UPDATED: In The Mix: ‘Tis the Chicago Political Season, All Eyes on Alabama

Tis the season to be in politics! This statewide primary race is considered to be one of the busiest and “on the grind” hustles we’ve seen in a long time. With close to 40 gubernatorial forums alone and other forums being launched before Christmas, we are taking a deep breath and plenty of vitamins.

MOUNTAIN BROOK, AL – DECEMBER 12: Democratic senatorial candidate Doug Jones speaks to reporters after voting at Brookwood Baptist Church on December 12, 2017 in Mountain Brook, Alabama. Doug Jones is facing off against Republican Roy Moore in a special election for U.S. Senate. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

On Tuesday evening, the first Attorney General’s forum took place at Northeastern Illinois University Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies. The discussion was moderated by Maudlyne Ihejirika (Chicago Sun-Times) and Cliff Kelley (WVON). But as some political pundits trenched across town to check out the Attorney General candidates, all eyes were glued to news networks broadcasting results from the Alabama Senate race between GOP candidate and alleged child predator, Roy Moore and Democratic candidate Doug Jones. Slated to be a close race based on  45th’s endorsement and his  ‘white is right’ hype man, Steve Bannon–you would have thought all bets were on Moore. The people of Alabama with the influence of Black voters–specifically Black women showed up and SHOWED OUT! All the ancestors raised up out their graves for this historical win because it’s the first time a Democratic Senator has been elected to the heavily Republican influenced state in a long time.

Now, there is a real chance of the Democratic party gaining some seats in 2018. According to CNN.com: The numbers are still daunting for Democrats: 25 Democratic seats are up in 2018 as compared to just 8 for Republicans. But, with competitive races likely for current GOP seats in states like Nevada, Arizona and Tennessee, there is now a path for Democrats to win the majority.

On Monday, Commissioner Richard Boykin called out what many had known for the last few years on the limited contractual opportunities for minority-owned businesses from Cook County. Not a “shy” one to call a press conference, this one in particular struck a chord because of $165 million issued by the county in procurement contracts—he says, “zero percent of prime contracts went to African American firms.”

Wow. That’s not even a “small percentage”—it’s simply “not even one” out of how many credible and qualified Black firms? Surrounded by political stakeholders and candidates—he went on to wag his finger at Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and his fellow board members for not complying when 26 percent of Black residents make up the county’s population and 76 percent of its patients are treated at the county’s health and hospitals.

Somebody’s got some explaining to do. Election time is here—folks let’s take notes.

Last week’s news of TV One discontinuing its News One morning show featuring primary host and journalist Roland Martin came as a shock to viewers and Black social media. The only news related show on Cathy Hughes’ network broke the news to Martin and his staff giving them a two-week notice of its last show airing on December 21. Although the network stated it was due to lack of advertisement response and continued drop in revenue—some may wonder why the network chose to go from the original one-hour to two-hour increase in the last four years.

While The Defender’s former Editor has built an impressive following since the 2008 presidential election, becoming a regular commentator on CNN with his “no holds barred” political style—some questioned senior management’s decision to silence the only Black cable network news program. But others are not surprised either—throughout the years, Martin’s bluntness and unique bedside manner have rubbed some in his path the “wrong way.” Just ask former WHPK radio host and local influencer Mario Smith, who basically took to Facebook Live his discord for Martin after a nasty Twitter exchange a few years ago. Smith didn’t hold back his feelings in calling him an “a**hole” among other not-so-nice words. Can we just all get along?

We know Martin will land somewhere in the media sphere along with his 1 million+ Twitter followers, hopefully keeping people well-informed and “woke.”

The holiday spirit is in full swing and the art of giving warms my heart as every toy, coat, and food drive is bringing out an outpouring of donations for those less fortunate. The 100 Black Men of Chicago hosted their annual toy drive last week at Alhambra Palace where close to 600 people attended throughout the evening bringing arms full of unwrapped toys. Shout out to 100 BMC President Carl Tutt, the board and members for doing a superb job this year.

Defender Sr. Staff Writer Mary Datcher and Common at the Common Ground Holiday Party

The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) hosted their annual Senior’s Christmas luncheon at the Hyatt Regency where 1,500 residents arrived being treated to a lavish meal, entertainment and prizes. They showed up dressed to impress and the festivities were wonderful. Our elders are our foundation.

Next door, Common Ground Foundation hosted a beautiful holiday brunch for their participating students at the Blue Cross Blue Shield downtown headquarters. Common was in attendance, meeting and greeting students and their parents with his signature smile—taking pictures and joking. His mother and educator, Dr. Mahalia Hines, has nurtured and built the nonprofit for the past 14 years—helping young people throughout their formative school years. Many have gone on to four-year institutions and are mentored by local professionals. The program included an in-depth panel discussion sharing with students the importance of entrepreneurship. Shout out to Linda Owens and Julia Johnson on a job well done with organizing the brunch.

George Daniels celebrates birthday Dec.18

Birthday Shout-outs

Belated birthday mentions to former WEA Sales Manager John Davis and one of my favorite radio personalities Nina Chantele, who celebrated on Dec.10. Graphic designer and sexy grandmother Aisha Mays kicking up her heels on Dec.11. The Sagittarius love continues with Lawanaca “Lovebourne” Alexander-el; Tasha Harris, the voice behind “You Used To Hold Me,” Xavier Gold; international DJ Jamie 3-2-6; and House DJ/producer Greg Winfield on Dec. 12. What’s up to DJ and visual artist Steve Bravo and Corey CL Crockett on Dec. 13. Big hugs to the beautiful vocalist Jameisha Trice; marketing executive Michelle Geddes and Westside business owner and philanthropist Quentin Love on Dec. 14. The Voice past contestant and singer Mark Hood and Chicago native/Indianapolis promoter Van Cox celebrates on Dec. 16. Actor and comedian Lil Rel along with former hip hop lyricist Devan Jones on Dec. 17. Saving the best for last—my mentor, friend and dancing partner George Daniels celebrates in “godfather” fashion on Dec. 18.

Chicago native and rising star, Lil Rel celebrate birthday Dec.17

Speaking of George, he will be hosting his annual Toy Drive and Birthday celebration on Friday, December 15 at The M Lounge located at 1520 S. Wabash. Please bring a toy and visit: www.G71.eventbrite.com Music by Mark Flava. You must be 21+ to attend.

Congratulations & Big Ups

A special congratulations and extended recognition to this year’s Café Mocha Radio “Salute Her” Awards Honorees. The program will be held on Thursday, Dec. 14 at the Allegro Hotel sponsored by Toyota, AARP, ORS and 106.3 FM. Much love to D. Michelle Flowers-Welch, Dorothy Leavelle, Jennifer Maddox, Geraldine Smith, Alissa Constable, Patricia Edwards and award-winning actress Lynn Whitfield.  These women rock hard and are awesome examples of Black women in POWER.

In Memoriam

Our condolences and prayers are extended to the family, friends and loved ones of NOBLE’s Past National President and Past Executive Director Chief Ira Harris, who recently died.

The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives sent out a formal statement on Chief Harris’ time serving as a law enforcement officer and his time at NOBLE.

The final arrangements for Chief Harris are as follows:

VISITATION:  Wednesday, December 13, 2017 from 1800-2100 at AR Leak Funeral Home located at 7838 S. Cottage Grove, Chicago, Il 60619.

WAKE and Service: Thursday, December 14, 2017 at 1000 hours at South Shore United Methodist Church located at 7350 S. Jeffery, Chicago Il 60649; St. Jude will meet @ 1040 hours. Service begins @ 1100 hours.

Got a scoop? Send us your latest dish, events, birthdays, career moves and memorial tributes to mdatcher@chicagodefender.com

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