Not surprisingly, the alderman was the only no-show at last night’s Candidates’ Forum sponsored by the West Rogers Park Community Organization (WRPCO). The other four candidates and a lively audience showed up despite the freezing temperatures.
Silverstein was represented by a letter stating that she would not be attending because (a) WRPCO Chair Ahmed Khan personally endorsed Shajan Kuriakose, and (b) write-in candidates Fuji Shioura and Peter Sifnotis were present. Khan was acting as a private citizen and not as WRPCO chair but the alderman seized on the opportunity to avoid the event. She apparently considers it beneath her aldermanic dignity to associate with mere write-in candidates. Her behavior is another reason not to re-elect her.
The first part of the forum was devoted to questions prepared by WRPCO, and the second part to written questions from the audience. Many of the questions were long-winded, with rambling preambles and multi-part questions that were at times difficult to understand. Each candidate was blindsided at least once by questions like this, but all of them did their best to provide a credible answer.
I was impressed by all four candidates. Each gave thoughtful, reasoned answers. There were no personal attacks, a tribute to both the candidates’ integrity and their focus on community and citywide issues rather than personalities or other disagreements. None attacked Debra, an opportunity I must admit I would have taken. Instead, they let her absence speak for itself.
They are all class acts. Zehra, Shajan, Fuji, and Peter, thank you for a lively, informative evening.