My apologies for being delinquent in writing for a few weeks: it’s been nearly two weeks since the election, and it felt like we could all use a bit of a break post-election.
With the end of the primary just six days away, we are entering the critical phase: voters are really paying attention and all our campaigns need as much help as we can give them. (Side note: Thursday, March 15 is the last day of early voting – if you haven’t voted yet, please get out and vote!)
At the meeting on Tuesday, we heard from representatives from all our adopted campaigns, who gave updates on the campaign, and asked for help – if we want to see these folks win their primaries, now is the time to show support. We also voted to endorsed Kevin Allen, running for State Senate in the 23rd District in DuPage County – he’s running against two other candidates for the pleasure of running against the Republican in the general.
Our monthly meeting is coming up – last one before the election!
For a number of years, NDFA has produced a Judicial Ratings Voting Guide. We combine the rankings of the various Bar Associations, highlight the ones with negatives from 80% or more of the Bar Associations, and encourage voters to make up their own minds on who to vote for. We put our sources for the rankings on the sheet, so if voters wish to follow up they may -- often the Bar Associations will give the reasons for their rankings on their websites.
After an early attempt, NDFA has long had a policy of not endorsing judges: we don't attempt to evaluate the candidates ourselves, nor do we hear from judicial candidates at our meetings. Judicial candidates are welcome to come and talk to members informally during our social hour.
This time, the Judicial Guide has stirred up some controversy. At least two members have emailed me with their surprise over the rankings of one of the candidates. One stated:
Because we are in the countdown to Election Day, there are more and more events every week for all our candidates – it’s hard to keep up. There is no time more critical for our candidates: we need to help get out the vote and make change. It’s when people don’t vote that things stay the same: the status quo likes low voter turnout. When voters turn out at the polls, change happens. And what we need is to make sure our voters are getting out and voting – because it’s not just any change we want to see happen, it’s progressive change with candidates who will move the conversation, the state, and the country forward – not backward into the 19th Century (and listening to some of the Republican candidates and elected officials in the last week, the 19th Century might be a generous estimate of how far back they want to set us: anybody longing for the feudal system?).
Countdown to Election Day – early voting started today! This is when everything we do becomes absolutely critical in getting out the vote and making a difference for our candidates. Our members voted to adopt two more candidates, with the vote being final last week: John Arena is now adopted in his race for committeeman (Sandra Verthein is the liaison for his campaign) and Rudy Lozano Jr. is adopted in his race for state representative (Theresa Mah is the liaison for his campaign). We also voted to endorse Anne Shaw in her race for committeeman of the 1st Ward. Congratulations to all these candidates!
Meanwhile, there are events, events, events to attend and work on. Here are a few upcoming in the next week:
We’re a month away from Election Day – and early voting start on February 27, so we’re running out of time quickly now before the votes will start rolling in and counted. It’s more important than ever to get out and work if we want to see our candidates elected.
Exactly one week from today is our monthly meeting. We’ll have the following guest speakers:
1) Des Plaines Mayor Marty Moylan, running for state representative in the 65th district. Why is this race interesting, you ask? Because the incumbent, Republican Rosemary Mulligan, failed to collect enough valid signatures to get on the ballot … so it’s an unexpectedly open seat. You can learn more about the mayor here: http://www.moylanforstaterep.com/index.html
2) Kevin Allen, running for state senate in the 23rd district. Kevin is a long-time supporter of NDFA, and the district is largely in the 8th congressional district (where we are supporting Raja Krishnamoorthi). You can read Kevin’s answers to the IVI-IPO questionnaire here: http://www.iviipo.org/Prim2012/Jan14-OOC/Allen,%20K%2023SD-D.pdf
3) Anne Shaw, running for committeeman in the 1st Ward, against Alderman Proco Joe Moreno, continuing our goal of getting involved in committeeman races wherever possible.
Programmers and nerds have begun taking the flood of public data availalbe online from the city and the county and putting it in easy-to-digest forms. The city is encouraging this, but the programmers are not paid by or under contract to the government. There are only 4 apps so far, but more are coming. One tracks the progress of snow plows through the city. Another shows all of the lobbyists registered with the city, how much they were paid, who their clients are, what parts of government they lobbied, etc. For example, the top-paid lobbyist made almost $1 million in 2010. Ald. Dick Mell made $10,000 lobbying the city. Do you think it's proper for an elected official to be paid to lobby the city?
Anyway, check out opencityapps.org
I just got home from an afternoon spent working on Ilya Sheyman’s campaign in Highland Park. A group of us car pooled up: half did phone banking, while the other half worked on a mailing and put together yard signs. People in the 10th District are starting to want yard signs to show their support, and it was fun to be part of making that happen.