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?
I went up to Madison last Saturday to participate in the rally at the state house. It was amazing to be one of 100,000 protesting: this is what a movement feels like. Many passing cars honked out “This is what democracy looks like” when they passed groups of roving protesters, sometimes managing a refrain passing back and forth between two cars – the spirit was amazing.
But the people of Wisconsin are facing this battle because of the outright lies and deception practiced in their last election. Money poured in post Citizens United, Republicans lied about their agenda (or omitted key parts like… union busting), and the good guys lost – barely. They managed to confuse enough people to vote for the Republicans, and many of those people are now regretting their votes.
On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, DFAers turned out to support John Arena at the Northwest Side St. Patrick's Day Parade. That's our own Cat Dean on the stilts helping to make a big impact for John's campaign. Thanks to: Jill Arena, Sandra Verthein, Koylan DasGupta, Melissa Donis, Bob, Robin, Daniel Bartell & Maria Manolas, Joe Laiacona, Jimmy Garfield and everyone who turned out for our Adopted candidate in the 45th!
Ilya Sheyman has formed an exploratory committee to judge public support for his run for the 10th Congressional District seat currently held by Tea Party running-dog Bob Dold. He's looking for 500 supporters and $100,000 in donation commitments (you don't have to give right now) before mid-April. Please go to IlyaSheyman.com to support his Progressive campaign.
Come and share your election day/week/campaign stories with us on Monday, March 7 at 7:00 pm at the Heartland Café in Rogers Park, 7000 N. Glenwood (use the Lunt exit of the Morse Red Line stop). Come at 6 pm and contribute $15 if you want to partake of a buffet dinner with us. We invited our adopted and endorsed candidates from the February election to join us; a few have conflicts and will join us next month. As of this moment, confirmed are John Arena, James Cappelman, and Mary Hunter. We will also hear from another candidate who has made it into the run-offs: Temoc Morfin, candidate in the 25 thWard (Pilsen), who is in a run-off against Alderman Danny Solis.
Meanwhile, don’t wait for the meeting to put in some time volunteering for our three candidates in the run-off – if we want the City Council to be more progressive, we have to work to make it so. Just to remind you, our three remaining candidates are:
Please join us on Monday March 7, at the Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood for our Monthly Meeting. A social buffet dinner starts at 6:00 pm ($15 if you want to eat) and the meeting begins at 7:00 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend - meet new friends and find out about Northside DFA.
We will be hearing from three of our Endorsed/Adopted candidates who made it to the run-offs: John Arena, James Cappleman and Michele Smith (represented by someone from her campaign). They still need our voluteer support to add their independent voices to the new City Council.
Also speaking will be Cuahutomec Morfin who is in the run-off against Alderman Danny Solis in the 25th Ward.
After a whirlwind tutorial, Mary is now the Treasurer for the group. She has the check book, so she is the person to go to for reimbursements.
As we know, the Treasurer's office has been mired in corruption, feather-beading, waste and fraud. Mary, a CPA, hopes to change this and bring transparency and accountability back to the post.