Miguel Del Valle
Now that the election is less than a month away, here’s something to consider: For just a half sec, set aside what all four major candidates are saying, and imagine each one individually calling a City Council meeting to order.
Cuz at the end of the day, it’s the gavel, stupid.
Sure, who these guys know, what their plans are, what their prior experience has been will be crucial to how each and every one will run this town.
But here’s one thing for sure: Not a one of them is Mayor Daley, and not a one of them will be able to get the City Council to bend to her or his will with the same courtly compliance.
- Gery Chico thinks he’s Mayor Daley. It’s not just that Carol Moseley-Braun called him out for taking credit for hiring cops, it’s that it’s a pattern He’s become first person singular about any and all things good that have come from Daley and oblivious – literally unaware – of the most basic things. According to Carol Felsenthal in Chicago magazine, post-debate Chico claimed he doesn’t even know who Burt Odelson is. And I don’t know about you, but a mayor who doesn’t even read the papers is exactly what I want …
- Rahm Emanuel has been disproving critics who’ve called him bombastic by instead being measured, dignified, and reining in his arrogance.
Jean Quan, mayor of Oakland, CA
Days before the Illinois Appellate Court knocked Rahm Emanuel off the ballot for the Feb. 22 mayoral elections, I’d been asking friends and acquaintances – on Facebook, via e-mail, in any and all conversations – who they’d pick if they had not one but two ranked choices on their ballot.
The exercise was not, in fact, because I had any kind of presentiment about yesterday’s court decision. Like most folks in town, I assumed the Appellate court would put its stamp on the local legal decisions that had already okayed Rahm on the ballot, and that he would either beat the need for a run-off or be the top vote-getter in the primary.
The reason I was asking was because I’ve been spending the winter in Oakland and a new mayor was recently installed here using a novel system called Instant Runoff Voting. It’s designed to consider the possibility that in a nonpartisan multi-candidate field, it’s very likely that no one will get a majority.
If you read media reports, you’d think Gery Chico is Rahm Emanuel’s most likely partner in the probable mayoral run-off.
But, off camera, what every campaign has been worried about has been Carol Moseley-Braun’s ability – not to generate black votes (a given) but to force enough white lakefront liberals (especially feminists) to put their doubts aside (about her and about their own racism or lack thereof) and vote for her.
Braun started impressively – more petition signatures by a mile than anybody – and with important financial and business support, including John Rogers. Recently, though, Carol has apparently decided to help Emanuel out by making herself look less mayoral by the minute.
First, there was the utter arrogance around releasing her taxes (and the additional scrutiny that showed all those lakefronters that maybe she’s not so great at handling money). Then there was leaving gay activist Mark Loveless abandoned in a room full of potential supporters. This week there was the absurdity of the non-existent Harvard degree.
No one can have been surprised by the verdict in the Silvanus Shannon case, not after a jury last month returned the exact same result for another defendant, an unnamed minor, in less than half an hour of deliberations: guilty of the first degree murder of Derrion Albert.
This time it took 3 and a half hours for the jury to decide that Shannon killed Albert with malice, deliberately and intentionally, and with extreme disregard for human life. He had stomped repeatedly on Albert’s head after Albert had been knocked helplessly to the ground in a melee on 115th Street, not far from the Agape Community Center in Roseland. Shannon covered his face and cried in court when he heard his fate.
Don’t for a minute think that Eric Carson, Eugene Riley and Lapoleon Colbert—the others awaiting trial for this monstrous crime—will get anything less. The video tape evidence against them—as in Shannon’s case—is simply overwhelming. In Riley’s case, even his mother has already identified him on the tape. "That's Gene. That's my son," Sherry Smith told the Chicago Tribune shortly after the crime.
Ever since I started writing about the killing of Jeremiah Sterling, my friend Brendan Shiller has been pushing back, telling me that my because I focus so much on the actual violence and loss, I’m contributing to the impression that violence is greater now, when in fact the murder rate in Chicago is at a 45 year low.
A criminal lawyer with his own practice and a longtime community activist, Brendan knows what he’s talking about. And I don’t really argue his point. My contention is that violence is still too high, and that African-American males are disproportionate victims (I know he doesn’t argue this point either).
But I also know there’s something to his concern about giving the wrong impression.
By the time this goes up on the site, I’ll be speeding from Iowa back to Chicago, where we’ll take the briefest breather and then fly south to Miami. It is what my wife is calling our new holiday arrangement: Christmas with her family, New Year’s with mine. It is entirely her idea.
In truth, only the latter part is new. This has been my third year in Iowa, happily lazing around in bed during snowy days, eating and watching TV, giving and (mostly) receiving presents, and enjoying plenty of holiday libations. This year we had an addition: a new niece, a little bit of heaven, quite literally dropped in our laps.
So the experiment starts tomorrow, in Miami. My wife’s presence won’t be the shocker so much as mine. It’s been years since I’ve spent the holidays with family. To be honest, I couldn’t even say when I was last in Miami in December; I visit, yes, but not for the holidays.
To explain why requires more than a blog post, and while a lot of it would be very funny, a lot wouldn’t. It’s the stuff of novels, really – of revolution and dislocation and … well, frankly, of dysfunction. There is no lack of love in my family; indeed, I would say we love with great passion.