I loved running for alderman - talking to neighbors, meeting other candidates passionate about building a new Chicago way, and discovering new corners of my ward. I loved it all except for the losing part. And in the last week, I have gotten a lot of advice on how to proceed as a “loser” but what people don’t understand is I am not upset about losing the race (although that part does suck), I am grieving for democracy. And having worked in war zone, I can track how I am moving through stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) and since I have never wasted time on denial, I was at “anger” by the day after the election.
I am “angry” that my volunteers walked away from election day disillusioned with democracy because of all the polling place irregularities and Mell-machine shenanigans they witnessed. I am “angry” that Illinois electoral code does not have provisions for an automatic recount. I am “angry" that the media is reporting that Mell has “avoided” a run-off when more than 200 absentee ballots are outstanding. I am “angry” that one of the reasons I ran for alderman is that there was no legitimate leadership in the 33rd and this election is amplifying that fact.
Mell said she would use this election to prove she was different than her father and would earn the right to lead the ward. But instead, she let her father run “the usual” campaign with “the usual” election day shenanigans. This is not leadership nor is it a way to earn legitimacy. A true leader would welcome a re-count. In fact, with such a close election, a true leader would welcome a run-off to show she had the support of the majority of the ward. A true leader would understand all of this without having to be told.
But we have no leadership in the 33rd ward so here I go, entering the bargaining stage...
Please Mell - earn your seat. Show us you aren’t going to rely on your daddy, his precinct captains, and their shenanigans deliver the aldermanic office to you - again. Show your true colors and join in the call for a re-recount. Show your potential constituents you value their voices and want to see democracy in the 33rd Ward.