I love local politics. It is where the good stuff happens. Well, it should be where the good things happen. However, in Chicago that is not always the case. Fortunately, the monthly First Monday at the Heartland Cafe provided a great chance to review the best options to improve the future of the city, county, and state.
Below are some of the recommendations discussed at First Monday. Most of the decisions I agreed with; other. Well…meh! I highlight my thoughts below.
Rogers Park Recommendations for Local Democratic Races
Governors Race Endorsement: Daniel Biss.
While J.B. Pritzker and Chris Kennedy are viable options, Biss stands out in a race dominated by Billionaires. His track record proves his ability to help workers. Just an FYI! I helped out on Biss campaign because I believe in him.
Attorney General Endorsement: Aaron Goldstein
Eight Democrats are running for the Attorney General position. It is true that Kwame Rauol and former Governor Pat Quinn have more experience than Goldstein. However, Aaron Goldstein is more independent. He took down long-time machine politician Dick Mell as the 33rd Ward Democratic Committeeman and is a public defender.
This was a tough decision since most most of the candidates in this race have similar views. Sharon Fairley and Quinn could be decent in this position.
Us Rep Endorsement: Jan Schakowsky
Congresswoman Schakowsky has no serious opposition in the race. However, showing support for an honest Congresswoman who helped this district a lot during the past few decades helps our district in Congress.
Us State Rep Endorsement: Kelly Cassidy
While Arthur Siegel offers a viable opposition to Cassidy, her past works demonstrated how a good local leader can help the state of Illinois. Siegel’s ideas were just a bit too far out to support.
Water Reclamation District Endorsement: Cam Davis (Write-In)
Technically, there is no candidate for Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. However, Cam Davis is filling in the seat after the previous representative Timothy Bradford died in December. It was too late at this point for candidates to submit their ballots to the state.
Fortunately, Cam Davis was Obama’s Great Lake point person and a qualified candidate for the position. If you want to vote for Cam Davis, please follow the exact steps listed below. Otherwise, the choice for Water Reclamation District is left to Governor Rauner to fill.
Go to Cam Davis’ website to find out how to vote for a write-in candidate correctly.
Cook County President: Bob Fioretti
This was not in the meeting. Also, full disclosure, some of our team works on the campaign. However, that is because we believe in what Bob Fioretti stands for in his race for Cook County President.
Two reasons why we support him.
First, he opposes the soda tax. The infamous tax that current Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle passed last summer before the full weight of Cook County came out against the tax.
Second, he had a great track record as the 2nd Ward Alderman in the city of Chicago. No mean feat given the past few mayors this city had. Most Aldermen played dead. Fioretto did not.
Cook County Assessor Endorsement: Fritz Kaegi
Most people do not understand how vital the Cook County Assessor’s office is to the county. The office currently run by Joe Berrios has some significant flaws.
The first flaw is property assessments disproportionately favors connected property tax attorneys like Senate Majority leader John Cullerton, IL Speaker of the House Mike Madigan, and Alderman Ed Burke. They know how to game the system, downtown apartments funnel ridiculous amounts of money to lower property tax assessment.
When they do this, taxes in the neighborhoods rise.
The second flaw is that an incorrect assessment negatively affects education funding. Property tax assessments determine the amount of money paid to the state to fund education. The lower the valuation, the less money for educating children.
It is another example of how saving the rich money hurts the poor. The greed in the system needs to change. Fritz Kaegi provides that opportunity.
Third, with so much power in the assessments, it benefits connected people. Current Assessor Joe Berrios as the head of the Cook County Democrats allowed this patronage system to continue. It is unfair and needs changing. Kaegi Fritz is a professional.
13th District Cook County Commissioner Endorsement: Bushra Amiwala
Network 49 gave a close endorsement to current Supervisor Larry Sufredin. However, we have followed Bushra Amiwala. She is an impressive 19-year-old who Won straw poll. Her energy will provide an exciting opportunity for change to the County. She is also inspiring new voters.
Cook County judges
With 5 out of the eight pages on the ballot for judges, it is essential to get it right. However, we cannot lay out the best attorneys here. That is why we recommend you check out the Judicial Ratings on VoteForJudges.Org
Because of the number of judges listed below, often the best way to get on the ballot are machine backed candidates or Irish. However, the list above helps you test the best way to find quality judges in our courts.