As we move into the General Election cycle, it is time to focus our attention on one of the goals identified by voting members last summer as a high priority: taking back the House of Representatives from the Tea Party Republicans. If we want Congress to get to work and pass productive legislation, then we have to elect members of Congress who will actually work on reasonable legislation and get good bills passed. We don’t need more destructive, extremist fluff passed that only serves to rally the base of the most extreme right-wing and evangelically conservative parts of the Republican party: we need legislation that addresses the very real needs of the majority of Americans. It’s not too much to hope for a Congress that actually takes on the issues of the 99% rather than fighting for reducing taxes on the 1%.
Once again, we’re sliding into the next election, starting to hear from candidates who are gearing up to run in the General Election in November. We’ll be looking at a variety of candidates for this election: if you know of any you think we should consider, please contact either Carl Nyberg (who is the chair of our Candidates Committee) or another Steering Committee member – or bring it up to us at a meeting. One of the prime ways to see change happen is through the election process: electing good people to office is part of the equation in creating change.
Congratulations to NDFA Steering Committee member Theresa Mah for getting elected to the Kelly High School LSC with the most votes of any candidate!
You don’t really think that elections ever end in Illinois, do you? No, they really don’t. In the city of Chicago, we have Local School Council elections this week, and though NDFA did not endorse in the LSC races this year, there are several candidates who would appreciate your help if you live in their areas:
Theresa Mah (Steering Committee member) is running for LSC at Thomas Kelly High School (4136 S. California) and was endorsed by Progressive Alliance PAC.
Alonso Zaragosa, who ran for committeeman in the 31st Ward, is running for LSC at Lloyd Elementary School, near Armitage and Cicero, and also for LSC at Kelvyn Park High School (4343 West Wrightwood Avenue).
Long time member Joe Laiacona is running for LSC at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Albany Park (Wilson and Kimball).
NDFA member and Raise Your Hand Board Member Jill Wohl sent the following recommendations for some north side LSC’s:
Amundsen High School (corner of Damen and Foster):
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: