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A report card for elected officials serving the 24th Ward in the North Lawndale Community February 28, 2014
The North Lawndale Alliance asked 24th Ward residents who live in North Lawndale to grade their elected officials on a scale of A to F, with A being the highest, and F being the lowest. As with school grades, the A represents superior performance; the B represents above average performance; the C represents average performance; the D represents below average and the F is a failing grade. The grades are subjective, and are based on the respondents' own experiences and perceptions. Respondents were simply asked to grade their elected officials, and no other background information was provided on specific issues or examples. Participants also had an opportunity to share comments as to why the grades were given. This was optional, and not required. The comments are included in this report, and were copied verbatim without editing. The poll was developed using the Survey Monkey application. The poll was available online between April 8, 2013 and is still available as of the date of this report (February 26, 2014). Links to the survey were posted on EveryBlock Chicago-North Lawndale, Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter and the Lawndale Alliance, Policy on the Ground and the Staying in the Loop blogs. Nearly 2,700 e-mails were sent to North Lawndale residents. Of this number 26 people responded. The following are results as of February 26, 2014. While the number of people who responded is very small, the feedback is useful and should not be discounted, even though the results are not scientific. We recently conducted a poll of Democrats considering voting in the 2014 Illinois Republican Gubernatorial Primary, to see who for whom they might vote for Governor. Even though the sample size was very small (18 people), the results were remarkably similar to what the Tribune found in their poll. The results of this poll will be shared with elected officials and 24th Ward residents. It is our hope that our elected officials will take the feedback seriously, and begin to develop strategies to better serve the voters.
President Barack Obama
Comments President Obama has some of the greatest challenges of any President ever, given his race, compounded by a weak economy, and divisive Congress. As a result, it's very difficult to get big wins. However, I'm very concerned that his education policies, even before the fights with Congress began, have created the environment for massive school closings and rapid expansion of charter schools. This has caused many black teachers to lose their jobs, only to be replaced by younger, inexperienced fellows from Teach for America. There are near exclusive contracts for politically connected turnaround organizations and Common Core standards being driven by corporate interests. The result is more standardized tests, and communities that have been de-stabilized. Despite the most obstructionist Congress in U S history, he is getting things done. President Obama has overcame many obstacles while in office & i admire his perseverance however, His inability to properly address the black agenda has negatively affected me in a way in which i have lost confidence in him. I am a strong supporter of many of President Obama's decisions, positions, and policies, and I have huge respect for his ability to negotiate foreign policy and stand strong against insane Republic rhetoric and shenanigans. However, the President gets a B from me because I strongly disagree with his approval and continuance of drone strikes and US war-mongering in general. The current education, Race to the Top, and the proposed budget are areas of concern for me. I believe he compromises too much! While he had a majority in the House and Senate, he went back on his pledge for real healthcare that would really help the masses instead of the healthcare/insurance industry. He has continued to conduct wars, even taking out Ghadafi who was a friend to Black Africans. The President has put America on the right track regarding gun control, gay rights, and jobs. What he does not need is Dennis Rodman as ambassador to korea. He has so much oposition. He wants more playing level for everyone. The rich is only getting richer. Went in too nice and stubbed his toes the majority of his first term.
Senator Dick Durbin
Comments He seems to be very powerful and effective. He is not accessible to the Black community. Strong supporter of the President's agenda Senator Dick Durbin has not properly help fund NFP organizations in the Chicago area. Lawndale Christian is not the only fiscal agent for the North Lawndale community and thus they should not be the only beneficiary for our community as we don't trust them to properly attend to our concerns for the much needed improvements our community so badly needs. I disagree with his recent nominations for US District Court and Magistrate Judges. Does a fine job for the people of Illinois. He sounds good on the news clips
Congressman Danny Davis
Comments Congressman Davis is the most accessible elected official that I know of in Chicago. He works with folks from the "uttermost to the guttermost" and gives great insights into how our government works. Congressman Davis has fought for our city and state for many years, but i'd have to say that he has also neglected the westside and could do more. The Congressman goes to bat for his community, especially the least of these. However, there seems to be little growth or money coming into the neighborhood. Danny is does a fine job for his district, but he needs to recruit some youth to train for the future jobs ahead. Tired, oh so tired of hearing about Arkansas, Maybe it's time that he moved back there. 17 years and the black community in his district is no better off, but the financial and medical districts have prospered.
Governor Pat Quinn
Comments I'm very disappointed that Governor Pat Quinn chose Paul Vallas for a running mate. This is a slap in the face to African Americans. Paul Vallas has destroyed public school systems across the United States, with a disproportionately negative impact to Black communities. Could be doing more for the poorest part of his district Gov. Quinn is very ineffective for illinois as he has done absolutely nothing for blacks in chicago & surrounding suburbs. He's not a friend to the black community! He is getting better, but he has not being the game long enough. The only elected official that truely has the public's interest at heart. Too bad, because that makes him odd man out.
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State Senator Patricia Van Pelt Watkins (Now Van Pelt)
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Comments Still new in her job It's great that Senator Van Pelt is working very hard for ex-offenders. They need an advocate. When it comes to public education, she seems to serve at the pleasure of corporate interests, who want to privatize education. She is responsive to their whims, while she publicly denigrates public schools without any effort to improve them. An unknown commodity State Sen. Watkins hasn't been in office long enough to establish a solid track record yet. Has she done anything since she was elected? I haven't seen nor heard from her. Not fimiliar with any of her work in this community, I know she ran 4 Mayor. She is too new to evaluate. Just got into office, verdict is still out.
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State Representative Arthur Turner
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Comments Don't know what he is doing , do he still live on the west side? Representative Turner is extremely thoughtful and intelligent. He comes out to prayer vigils and other events that make you feel good, but have no substantive value with respect to policy. He is not accessible to voters and does not participate in town hall meetings in which substantive issues will be discussed. He believes that schools should close and seems to have very little empathy for struggling neighborhood schools. Has passed helpful bills. Art Turner does not give a damn about the North Lawndale community. That young man needs to get out more. We don't seem to have a voice in the state Legislature. Too young to evaluate. He is still riding on his father's name. He has brough new fresh ideas and energy to the district. Never has any public meetings. One damn pizza party does not qualify. Unseen and unheard from.
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Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle
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Comments Cook County Board President Preckwinkle is a strong leader, but does not seem to be very accessible to West Siders. Makes tough, controversial decisions. A strong defender of our community against the criminal justice system. Toni Preckwinkle has stolen seniors properties from under their noses & i don't trust her at all. Given what she is up against, I think she is doing a very good job. Hoping it will be even better over time. So many people have lost their county jobs. She was on the wrong side of the 1/2 cent issue; that 1/2 penny tax shouldn't have been repealed. She is doing a fine job....she has not missed a step. I would give a A if she and the county board would have left the 2 penny tax in place. Just my 2 cent opinion.
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Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele
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Comments Need a change Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele knows his job very well and cares deeply for his community. He champions issues of the people, even when they don't necessarily fall within his authority. Not sure Robert Steele was the only elected official to offer help to the Franklin Park Advisory Council. Robert is riding on his mother's name and has done nothing to separate himself. He gives so much information to the people.
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Mayor Rahm Emanuel
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Comments The Mayor has chosen to let North Lawndale die on the vine. Appears disassociated with the entirety of his constituents. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is arrogant & is continuing his plot to gentrify the entire city of chicago. The money spent on "beautification" of the loop/mag mile is quite offensive given the fact that Lawndale doesn't even have city garbage cans. He has continued what Daley started, taking jobs and neighborhoods from blacks. He's a bully. Doing a good job so far, but it is too soon to evaluate him properly. He is closing so many schools in the African American Community allat once. Actually he deserves an F grade for his performance. Has all the making of Daley III
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Alderman Michael Chandler
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Comments Will do what it takes to send him back to retirement , I need a job in the 24th ward that I live in. Alderman Chandler has one of the worst, if not the worst, attendance records when it comes to attending City Council Committee meetings. This is where the real work gets done. He has not fought hard enough to have our concerns heard, particularly when it comes to TIF reform and school closings. I think he could do better Alderman Chandler needs to retire. He only gets a D because of the recently announced UCAN project on Fillmore, which is wonderful and needed. But let's be honest, the hope for success is going to be securely enclosed in that facility because there is nothing outside the facility for those young people except the never-ending "open air drug market" at Independence and Roosevelt - one of the most consistently open businesses that I have seen in my 14 years in K Town. We hear nothing from Chandler and our "neighborhood" continues to decline. Why not at least attempt to bring back jobs via re-imagining the Industrial West Side? Where are the jobs for our youth? Where are the jobs for our adults? Why do we have so many potholes? Same as always when he was in office before Sharon D. Dixon took over. He is the lesser of two evils. Hope springs eternal for him. He dosent dot anything for the people and "People get the government they deserve." He is phoney. Better staff this time around, but he is still tired and appears to prefer to be some place else. Said whatever he needed to say to get re-elected.
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