Aldermanic Candidates Face R.A.G.E.
Aldermanic Candidates for the 3rd, 20th and 6th wards.
Photo Credits:Sam Smith
If you are a Greater Englewood resident living in the 3rd, 20th or 6th wards then you were among hundreds of residents who attended the “Who’s Running?” Candidate Summit this past Saturday, which coincidentally was held on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday, at the Englewood United Methodist Church.
Essentially, the summit was centered on questions derived directly from Greater Englewood Residents and members of R.A.G.E. worked feverishly to collect as many questions as they could from the audience members who were seeking answers.
The candidates who participated in the summit included:
Alderman Pat Dowell
Alderman Freddrenna Lyle
Alderman Willie Cochran
Che “Rhymefest” Smith
Some of the audience questions included the following topics: scandal and corruption in the alderman office; transition of felonies to misdemeanors; job promotions in each ward; candidate’s education platform; and solutions for improving the schools.
Englewood Residents and Candidate Supporters
Photo Credits: Sam Smith
Not all audience questions were addressed, “We knew that time was crucial and order was a must in order to have an effective forum,” said Asiaha Butler, co-founder of R.A.G.E.
John Ellis, long time Englewood Resident mentioned he had never seen anything like the “Who’s Running” Candidate Summit. It was a “genuine summit of sorts I have seen around here and I have been here since 86’, stated Ellis.
After a few snarled remarks from the candidates, the moderator Ray Thompson, Principal and CEO of Thompson Community Relations Group, respectfully regulated the crowd by pointing out the importance of civility.
By 5:00pm the banquet hall of the church was packed with supporters wearing El Che Rhymefest T-shirts and Sawyer supporters holding up large posters displaying “Vote For Roderick Sawyer”. Residents eagerly anticipated answers from the candidates on how they plan to improve Englewood.
Englewood Residents and Candidate Supporters.
The forum not only attracted residents of Englewood but also Jimi Orange, Project Director of Englewood Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, Dina Everage principal of D.S. Wentworth Elementary school located in Englewood and even Senator Mattie Hunter was among the audience members.
Hunter who has an interest in working with R.A.G.E says, “I have been looking for an organization to work with in the Greater Englewood Community.” Jimi Orange expressed he could feel the rage from the crowd because of the harsh comments made by the candidates directed at each other, but mentioned, "Overall, I believe the forum was very necessary, given the amount of community members coming out in numbers. I think the Aldermen will take a better listen in the future."
In the end there were mixed emotions from the candidates and residents on how they thought the summit turned out. Some expressed the candidates were being persecuted while others expressed their enjoyment of learning about the goals the candidates had for Englewood. One closing question that alarmed many of the residents was the fact that none of the eleven candidates resided in the Greater Englewood neighborhood.
The entire panel of candidates commended R.A.G.E. for hosting a civic summit that educated residents of Englewood.
Among the candidates who expressed their appreciation was Ebony Tillman who'd posted a message on R.A.G.E’s facebook page that read “Thanks for the opportunity to present to our neighbors in Greater Englewood. It was very appropriate that the forum was on Dr.King's birthday, what a great way to celebrate with community organizing. I look forward to working with your group. Peace.”
Words of encouragement were also expressed by fellow candidate Che “Rhymefest” Smith, who said “The R.A.G.E Forum was very informative and eye opening for the Englewood Community. R.A.G.E did an excellent job in making sure we got a chance to state our positions to the people.”
R.A.G.E has not missed a beat in lining up the next summits for the remaining wards in Greater Englewood. Part two of the “Who’s Running” Candidate Summit will be held on January 27th at the 7th District Police Station 1438 W. 63rd from 6pm-8pm for candidates in the 15th and 16th ward. The final summit will be February 12th from 4pm-6pm at the Englewood Mennonite Church located at 832 w. 68th for candidates in the 17th ward.
To learn more information visit R.A.G.E Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted in Community Organizations