What an exciting week we’ve had: meeting, training, fundraiser – a whirlwind of activity, all of it inspiring and thought-provoking.
Starting with the monthly meeting: We heard from Reps. Greg Harris and Ann Williams on what the General Assembly has been up to this session, with a lot of discussion on budget issues particularly; we heard from Raja Krishnamoorthi, candidate for Congress in the new 8th Congressional District (Joe Walsh doesn’t live in the 8th anymore …), and not the least we tried out a new venue (the Lincoln Restaurant), which was terrific (many thanks to the Lincoln and it’s patient waitstaff).
IL Representatives Greg Harris and Ann Williams told us about the session that just ended May 31. Among the highlights: civil unions for same-sex couples; a gambling expansion plan; increased individual and corporate tax rates; a new map of electoral districts; and a budget for the coming year. Rep. Harris said that the State's budget condition is dire and that more cuts will have to be made next year, the only question is what will be cut.
The General Assembly wrapped up their legislative session last week, and managed to get through an enormous amount of work by the end. We have new maps of legislative and congressional districts, a new budget passed the Assembly, and civil unions became legal today.
As I mentioned last week, we’re moving to the Lincoln Restaurant at 4008 N. Lincoln. Next Tuesday, June 7, is our monthly meeting, where we will discuss the following:
1) State Reps. Greg Harris and Ann Williams will join us for a discussion about the successes of the just-ended legislative session of the General Assembly, and will discuss the work still to be done
2) Raja Krishnamoorthi , candidate for Congress in the 8th Congressional District, will speak about his run in this district currently represented by Tea Party favorite Rep. Joe Walsh; you can see more about Raja at www.rajaforcongress.com.
Governor Howard Dean will be the guest of honor at a fundraiser for Northside DFA at the beautiful Rogers Park home of Alderman Joe Moore and Barbara Moore. Please join us for this opportunity to meet the founder of Democracy for America, former Chair of the DNC, and one of the leaders of the Progressive movement.
Space is limited -- purchase tickets at https://secure.actblue.com/page/ndfadean.
Patrons, Sponsors and Hosts will attend a special reception from 7:00 - 8:00 pm. Supporters and Students/Activists will attend a larger party from 7:00 - 9:00 pm which the Governor will join at 8:00.
Saturday, June 11 from 7 - 9 PM
Alderman Joe Moore and Barbara Moore's Rogers Park home
1431 W. Fargo, Chicago, IL
If you were looking for indications of how Mayor Emanuel will approach being Mayor, just look at this sign. Like so many politicians in Illinois, he thinks being Mayor means he owns the City, so he can put his name all over it, and make us pay for it. This kind of arrogance is just what I expected from him. I wonder if, like Mayor Daley, he'll be able to claim ownership while escaping responsibility for all of the City's problems he can't or won't fix.
Are you ready for a new campaign season? Yes, it’s time to start thinking about what races NDFA will be interested for 2012 … because the Illinois 2012 primary is in March, only nine months away, and for federal races, that’s almost no time at all. Are we ready for another election?
Next Monday, May 2, is our monthly meeting, and the topic will be “Looking forward to 2012.” We’ll meet at the Heartland Café again this month (7000 North Glenwood Avenue, just across the street from the Lunt exit at the Morse El stop on the Red Line) for Buffet dinner at 6 pm ($15) if you care to socialize a bit beforehand, while the actual meeting will start at 7 pm. We have three topics of conversation for this month’s meeting:
1) Ilya Sheyman, candidate for Congress in the 10th Congressional District (or at least, what is now the 10th Congressional District) will speak about his run to unseat freshman Republican Bob Dold http://www.ilyasheyman.com/
That fresh air you're feeling isn't just from Mother Nature. Look at the left column of this page - five progressive, NDFA-backed candidates will be on the City Council - four of them brand-new. After years of laying a strong foundation, NDFA's candidates are now winning elections, and our efforts have been the key. John Arena and Michele Smith won by the smallest of margins and NDFA volunteers can take credit for turning out those crucial few votes that made the difference. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard, and especially thanks to our candidates for running. They get an "A+" in citizenship!
So last night was exciting, right? I am enormously proud of our candidates in this difficult run-off: turn-out was very low, and every single vote mattered. It’s very hard to get out the vote in these very local elections: all our help mattered, every person we contacted and talked to – it all made a huge difference. How do I know? Well, look at the results for our adopted and endorsed candidates for this frustratingly low-turnout election:
Congratulations to Alderman-elect James Cappleman, who won decisively after such a close race in the run-off;
Congratulations to Alderman-elect Michele Smith, for whom the unofficial results show a margin of 220 votes in her favor, with 51.17% of the vote;
But the prize for closest win goes to Alderman-elect John Arena, with just 29 votes separating him from his opponent: talk about a hard-fought race! Congratulations!
Our next meeting will be on Monday, April 11 (the week AFTER the election), at the Heartland Café: 6 pm for those who wish to join us for a buffet dinner and social time before the meeting starts ($15), and 7 pm for the start of the meeting (free: cash bar). We’ll be doing “Election War Stories: the run-off” for the meeting: so come prepared to tell your favorite story from the get out the vote effort for the April 5th election. We’ll have some of our endorsed and adopted candidates there to speak, but the main event is the stories from our members.
Is it time for change? How much change will we see on the City Council? Will the new Council be a rubber-stamp for the new mayor, or will they show some spine and demand to know what they’re voting on before they vote? Will they come up with new ideas and solutions for our problems, or resort to the same old ideas that have gotten us where we are today? What can we do to influence the direction of City Council?