Northside DFA (Democracy for America) is a grassroots political organization dedicated to electing socially progressive, fiscally responsible, ethically committed Democrats to all levels of government.


President Obama. Senator Baldwin. Senator Warren. Senator Hirono. Senator Heitkamp. Senator McCaskill. Senator Donnelly. Senator Sherrod Brown. Represenative Duckworth. Representative Foster. Representative Bustos. Representative Schneider. Representative Grayson. State Rep. Moylan. Commissioners Shore and Steele.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Winning is good. And all the work we did, all the money we donated, all our collective effort made a huge difference. It is all the little things you do that add up to the big things: talking to your friends and family, phone calling through lists, door knocking, donating money we could have used elsewhere … it all really does make a difference. Enthusiasm gap? Not this election.

One more week: you know what to do, so do it

One week until the last day to vote of this election cycle: Election Day on November 6. If we want our candidates to win, now is the time to get out the vote – it’s time to knock on doors, phone bank, harass our friends and family, and donate for the final push to win.

NDFA is going out both days next weekend. On Saturday, we’re going out to Wisconsin, leaving from the Walgreens parking lot at Sheridan and Irving Park to car pool up to Wisconsin’s first district, where we’ll go out knocking on doors for Rob Zerban, Tammy Baldwin, and President Obama. We’ll go up, do some door-knocking, have some pizza, and come back that evening.

On Sunday, we’ll leave at noon from the same location to go out to the 6th District to work for adopted candidate Leslie Coolidge.

Election week events: yes, it's that time and it really matters

OK, we’re in the final weeks of the campaign now – and now is the time to really get out the vote for our candidates! The time you volunteer now really counts. Here’s a list of the event we have coming up:

1) Trip to the 6th District to help Leslie Coolidge this Saturday, October 27 leaving at 11:00 am
2) Phone banking in the 43rd Ward on Monday, October 29 at 6:30 (last chance to do campaign work with NDFA in the city this cycle)
3) Road Trip to Wisconsin on Saturday, November 3 leaving at 9:30 am
4) Trip to the 6th District to help Leslie Coolidge on Sunday, November 4 leaving at noon

How do you sign up? Let us know what you can help out with on this handy form (and more details about when and where to meet are on the form):

early voting starts Monday, recommend "no" vote on amending Illinois Constitution

[In this blog entry, I speak for myself, not the official position of Northside DFA]

Illinois' early voting starts Monday, October 22. For Chicago voters there will be various questions on the ballot. The first will be whether to amend the Illinois Constitution to require pension improvements require a 3/5 vote of the Illinois General Assembly.

The Chicago Teachers Union has explained why its members should vote "no".

For me, the argument is simple. The source of Illinois' pension mess is that the Illinois General Assembly diverted money that should have gone to the pensions to other spending priorities so the politicians wouldn't have to cut services or raises taxes.

The amendment neither fixes the current mess nor does it prevent the politicians from creating the same mess again.

Judicial Retention Votes

Contrary to what I was told and reported at our October meeting, there are indeed Cook County Circuit Court Judges up for retention - 60 of them, in fact. Most have received all "Yes" ratings from the 12 bar associations. However, the following Judges received all, or mostly all, "No" ratings for retention:
Cynthia Brim - 100% No
Gloria Chevere - 11 of 12 No
James D. Egan - 100% No
Pamela E. Hill-Veal - 100% No

11 Bar Association Rating Spreadsheet      Chicago Council of Lawyers Ratings

Still lots of work to do to wing ... and lots of fun as well!

We’re doing a number of events – from phone banks here in the city, to road trips to Wisconsin and the suburbs (the Sixth District to be precise), to a fun get together at the Red Lion, 4749 N. Rockwell, to watch the third and final presidential debate (hopefully as much fun as the second was …).

How do you let us know that you’d like to participate in one of these events? Here is a handy link which has the sign-ups for all these events (except the Red Lion: just show up for that one):

Worried about the election? Get active

As we gear up for the final weeks of the campaign, it’s time to really get out there and do the work we need to do to turn this country around. To that, NDFA has a series of events scheduled through the end of the month, designed to make it fun and easy to volunteer for our campaigns.

We have five phone banks scheduled, conveniently located at several locations here in the city. We’ll be calling for our candidates, and will serve a little food and beverages to keep our spirits up.

Meeting - October 9! Plus a road trip to Wisconsin

Next Tuesday is our meeting – the last one before the election. We’ll be hearing from representatives from two great campaigns: Christopher Kennedy’s campaign for State’s Attorney in Lake County, and Tammy Baldwin’s Wisconsin senate campaign. We’ll also have updates on all our endorsed and adopted campaigns, and information about how to get out and help.

As usual, on Tuesday, October 9, we’ll meet at the Lincoln Restaurant, 4008 N. Lincoln Avenue (2 blocks from the Brown Line Irving Park stop, parking in rear off of Irving Park). 6:00 pm is the dinner/social hour, and at 7:00 pm the meeting itself will start. Keep in mind for planning purposes we always meet on the second Tuesday of the month.

We’re hosting regular phone banks in the City so we can make calls for our candidates. You can see the list up on our website to the right of this post.

Countdown to the election

It’s that season – the election is a month away! – where the events and emails will pile up and leave you overwhelmed.

But that’s no reason to disengage. Now we need you. And besides helping democracy function and the good guys win, it’s also fun.

We have several events coming up this week – and I’m focusing just on this week. Next week, there will be more … because it’s that time of year.

First, we’ll be phone banking on Tuesday, October 2, at the law office of member Anne Shaw, 540 W. Briar Place. We do have cell phones available for use, so if you sign up there will be a phone. Here is the Doodle poll that will let us know you’re coming:

welcome to people who signed the petition about Rahm's TV commercial

At the recommendation of Nate, a member of the NDFA steering committee, I created a petition calling for Mayor Emanuel to stop his annoying TV commercials trying to spin the teachers strike. I wrote the petition Sunday and by Tuesday morning it had 6,000+ signatures.

In my first email to people who signed the petition I asked them to visit the Northside DFA website to get a more detailed explanation of how NDFA fits into my vision for activism around Mayor Emanuel's bad behavior during and after contract negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union. Remember, Mayor Emanuel was behaving badly throughout the negotiation process.

To resist the attempts by Mayor Emanuel and his financial backers--mostly banks who want to turn government into something the capital class can invest in--we need to be organized.

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