The alderman announced via email that new lighting will be installed on Touhy Avenue between Kedzie and Rockwell just in time for the election. I’ll say one thing for her, she certainly knows how to deliver for her base.
The area in question borders Precincts 1, 5, 6, 9, 16, and 33–all Silverstein strongholds which supported her in the last election, giving her, respectively, 68%, 74‰, 73%, 63%, 75%, and 70% of their votes. These six precincts gave her more than 17% of her total votes.
Naturally, she took credit for the city’s decision to install the lighting. It’s part of a city-wide lighting upgrade program but Silverstein makes the dubious claim that she arranged to have the money released early so the lights can be installed now rather than in “several years.” Naturally, this was the only part of the ward that desperately needed lighting before the election.
Dazzled by their new ability to more clearly see vacant storefronts at night, residents are not expected to notice how easily Silverstein thinks their votes can be bought.
Old-style machine politician that she is, Silverstein knows how to dole out rewards in an election year. Ira’s little scandal and her own ineptitude have done some damage to the Silverstein brand, so she has to avoid as much vote slippage as possible. Turning taxpayer-funded programs into gifts from Herself is one way to do it.
Lights for Votes! Could it be any clearer?