Miller turns up the volume on Feb.9.

Rapper Dave East performs at Joe’s on Weed St. Feb.11

Celebrity Sightings

On Sunday, Feb. 11, hip hop artist, Dave East will be in town on the Paranoia 2 Tour at Joe’s On Weed St. Known for his in-demand mixtape releases, in 2014 the rapper was signed to Nas’ record label, Mass Appeal, and two years with Def Jam in 2016. Following up from his 2017 release Paranoia: A True Story EP, he recently dropped the album P2. Other artists featured on the show include Valee and Ross Mac. Tickets can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com

 

In Memorial

Dennis Edwards

The music world lost another incredible voice and legend. Dennis Edwards, lead singer for The Temptations died Feb.1 at 74 of complications from meningitis. Edwards joined the Motown male group in 1968 and sang lead vocals on hit songs, “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” and “Cloud Nine”. He and his wife, Brenda Edwards lived in St.Louis for several decades but recently moved to Chicago to receive better health care after he suffered a stroke. An investigation into Edwards’ death is currently underway.

Got a scoop? Please send us new happenings around town, birthdays, anniversaries, career moves, memorial announcements and more.

Follow Mary L. Datcher on Twitter: @globalmixx Instagram: @mdatcher

 

 

 

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