At Wednesday’s Chamber of Commerce debate our hapless alderman, Debra “Street Scape” Silverstein, stated more than once that she “hopes” the street scape will bring new business to Devon. Hoping for economic development isn’t the same as planning.for it. But then—she’s been busy. Her latest mailer brags about “Positive Change – Real Programs” and then lists as major achievements the kinds of tasks more appropriate to an administrative assistant than an alderman. But it’s the way she distorts her record that’s truly troubling.
She once again pats herself on the back for “hosting several Multi-Jurisdictional Law Enforcement Task Forces,” although what “hosting” means in this context is unclear. Did she permit them to operate in the 50th Ward? Did she give them use of her office and phones? Did she provide the coffee? How exactly does one “host” a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement task force?
Never mind. The next line gives her credit for “assisting” in reducing crime by 21.8%. This is an old claim dressed up with a new statistic. Our junior G-man doesn’t mention the work of the police, or CAPS, or the 911 operators or the residents and business owners who are the eyes and ears of the police department in the community. Nope. All the “assisting” came from you-know-who.
And she isn’t telling the whole truth about that 21.8%, either. According to 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore, crime is down in the ENTIRE 24th district by 21% over 2012, although it remains at the same level as 2013. Is Silverstein playing with numbers to enhance her crime-fighting self-image? Check out Joe’s three-part post on Everyblock here.
She also claims credit for allegedly major initiatives like sponsoring “numerous Crime Prevention and Safety Forums, “establish[ing] Regular Meetings with Educational Professionals,” and sponsoring “Educational Forums and Back to School Events.” None of these should qualify as major achievements for an alderman. Too bad none of those Educational Professionals have given her advice on Proper and consistent Capitalization and Punctuation.
The reverse side of this mailer claims that she has been “Endorsed for Outstanding Performance” by various politicians, unions, and other groups whose members overwhelmingly do NOT live in the 50th Ward. I’ve read the endorsements, and not one of them includes the words “Outstanding Performance.” Truth is not one of Debra’s strong points.
She has so little to show for her four years in office that her campaign mailers have to stretch, over-inflate, and outright lie to make it appear she’s accomplished something for the ward. The plain truth is that she hasn’t. She and Ira like having all the political power in this ward, and they intend to keep it, no matter how shamelessly they have to behave to do so. Endorsements are bought, paid for by the more than $500,000 she’s raised in the past four years to put and keep herself in office, and by the monies pouring in from Rahm’s Chicago Forward slush fund for endangered rubber-stamp aldermen.
On the other hand, I do sleep better at night knowing that she’s won the crucial endorsement of the Pipe Fitters Union.