I’m not a Rahm-hater. I think he’s done what he could with the mess Richie Daley left behind. Daley bamboozled the City for years and the cowardly City Council did nothing to stop him. Any attempts at rebellion were quashed by the withholding or granting of funds and city services.
But Rahm continued that tradition. He’s far too comfortable with moneyed interests and not comfortable at all with the working stiffs who give this City its real vibrancy–the people who raise their families in the non-trendy neighborhoods, the people who start small businesses like food carts or two-table restaurants, the people who bear the brunt of high taxes and higher fees, who fight for better schools for their children, and who want an end to the corruption that fuels Chicago. Rahm tried to buy the City Council he wanted this time around, and would have succeeded were it not for mayoral candidates like Chuy Garcia, Bob Fioretti, and Willie Wilson, each of whom brought reform elements to the race.
Frankly, I’m tired of candidates who say they’ll fight for my interests. I think I’d be far better represented by someone who is willing to listen, to talk, to reach consensus, to compromise where necessary and fair without losing basic moral convictions. Money talks–and talks far too much in Chicago. It’s time for the people to ber heard.
Those who support Chuy are determined to build a Chicago that doesn’t rely on who you know but on who you are. Those who are working for Chuy’s election are working for neighborhood empowerment, for the kind of people-power that all too often disappears after elections, when reality sets in and the power brokers make their return, always ready with a pocketful of cash to indoctrinate the victors into the way the system really works.
A vote for Chuy is a vote for positive change. It is the best opportunity Chicagoans have had for decades to elect a mayor who really is like us–not a rich guy with Ivy League connections and lots of powerful friends on Wall Street, but a man who knows how hard it is to make a buck, to take care of your family, and to keep your dreams alive. He can work with the rich and powerful without losing his values precisely because he never set out to become one of them. He knows who he is and what he stands for. He never left the old neighborhood. He’s one of us.
And that’s why we’ll be voting for him on April 7.