John Curry: Candidate for Republican Committeeman in 32

 

Ever since William Hale Thompson, possibly the most corrupt politician in America’s history, ended his term as Mayor of Chicago in 1931, Republicans have become nothing more than an afterthought in the city. As political junkies and insiders prepare for several interesting

Former Chicago Mayor William Thompson

committeeman races among Democrats, including one in 32, the Republican races are largely ignored, or worse mocked.

That’s a view that even long time 32nd Ward Republican Committeeman John Curry agrees with. “The party unfortunately has been run down over a number of years with no money in the bank,” said Curry in an exclusive interview with the Welles Park Bulldog. Curry continued with a hopefuly sign to the future, “I’m very encouraged by the new leadership.”

Curry singled out the relatively new Cook County Republican Chairman, Sig Vaznelas, saying, “He’s worked hard at assembling a new leadership team.” Curry also said a number of new North and Northwest Side Republican Committeemen are injecting the kind of new blood that he believes will carry the party forward. Curry mentioned a number of relatively new committeemen that he’s confident in: Adam Robinson in 48, Dave Ratowitz in 47, Scott Davis in 44, Jason Cordova in 45, and Chris Cleveland in 43.  He called all these folks, “the nucleus of new Republican party going forward.”

Curry named three main responsibilities for any committeeman: getting out the vote, reach out to people to expand the part, and appointing election judges. The third is of extra importance with the notorious history of Chicago because election judges are, “the first line of the defense against vote fraud,” says Curry.

Curry says that the traditional source of power for committeemen is patronage. “In the past, patronage has been the fuel of a committeeman.” Of course, if you are a Republican committeeman, there’s not much patronage as Republicans control almost nothing in the city. “That’s a good thing,” says Curry because it gives the party an opportunity to grow without getting involved in the practice that has corrupted much of the state.

For Curry, he says five broad goals for the Republicans going forward: improved city wide leadership, development of the party as a reliable institution, an organization that is able to raise funds, one that is respected by the media, and one that can recruit good candidates.

While those goals are worthwhile, lately the only time anyone is talking about the Republicans in Chicago it was for all the wrong reasons. Last summer, a scandal exploded as Chicago Republican Party Chairwoman, Eloise Gerson, accused then Cook County Republican Party employee Jeremy Rose of a sexual assault. She also accused then Cook County Republican Party Chairman, Lee Roupas, of covering up for Rose. The incident in question occurred a year prior and it happened after a party held by the Chicago Young Republicans, of which Rose was President. According to Rose, the incident was investigated and settled internally by the CYR’s and no one was covering up anything. His supporters accused Gerson and her allies of ginning this up in perverted attempted to wrestle control of the party. Gerson and her allies accused their opponents of protecting Rose and also accused many, Curry included, of secretly being Democrats.

“The incident is in the past,” Curry said, “but the blowback has not.” Curry said that the Chicago Republican Party has not held a meeting since the Summer of 2010 and fundraising has been zero. “There were no winners,” he continued, “scome of the dvisive people are on the ballot. I don’t see these people as a positive force for the party.”

In fact, Curry’s opponent, Steve Boulton, was one of those that sided with Gerson and accused Curry and others of secretly being Democrats and protecting Rose against legitimate accusations. Curry refused to speculate on why Boulton is challenging him, “I don’t know what his interest is in this race,” but continuing, “he filed to run in the last day.”

Curry has repeatedly dismissed any accusation that he is sympathetic to Democrats, saying that a couple times he supported Democrats in races where no Republican was running and continuing, “I’ve been involved in Republican politics since the 1970′s.” Curry points out that the 32nd Ward is regularly in the top ten of the fifty wards in terms of Republican turnout.

While Curry believes that such scurrilous accusations only contribute to the divisiveness that he believes is counter productive and hurts the party, he’s not the only one that will face accusations of being a secret Democrat during this campaign. Catherina Wojtowicz, a Tea Party organizer and candidate for Committeeman in 19, is leveling a similar charge against her Republican opponent, Jim Parrilli. In a recent email to supporters, Wojtowicz said this, “One such committeeman is 19th ward GOP Committeeman Jim Parrilli, friend and financial contributor to some of the biggest names in the Cook County Democratic Party!  The GOP committeeman to one of the biggest republican enclaves in the city is a democrat bank roller.  Awesome, huh?”

Republican insiders believe that if only 23% of the City of Chicago went Republican, then the state would turn Red. Curry thinks that is very doable, “I think that’s very doable. Not in one cycle,” continuing, “If the party were to deploy people to do target outreach.”

Welles Park Bulldog is currently working with Curry’s opponent, Steve Boulton, to set up an interview and hopes to bring you that soon.

Interview with Paul Rosenfeld: Democratic candidate for Committeeman

Emails go back and forth for about ten days between The Bulldog and Paul Rosenfeld. We are seeking an interview and it isn’t that Rosenfeld is reluctant to meet as it appears he is so busy.

Finally, we nail down a date, late night at Fountain Head on Montrose and Damen.

When Rosenfeld arrives, he explains that he likes to spend his evenings with his children. His politics, he explains, take place after they are in bed.

“I don’t believe you get unless you give,” he says. “By nature you are perpetually giving to your community.” But, his life is centered around his children he says.

With a week to go before the actual nominating petitions are submitted, Rosenfeld predicts the community will see broad support for his candidacy, especially among the parents at Bell School. “More than 50 circulators were active from the ward,” Rosenfeld says.

An active member of Grow 47, Rosenfeld says he thinks his work on developing education initiatives in the ward are more important than becoming Democratice Ward Committeeman.

“My core values,” he says,

  1. “are collaboration in the slatemaking process based on a belief of openness and inclusiveness;
  2. fairness, to give a fair deal to everyone in the ward;
  3. looking out for our neediest neighbors.”
    1. “Help,” he says, for the neediest citizen “is what Democrats have always done.”
  4. Finally, he says, he will support progressive, reform candidates for office.

Rosenfeld says he plans an evaluation committee to assist him in the slate making process. It is this process that largely determines judicial candidates in Cook County. It is the committeeman’s responsibility to select the party slate and build support for it in the community.

When former US House Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, Jr. said “all politics is local” Rosenfeld heard that call. It is, he says, the reason you give people to affiliate with your party. “Determine their core values and give back to the community,” he says.

But what about Rod Blagojevich, we ask, how do you explain your role as “Lobbyist 2?”

In the indictment of Former Gov. Blagojevich Lobbyist 2, Rosenfeld, is discussed in a recording by Blagojevich.

On November 13, 2008, at approximately 10:05 a.m., ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked with Fundraiser A. The discussion concerned the status of fundraising efforts. During this call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH asked about Highway Contractor 1. Fundraiser A stated that Lobbyist 1 is still working with Highway Contractor 1. Fundraiser A also advised ROD BLAGOJEVICH that he will be meeting Lobbyist 2 to meet with an individual at Weiss Memorial Hospital. ROD BLAGOJEVICH states: “Yeah, now be real careful there. I mean, the FBI went to see [Lobbyist 2]. You understand?”

Piecing together what happened, the FBI visited Rosenfeld’s home, but he was not there. Rosenfeld called Blagojevich associate Lon Monk about the visit. That alerted Blagojevich to the net that was about to snare him.

“This is old news,” Rosenfeld says. “There have been two trials. I’ve never been a witness, a defendant or even mentioned in the trial.”

“I worked hard to get him elected,” Rosenfeld admits. “It was a huge disappointment.” Rosenfeld points to a public break with Ald. Dick Mell as a key point in his disenchantment with Blagojevich.

“It was the first time in 30 years to elect a Democrat governor,” he says. “We all worked for him.”

 

Review list of clients for Paul Rosenfeld from City of Chicago, Board of Ethics (screengrab) (original).

See a list of political contributions made by Paul Rosenfeld and recorded by the Illinois State Board of Elections * (Page 1) (Page 2) (* Contains any person named Paul Rosenfeld)

See the lobbyist registrations with the Illinois Secretary of State by Paul Rosenfeld

See Government Navigation Group, Inc. Expenditure Summary (Illinois Secretary of State)

See PAR Solutions, LLC registration and list of clients (Illinois Secretary of State)

See Cash America International, Inc. registration (Illinois Secretary of State)

See Government Navigation Group, Inc. Partial Client List (registered with Illinois Secretary of State)

  • Ameresco
  • Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
  • Cash America International, Inc.
  • Childress Duffy Goldblatt, Ltd.
  • Citizens Utility Board
  • Elmotech Inc.
  • Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
  • Fuhrman Engineering, Inc.
  • Global Solutions Group
  • Health Care Service Corporation
  • Illinois Community College Board
  • Illinois Pavement Preservation & Maintenance Assoc.
  • Illinois Restaurant Assoc.
  • Knight E/A, Inc.
  • Leinenweber Baroni & Daffada Consulting LLC
  • Medimmune, Inc.
  • Parsons Transportation Group Inc.
  • Pickering & Assoc LLC
  • Professional Towing & Recovery Operators of Illinois
  • Public Sector Solutions
  • Springfield Consulting Group, LLC
  • The Buona Companies, LLC
  • Wheaton Park District

2nd Ward Map Proposal introduced

A second remapping proposal was submitted to the Chicago City Clerk Friday. The proposal is in opposition to a proposal submitted by about 16 aldermen on Thursday.

Signing on to this proposal are area Aldermen Ameya Pawar, Dick Mell, Pat O’Connor, Harry Osterman and James Cappleman. A total of 32 aldermen have sponsored the second map proposal.

Alderman Scott Waguespack has signed on to sponsor a map largely supported by the Latino aldermen that was submitted on Thursday.

Passage through City Council by December 31 by 41 votes would preclude a public ballot on the proposal. That seems very doubtful now.

A simple majority vote of the Council, 26 votes, will cause adoption of a map. However, if that happens, the map would still require approval of the voters.

 


View Map for a Better Chicago in a larger map

Map boundaries are approximate. Credit: Welles Bulldog Graphics

O’Connor: Another map expected tomorrow

Ald. Pat O’Connor, in an exclusive interview with The Bulldog, said he expects another map proposal to be put forward tomorrow with consideration by the City Council of the competing proposals at its January 18th meeting.

December 31st is not a drop-dead date, O’Connor noted. While 41 votes are required for a proposal with no public referendum, only 26 votes, a majority of the council, is required for a map to be adopted, he said.

[Editors note: The Bulldog had said in earlier stories that 41 votes are required to pass a map, with Dec. 31st as the deadline. Passage can happen with a majority even after Dec. 31st. However the voters would then get a chance to vote on the map.]

“We didn’t want to file a plan till we had an agreement,” O’Connor said. O’Connor said the 16 aldermen who proposed today’s map felt they had to get their side out. However, a proposal that he said will have 32 supporters will be filed tomorrow.

“We’ve been working on the boundaries for four weeks,” O’Connor said. These aldermen who filed the map today “didn’t think the talks were going quick enough.”

“This is a fluid process,” O’Connor said. “Everyone needs to see how it develops.”

O’Connor said none of the North Side aldermen had signed on to the map filed today. Cappleman, who co-sponsored the map ‘Taxpayer Protection Map’, will support the proposal being put forward tomorrow, O’Connor noted.

Calls were left for Ald. Fioretti, Cochran, Mell, and Waguespack. Ald. Cappleman’s office returned our calls before O’Connor’s statement about him supporting the map to be filed tomorrow.

 


View Taxpayer Protection Map- Northside in a larger map
Map based on filing with Chicago City Clerk. Boundaries may not be exact.

Remap proposal puts Roscoe Village in 20th Ward

A map proposal filed with the Chicago City Clerk today suggests that Roscoe Village would join the 20th Ward. The map was also Twittered by Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey and Ald. Bob Fioretti.

Proposals for the remapping must pass City Council by a 41 vote majority before year end or two proposals will be put to a vote before the voters in the primary election in spring 2012. No remap proposal has yet been put before City Council. The council could still meet before the end of the month. However, no meetings are currently scheduled.

The map is called the Taxpayer Protection Map. It was sponsored by Ald. Proco Joe Moreno, Bob Fioretti, John Pope, James Balcer, George Cardenas, Marty Quinn, Ricardo Munoz, Daniel Solis, Roberto Maldonado, Ariel Reboyras, Regner Ray Suarez, Scott Waguespack, Rey Colón, Michele Smith, John Arena and James Cappleman.

The picture of the ward is dubbed an Hispanic draft by Fritchey. 20th Ward is currently a South Side ward represented by Ald. Willie Cochran.

Population shifts have caused historically black wards to lose population, largely at the expense of a growing Hispanic population.

If the picture is close to what is proposed what amounts to a new ward would be created on the North Side. Its borders would generally be Addison Street on the north, Western Avenue on the west and what appears to be Ashland Avenue on the east. (Read the legal description of the new 20th Ward).

Two ‘panhandles’ would reach out from the ward to catch parts of Lakeview and Logan Square.

Fritchey told The Bulldog at least two proposals seem to call for a new ward to be created from the 32nd Ward. The picture shows a proposal calling for the 20th Ward to be inserted, but Fritchey noted that another proposal calls for the 2nd Ward, currently represented by Ald. Bob Fioretti, to be centered in Roscoe Village.

Fritchey, who noted he is not involved in the city process, said the area will need to rely on the new alderman to address its needs. “They’d have a new alderman,” Fritchey said, represented by an alderman and committeemen elected by another part of the city until the next election.

Fritchey said Cook County remapping would start next year. He told The Bulldog he does not expect the county process to be as contentious as the city process.

The 32nd Ward would migrate south, finding a more rectangular shape centered in the Bucktown neighborhood. (Read the legal description of the 32nd ward).

The 47th Ward would retain most of its current territory, with a northern boundary meeting the 40th Ward near Foster. (Read the legal description of the 47th Ward).

 

Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey twittered a picture of what he calls a draft Hispanic Caucus map.

On the right, a 'draft' Hispanic Caucus remap proposal for the Chicago City Council. Credit: John Fritchey

 

Sheriff’s Office Mum on Prior Spokesperson’s Controversial Statements

The Cook County Sheriff’s department refused repeated attempts by the Welles Park Bulldog to confirm or deny several very provocative comments by Steve Patterson, who was the official spokesperson for the department until November 2011. Patterson made it clear that the Sheriff’s Department did NOT support a very controversial ordinance passed by the Cook County board ending its cooperation with ICE detainer program. Patterson also claimed that the costs cited in the ordinance are significantly inflated. The Cook County Board cited a cost of $15 million yearly as a reason for no longer cooperating with ICE. Patterson said the true cost was $250-500,000. He also said the Sheriff’s Department stopped cooperating with those crafting the ordinance, namely Jesus Garcia and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, when those two made it clear that the ordinance would be far more sweeping than Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s office wanted.

The Sheriff’s Department has declined to respond confirming or denying several statements by Patterson including, “During our initial conversations with county officials about it, we suggested they look to San Francisco for a basis, have public hearings, take detainers on a case-by-case basis, etc. When they refused to do any of those, we were no longer involved in discussions,” and, “The fact that you have local governments interpreting and enforcing federal policy differently all across the country is pretty frightening. It’s pretty insane that federal policy and whether you get deported could be decided by which side of Lake-Cook Road you get pulled over right now,” and finally, “When they wanted a more sweeping ordinance that would let everybody go free no matter what their criminal charge was, we just backed away from the conversation.”

The Sheriff’s Department refused repeated attempts for comments on these comments by Patterson, who left the office in November, even though its current spokesperson, Frank Bilecki, was very helpful and responded to numerous local and national media when it was revealed that Sharon Bialek was being evicted. The Sheriff’s Department is responsible for serving any eviction notices and Bialek lives in Cook County.

Back in June, Dart sat down with an interview with Chip Mitchell of WBEZ that seemed to start the ball rolling on this ordinance when he told Mitchell he was reconsidering cooperating with ICE on detainers. In the piece, Sheriff Michael Hennessy was mentioned. That’s because back in May, Hennessy decided that its office would not cooperate with ICE detainers in the case of non-violent offenders like those picked up for traffic violations and possession of small amounts of drugs.

The difference between the action of Hennessy and the Cook County Board was in the case of San Francisco County the Sheriff gave himself discretion about which detainers to comply with. The Sheriff chose not to comply with those of non- violent offenders especially those picked up for traffic offenses. As such, Peter Kramer, Chief Legal Counsel for the Sheriff’s Office, simply said this at the Board meeting prior to the passage of the ordinance, “If the ordinance passes, and the state’s attorney says it’s a valid exercise of your budgetary authority, we will enforce it,”

That’s of course something the Sheriff’s office would say of any ordinance, a point not lost on Commissioner John Fritchey, of Chicago’s Northwest Side, who responded, “Your initial statement has me somewhat perplexed,” continuing, “that’s going to be your position on anything this board passes.”

Kramer wasn’t the only person in the Sheriff’s office to offer statements skeptical of the ordinance. Former Dart spokesperson Steve Patterson told the  Welles Park Bulldog, “During our initial conversations with county officials about it, we suggested they look to San Francisco for a basis, have public hearings, take detainers on a case-by-case basis, etc. When they refused to do any of those, we were no longer involved in discussions.”

This wasn’t the only provocative statement made by Patterson.  He once told the Daily Herald, “The fact that you have local governments interpreting and enforcing federal policy differently all across the country is pretty frightening,” Patterson said. “It’s pretty insane that federal policy and whether you get deported could be decided by which side of Lake-Cook Road you get pulled over right now.” He told the AP, “When they wanted a more sweeping ordinance that would let everybody go free no matter what their criminal charge was, we just backed away from the conversation.”

Worse yet, Patterson told multiple news outlets that the cost of holding detainers is not $15 million yearly to the County but somewhere between $250,000 and $500,000.

Those are assertions that have no basis in fact, say proponents of the ordinance. Viviana Martinez, Chief of Staff to Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia, said that the $15 million figure came from the Sheriff’s office. Meanwhile, both Garcia’s office and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle say that representatives of the Sheriff’s office were involved every step of the way in crafting the ordinance.

Garcia staffer Alvaro Obregon, responded in the Welles Park Bulldog to Patterson’s assertion, “that’s factually inaccurate,”

Following a recent Cook County Board meeting Preckwinkle sternly said, “The Cook County Sheriff’s office was in the room the entire time this ordinance was crafted.”

Without a response, it’s impossible to know if the entire County Board is lying or if the Sheriff’s Department had a rogue spokesperson that was allowed for weeks to make false and misleading comments with no action taken. Both have significant consequences especially since this ordinance has been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster since the moment it was passed, and even before then.

Before it was passed, the Sheriff’s Department surprised the County Board when the office refused to back the ordinance when it came up for debate in front of the Cook County Board.

When Peter Kramer, Chief General Counsel for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, spoke in front of the Cook County Board on September 7th regarding the controversial ordinance that the board would pass refused to offer an opinion. “If the ordinance passes, and the state’s attorney says it’s a valid exercise of your budgetary authority, we will enforce it,” said Kramer.

A stunned John Fritchey, a Cook County Commissioner from the Northwest Side of Chicago responded by pointing out the obvious, “Your initial statement has me somewhat perplexed,” continuing, “that’s going to be your position on anything this board passes.”

From there, Joan Murphy claimed that felons wouldn’t be let, only to have the Sun Times embarrass her the very next day by highlighting the case of Eduardo Sanchez, a very mean looking criminal felon who was released because of the ordinance.

mug shot of Eduardo Sanchez

That was followed by a story in the Northwest Suburbs, broken by the Daily Herald, which highlighted three other criminal illegal aliens who beat up a cop that were let go. From there, there was a number of finger pointing as the ordinance became a toxic public relations nightmare for all involved.  Now, the Sheriff’s Department can’t confirm statements made by a former employee.

 

Gainer Proposes Divestment from Iran in County Pension Funds

North Side Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer introduced a resolution at the Cook County Board Meeting yesterday that would divest the Cook County pension fund of any investment with any company that also does business with Iran.

According to the legislation, the resolution states, “The Cook County Board of Commissioners calls upon the Cook County Annuity and Benefit fund to fully divest from the companies within the Fund who have exposure to Iran and block the future purchase of any further shares in the companies that would create exposure to Iran.”

Current United States law already makes investment in Iran very restrictive. According to the web site Payvand, here’s how current law applies, “U.S. sanctions against Iran are very strict and comprehensive.  Most day to day activities are subject to the regulation of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which is tasked with enforcing the Iranian Transactions Regulations (ITR), a body of regulations governing the trade in goods, services, and technology between the United States and Iran.  The ITR is very comprehensive – it addresses commercial, personal, charitable, and other activities.”

Current law doesn’t stop investment from foreign companies, or foreign subsidiaries, that also invest in Iran. Gainer’s resolution follows on the heels of several US Senators including Mark Kirk of Illinois introducing similar legislation on the national level.

This resolution is non binding and couldn’t have effect of law. That’s because the Cook County pension fund has its own separate and independent board. Its broad investment decision are made by that board. According to the resolution, the resolution is also largely symbolic. The Cook County pension fund currently only has  .16% of the entire portfolio in companies that invest in Iran.

The Cook County pension fund has recently come under scrutiny. This summer it was revealed that the fund has $5 billion in unfunded liabilities and current assets only pay for 60% of future liabilities. Another report said the fund would run out of money entirely in 2038. All government pensions in the State of Illinois are under the perview of the State government and legislation continues making its way to reform the pension system in the entire state.

Gainer chairs the Pension Sub Committee on the Cook County Board.

CPS map: errors, errors and more errors UPDATED

An interactive map of Chicago Public Schools touted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard this morning is full of errors a study by The Bulldog has found.

The map, announced with new school progress measurements parents will receive with report cards by the end of the week, “tell the story of a school’s performance by providing information about academic performance, teachers and staffing, school culture and climate and parent satisfaction,” a news release from the city said this morning.

Yet, as seen in our screen grab image, errors abound on the map, with schools mislabeled, misplaced and difficult to find.

“Through the school progress report cards, we can provide access to data on performance in a clear and understandable way,” Brizzard said in the release. The release goes on to note “the public will have access to all school progress report cards through a comprehensive online map.”

In its study of about 26 North Attendance Area elementary schools and 28 North Attendance Area high schools The Bulldog located 18 errors.

The Bulldog reached out to the Chicago Public Schools and was asked to call back in the morning. The mayor’s office did not reply to a tight deadline call for comment.

*** UPDATED Nov. 15, 2011 @ 12.25P

The Mayor’s Press Office noted that charter schools, which make up some of the issues we noted, are not included in the data base. The office said the map didn’t include charters because the charters “have a different set of standards.”

The office noted that The Bulldog was not at the press conference announcing the map. It said the charter issue was addressed at that time.

The mayor’s spokeswoman said charter information would be added next year.

The office asked The Bulldog to take the story down due to this “error.”

Below, in the list of schools found in our limited survey of the North Attendance Area we added a note if the school is a charter. The Bulldog also refers reader to the press releases from the city where the charter issue is not addressed and Brizzard’s description of the map as being “comprehensive.”

Return to Brizzard’s description of the “comprehensive” map.

Read the Mayor’s press release. 

Read the release from Chicago Public Schools.

Go to The Bulldog’s interactive maps that includes charter schools and information on the schools.

***

List of locations with errors:

  • Taft AC isn’t noted
  • Chicago Academy isn’t noted (Charter)
  • Aspira-Haugan isn’t noted (Charter)
  • Chicago Math & Science isn’t noted (Charter)
  • Passages isn’t noted (Charter)
  • Trumbull isn’t noted
  • Florence Nightingale is located in Budlong Woods
  • Thomas Kelly High School is located in Irving Park (Horner Park West)
  • William H Seward Communications Arts Academy ES located in Old Ravenswood
  • McPherson isn’t noted
  • Velma F Thomas Early Childhood Center in North Center
  • Evergreen Academy MS in South East Ravenswood
  • Aspira-Ramirez Computer Science isn’t noted (Charter)
  • Noble Street not noted on map (Charter)
  • Noble Pritzker not noted on map (Charter)
  • Noble- Rauner not noted on map (Charter)
  • Noble- Golder not noted on map (Charter)
  • CICS Northtown not noted (Charter)
A study by The Bulldog found 18 errors in the CPS map intended to help parents make education decisions.

A study by The Bulldog found 18 errors in the CPS map intended to help parents make education decisions. Nine are listed on the illustration. Credit: CPS.EDU

Rosenfeld Announces Intention to Run for 47th Ward Democratic Committeeman

Photo of Paul Rosenfeld

According to a press release just sent out, Paul Rosenfeld, owner of Government Navigation Group, a small consulting business based in Chicago, IL, has announced his intention to run for 47th Ward Democratic Committeeman.

Rosenfeld has the backing of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Long time Alderman Gene Schuelter is also running for Committeeman. Following through on his campaign promise, current Alderman Ameya Pawar has decided not to run for Committeeman. Pawar has backed Rosenfeld.

According to the press release, here are Rosenfeld’s priorities, “Rosenfeld’s priorities if elected include: creating an inclusive Democratic organization within the ward; ensuring that decisions affecting the ward and candidate endorsements are made openly and with collaboration.  Rosenfeld emphasizes the need to be fair toall, while paying special attention to the ward’s neediest neighbors, and is committed to working every day to improve the quality of life in the ward for everyone the community”.

The Republicans, like in most of Chicago, are largely disorganized in 47. Paul Bonilla is the most recent 47th Ward Republican Committeeman but he’s not running for reelection. All Committeemen races will be decided when Illinois holds its primaries on March 20, 2012.

Committeemen are largely responsible for getting out the vote in their districts. Powerful committeemen, those that are able to get out many votes, have influence in picking candidates, government jobs, and contracts, while weak committeemen, those that don’t get out votes, are largely ceremonial titles with little influence.

One other Committeeman race to watch will be in 32 where current 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack will go up against current Cook County Board Commissioner John Fritchey.  Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will also run for reelection in her ward the 4th District.

Rosenfeld lives in the North Center neighborhood with his wife Ellen and their four children, who attend their neighborhood public school.  Paul graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Political Science.

 

 

Polish Americans Demand Representation in New Map

Members of the Polish American community implored a number of Aldermen to make sure their community is represented in the upcoming redistricting map at a town hall, the first of a series, that gave the public an opportunity to voice their opinion about the nature of the map that will need to be drawn to reflect the most recent census. Chicago is home to one of the biggest Polish American communities in America. About 180,000 households in the Chicagoland area speak Polish primarily in the home.

The town hall was held at North Park Village at 5801 N. Pulaski and is the closest public meeting for Ravenswood residents. Aldermen including Richard Mell, 33, Scott Waguespack, 32, and John Arena, 45, were among those in attendance.

At the meeting, a number of individuals that represent the Polish American community implored the politicians to make sure that their community is represented.

“We want to go to one Aldermanic office to take care of the needs of our community,” said Robert Groszek, an attorney. The Polish American community has its zenith on Belmont between Pulaski and Milwaukee, parts of Jefferson Park, and on Archer in the South Side. Groszek said after that the community on Belmont is covered by three different Wards (31, 35, and 30). Groszek also said he was worried that the 45th Ward might be split and splitting up that Polish American community in the process.

Michael Dubrisky agreed, “The Polish American community deserves to be represented.”

“Keeping the Polish Community is beneficial to Chicago because you can streamline services,” said Agnieszka Sobczyk of the Polish American Association.

A Polish American contractor said that within 100 feet there are three different wards and it makes it difficult to put together the necessary permits because he is always dealing with a different Aldermen.

A number of individuals also complained that the recent census under reported their community. They said that because no question on the census form is asked about which language is spoken at home, communities like the Polish American community aren’t isolated and instead fall into a larger ethnic group.

Alderman Dick Mell spoke after with Welles Park Bulldog and sounded hopeful, “We’re going to try to do the best we can. But the Polish community has moved (over time). Maybe (creating a Polish ward) is a possibility. We’ll try.”

Mell faces a difficult process pleasing all the different groups. He explained earlier that the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund has demanded that at least fourteen wards be predominantly Hispanic. The Black Caucus has also produced its own map.

Mell’s Reform and Ethics Committee will be responsible for drawing a map. Mell said he was also concerned that the final map won’t face a legal challenge. Ward maps must adhere to several nebulous principles, “compact, continuous, and relatively even.”

The next meeting is this evening, North- Grand High School (Auditorium), 4338 West Wabansia, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Patrick Boylan contributed to this report.

Photo of Deviation (change required) for each ward

Photo of Census Results- Majority Minority Populations

Photo of Census Results by Race- % Black

Photo of Census Results by Race- % Asian

Photo of Census Results by Race- % Hispanic

Photo of Census Results by Race- % White