FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2021
Contact: Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth 773-216-2067 , IL9@INDIVISIBLEIL.COM
INDIVISIBLE IL9 STATEMENT TO DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Local grassroots demands democratic elections in Chicago and end to machine politics.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – Indivisible Illinois 9th Andersonville-Edgewater (Indivisible IL9), a local chapter of the national group Indivisible, declares that we have a democracy problem in our neighborhood: for four decades, we haven’t had a regular Illinois Senate election without an incumbent, because our Senators keep resigning midterm. The process conveniently places their hand-selected replacements into office, which allows them to run as the incumbent in the next election—an advantage that ensures their re-election. That’s how the Chicago Machine works.
It’s a particular problem in the 48th and 49th Wards. 1977 was the last regular election for State Senate here without a machine-approved incumbent stacking the deck against grassroots candidates. And it’s a problem that could happen again right now with the resignation of Senator Steans.
“Enough is enough,” says 49th Ward constituent and Indivisible IL9 Democracy in Action Co-Lead, Joy Richards. “Our Democratic committee members must sign a democracy pledge. The only acceptable path is an interim placeholder in the 7th District Senate Seat who promises not to run for re-election in the next cycle.”
We demand that our Democratic Committee members:
1) acknowledge the appointment process should be reserved for special and extenuating circumstances;
2) recognize the remarkable history of appointments and midterm resignations in our neighborhoods in particular;
3) recognize that party appointments keep BIPOC and independent voices out of politics, an unstated but universal goal of machine politics;
4) commit to breaking the toxic cycle and appoint an interim placeholder State Senator who promises not to run for re-election in 2022.
Ward 33: Iris Martinez
Ward 39: Ram Villivalam
Ward 40: Maggie O’Keefe
Ward 46: Sean Tenner
Ward 47: Paul Rosenfeld
Ward 48: Harry Osterman
Ward 49: Kelly Cassidy
Ward 50: Debra Silverstein
Evanston: Eamon Kelly
Facebook petition https://actionsprout.io/7A25C0
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Indivisible IL9 Andersonville-Edgewater is a diverse group of concerned residents and allies of the Illinois 9th Congressional District, working strategically to ensure justice for all. Indivisible IL9 is a part of a national network that aligns with the movement following the Indivisible Guide. We believe that a successful democracy depends on an informed and engaged constituency. We value Diversity; Equity and Inclusion; Respect and Non-violence.