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Monday, April 09, 2007

Runup to Runoff

Here are some things I'm noticing from the Coleman/Thompson showdown around the neighborhood as April 17 approaches. Incumbent alderman Shirley Coleman has lots more signs up--Thompson favors weekend lit drops. Someone from Thompson's campaign left me literature last Saturday but when I tried to get her to talk to me she went across the street.

Word is Coleman held a breakfast not last Saturday but the one before for election judges. Hmmm....

Within a week after the election there was a crew out patching potholes on this block. I laughed out loud when I looked out the window and saw them putting down new asphalt.

The campaign is getting down and dirty on both sides. Thompson had a robo-call out in the last two weeks accusing Coleman of being friends with Hal Baskin, a former gang leader turned community activist. While there have been questions floating around for years about how former Baskin's gang ties really are, it's pretty clear to me he and Coleman aren't friends. His signs from running against her years ago are still up and fading along both Ashland and 51st.

Today I got a piece of literature from the Committee to Re-Elect Shirley Coleman accusing Thompson of being a union stooge, responsible to "Boss Tom Balanoff" and others (sorry I forget all the union guys they named). It was pretty amateurish in content, though nicely designed and the essence was not wrong--yes, Thompson is financed almost entirely by SEIU and other unions to a lesser extent.

Although I've heard from two or three ordinary citizens in various part of the ward that they are tired of Coleman and are ready for a change, I see Coleman at important events here (like the March Peace and Education Coalition meeting) and I don't see Thompson anywhere.

The only thing I can figure about this runoff is it will likely be close. Thompson had more of the popular vote than Coleman did in the first round (very bad for an incumbent)--I think it was 42 to 36 or something like that. But who knows who will show up for the runoff, and it's clear Coleman is trying somewhat harder now than she was in March.


Anonymous said...

Hello, hope you are doing good. I am a long time resident (summer of 1991) of the community and although i am not involved in any organizations or groups time has come to start being active! I will try to make it to the meeting on April 18, if my job permits.

I live on 49th and Hermitage and recently it has been sworming with some unwanted activity from a few individuals that do not even live there. Anyway, I am focused than i have ever been and i will try to bring a new beginning to our neighborhood children because they need us more than anything if the Back of the Yards are ever going to be a place where anyone would want to come and live!

Being a product of the CPS system and a resident of the Back of the Yards is exactly why we need to give our children the fundamental structure that like myself never received! Following the path of a tough road i became the person that i am today.

Anyway keep on blogging and we will hopefully meet on April 18th.

Ohhh and regarding your comments on these candidates, I am not necessarily stunned but more than anything i am ashamed of them both for their childish tactics. I have been asking around and wanting to know about their SPECIFIC issues and their is NO answer to from both camps! Yes they both want to help the community, better schools, safer communtiy, helping children, helping the elderly, and more than anything bring new jobs.... BUT my comment to them is HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW is it that you will be doing all of this, please explain and in detail not just jibberish and foolish jargon that the common folk want to hear. I need specific details and in writing because after they get elected they tend to forgot how and who got them to their posts. Anyway dont get me started because i can go on forever!!!!!!

Maritza said...

Neighbor, I hear you loud and clear on the lack of specifics from both our aldermanic candidates as to how they are going to get anything done.

I would encourage you also to come out to the CAPS meetings at Chavez on the third Monday of each month, starting at 6 p.m. (There's a half hour to talk about service improvements like lights or street paving before the cops arrive at 6:30 p.m.). Usually the meeting is in the school cafeteria. Especially given what you are experiencing with people who don't live on the block, I would really encourage you to come out and make the problems known.

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