By Chinta Strausberg
â€œShe has real ideas on how to improve our schools, stop the killing of our children, make our streets safer and get our economy working. Carol is for us, Rahm is not unless youâ€™re a millionaire or a movie star,â€ said N.O.W. Executive Vice President Bonnie Grabenhofer during a press conference held at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
By Chinta Strausberg
Saying the city of Chicago is the most segregated city in America including black history, Jonathan Jackson, the national spokesperson for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Saturday said one of four Americans owe more on their home than what their house is worth and that the resulting structural deficit is unfair to people of color.
Like the national Organization for Women (NOW), thatâ€™s why he is supporting Carol Moseley Braun for mayor.
Jackson said 25 percent, or 50 million people, of all those having mortgages, 13 million owe more on their homes than what it is worth today. â€œThis is a structural problem that weâ€™re facing in America.â€
Explaining, Jonathan Jackson said many school systems are funding by property taxes. However, they lose their homes, the property taxes are unpaid and the city ultimately confiscates resulting in a reduction in revenue he says is â€œdriving so many of our problems.â€
According to the Financial Inquiry Crisis Commission, headed by Phil Angelides, Jackson said, â€œThis crisis was totally avoidable and in large part, you can put it on the credit rating and agencies. We were over charged for credit and other people paid too little for too much credit. This structural problem has not subsided and has not changed.â€
He gave as examples California, where agriculture is the number one industry like he said in Wisconsin. â€œThe winds that are blowing in California with their $27 billion budget deficit meaning they made commitments to pay for services that exceed what they receive in their income.
â€œIf you have a $100,000 taste but only a $70,000 income, you have a structural budget deficit. Nothing different. If you have an annual budget deficit, that means you are begging, borrowing and stealing from all of your friends to maintain your lifestyle,â€ said Jackson.
â€œThatâ€™s going on across the nation,â€ he said explaining that California is the seventh largest economy in the world. Jackson said two-years ago California had a deficit but went to several major banks, the U.S. Treasury and congress and received $12.3 trillion in funds. One in nine Americans is Californians. He said that state the government â€œturned its backâ€ and did not help California.
â€œWe could see then that there was going to have $500 billion of budget deficit shortfalls all across America,â€
â€œThis is the first time weâ€™ve had three consecutive years of annual budget shortfalls across all cityâ€™s and stateâ€™s around America. We have not seen these economic conditions since the Great Depression,â€ Jackson said.
â€œThe city of Chicago has also fallen victim to this problem as well but it has a few other peculiar dynamics that happen. Jackson said the state of Illinois reportedly has a $15 billion budget deficit.
Saying there is hope for change, Jackson said, â€œSo many of these padded pensions and all of these elected officials they are not
running for officeâ€¦.â€ Jackson said some of them are running just to get another pension.
Jackson referred to the Census saying more than $440 billion is annually sent back to the states. â€œBecause our population is short by 200,000 peopleâ€ he says means $1400 per person. â€œWe shall be the poorer here for ten-years. We will have another $280 million expansion on our budget because we donâ€™t quality for those funds.
â€œThe African American firefighters are owed $100 million and weâ€™re still litigating this in the courts. We see Jon Burge victims are still coming out of jailâ€¦.â€
Jonathan said he is supporting Carol Moseley Braun because â€œsheâ€™s someone I can trust and she is someone that I know and she is someone I can work with. You may not know Rahm Emanuel like I do,â€ Jackson said.Â You canâ€™t come to town this long and expect to make it right. The same rules heâ€™s breaking are the same ones heâ€™s going to be asked to uphold and enforce.â€
Jackson ticked off legislation aimed at improving the health and welfare of African Americans that Emanuel voted against.
Referring to Emanuel, Jackson said, â€œThis man has a long history. Heâ€™s not new to Chicago. Heâ€™s new coming to the South Side because heâ€™s like so many others. He just wants to come here and take something. I want him to stay out of here and go back to where he just came from…,â€ Jackson told a cheering audience during the Saturday morning Rainbow PUSH Coalition broadcast hour. His father echoed his sonâ€™s sentiments.
Saying people have the right to vote for whomever they wish, the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. said they ought to know what side of the political spectrum they are on and that there should be some consistency involved.
Jackson was referring to some African Americans who traditionally have supported black candidates but who recently backed Rahm Emanuel.
â€œIf you are playing for the Green Bay Packers, thatâ€™s alright, but wear a gray uniform,â€ he said. â€œDonâ€™t be playing for the Packers in the Bears huddle. You have the right to be a Green Bay Packer or a Bear, but the Bears are wearing blue and Green Bayâ€™s wearing green. You should not be a Green Bay Packer in the huddle of the blues.
â€œWhat made Judas a bad guy? It had nothing to do with his race. Thatâ€™s not the issue,â€ said Jackson. â€œHe could have been a consultant for Rahm (Emanuel). He was in Jesusâ€™ huddle. Itâ€™s alright to be a government spy, but you shouldnâ€™t spy on your own householdâ€¦.â€
To those who told him to â€œbe practically, Jesse, because you have to be with the winner,â€ Jackson said: â€œPharaoh was the winner politicallyâ€¦but the bible is full of stories where the minorities plus God ultimately was the winner. In Alabama, George Wallace was the winner but ultimately heâ€™s the loserâ€¦. Our story is minority plus God makes us winners.
â€œItâ€™s easier than to preach against Pharaoh when you are in slavery than preach against David when youâ€™re from his own tribe,â€ said Jackson.
Jackson recognized Bonnie Grabenhofer, executive vice president of the National Organization for Women (NOW) who was in the audience.Â Jackson said it in 2003 Emanuel â€œwent after the NOW organization. I canâ€™t stand a man who goes after a woman on some cowardice grounds.
â€œHe said NOW was unfair in their ads. NOW was telling the truth,â€ he said.Â Jackson credited the Crusader and the Chicago Defender for endorsing Carol Moseley Braun. â€œOur community is coming together,â€ he bellowed.
â€œSome people may look like us. They are of our color, but they are not of our kind. We are about justice for all…,â€ Jackson said introducing Braun.
Saying Rev. Jesse L. Jackson â€œwas the first person to put this campaign in context to let them know this wasnâ€™t just about whether you likeâ€ her hairstyle or not.
â€œThis race,â€ said Braun, who thanked the Crusader and the Chicago Defender for endorsing her, â€œwas about the people, was about the people, was about the country, was about urban policy and whether or not we are going to slide down a slippery slope of another depression in Americaâ€¦.â€
Braun said when she was a girl, she marched with Dr. King and that â€œevery step of the fight with Godâ€™s grace, I was able to deliver to do the right thing, I kept my promises, I did my best, and I delivered for the people.
â€œAs a young U.S. attorney, Iâ€™ve worked on a case and achieved a small victory by stopping the fast foreclosures that were going on in those days. As a state representative, I fought to give welfare recipients the ability to get higher education, and I created the local school councils. I sued my own party so that Miguel del Valle can have a seat in the Illinois legislature.
â€œAs Mayor Harold Washingtonâ€™s floor leader, I was able to keep council wars out of Springfield and hold on to the (Oâ€™Hare) airport and to the Park District for Mayor Washington when they tried to strip him,â€ she recalled.
â€œAs Recorder of Deeds, I reformed that office and bought in and worked with the union, first time ever, and delivered more money to the county that it ever gotten from that office.
â€œAs a U.S. Senator, I started a national debate about rebuilding our crumbling schools about making sure women had pensions in their retirement and not force them to live below the poverty line. I fought Jesse Helms on the Confederate Flag and held up the voice of a whole segment of our country that had never been heard on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
â€œAs Ambassador, I ran two embassies representing our country, and as a small business owner, I tried to bring better nutrition to the city of Chicago. I have never profited personally from public service.
â€œIâ€™ve never taken a personal dime from the taxpayers, and Iâ€™ve always been accountable for my work in office and as mayor I will be a leader to build communities to seesâ€¦respectsâ€¦an serves all of the people of this city,â€ said Braun.
â€œChicago is one of the most beautiful cities in the world if you donâ€™t see the homeless villages under the bridges in Edgewater, if you donâ€™t see the blood on the streets in Englewood, if you donâ€™t see the young men and women who have given up hope because they cannot find jobs,â€ she told a cheering audience.
Braun vowed if elected she would be a mayor who â€œwill include all, exclude none and see to it that the needs and concerns of every community, every neighborhood get addressed and met, and I will use all of the skills and experience that I have earned over the years in public service to make government work for all of the people of this city.â€
Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., who like his son has also endorsed Braun, ticked off Emanuelâ€™s anti-Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) record where he voted against the CBC 128 times. â€œYou have the right to be on that team. That means you are against it (Emanuelâ€™s record), too.â€ Jackson said when Emanuel was a congressman he did not have any people of color on his staff. â€œYou have a right to be on that team but keep your uniform on and stay in your own huddle. Weâ€™re together. Weâ€™re still buddies,â€ he told a cheering audience.
Jackson, who thanked the Chicago Defender newspaper and the Crusader for endorsing Carol Moseley Braun, said years ago most blacks did not have the right to vote but that tomorrow â€œwe must have the right vote.â€
â€œOur world seems to be in such turmoil. There is a connection to what is happening in Egypt and Tunisia, Yemen,
Bahrain, and Libya, and what is happening in Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio,â€ said Jackson referring to a seemingly worldwide wave of protesters seeking democracy, fairness and justice.
Having met with workers in Wisconsin and Ohio, Jackson said, â€œThere is a global scheme going on. There is a global revoltâ€¦. When the banks began to collapse in New York, it begins to collapse in London, in Germany, France and all over the world because in a very tight way we have globalized capital without globalizing human rights, without globalizing workerâ€™s, women, childrenâ€™s rights and the environment.
â€œIn some sense, when the collapse came, it collapsed on the people,â€ said Jackson. â€œThe rich bailed out the rich and left out the poor. Itâ€™s prosperity at the top and austerity at the bottom.â€ Jackson alleged that the â€œbig banks got paid for their schemes. They get paid to get out of the hole and now they are getting huge bonuses. They are getting paid at every conceivable angle.â€
As an example, Jackson said because â€œbecause we did not have the public option on the health insurance bill, weâ€™re now 59 millions without health insurance. Insurance fees are rising without competition. That was that big trade-off. â€œ
Jackson said 49 million Americans are in poverty. â€œThey work but canâ€™t make ends meetâ€¦. They live in homeless shelters but canâ€™t afford to pay rent. They work but they are living under roofs or theyâ€™re living under bridges or the are living in homeless shelters.
â€œHalf of the homeless today are menâ€¦veterans. We tend to love soldiers but not veterans so muchâ€¦.â€ Jackson said there are 44 million on food stamps and 31 million looking for a job. â€œYet, when you hear the pronouncements coming out of Washington some of it sounds too much like one party and two names because they agree on certain things.
â€œThey agree to be civil not to call each other names. They agree on the budget for Afghanistan to raise itâ€¦ but they donâ€™t suppose the right to vote in D.C. More people live in D.C. than (those) living in 19 states.
â€œBut, they agree on certain thingsâ€¦bailing out the banks but not link to lending investment. They agree to not stop foreclosures a priority. They agree on private schools for a few but not public schools for the masses,â€ said Jackson. â€œThey agree to have a tax cut in December and a job cut in February.
â€œThat is why weâ€™re not about Democrats or Republicans. Weâ€™re about democracy and republicâ€¦. We represent the heatâ€¦. The rich have no ceiling and the poor have no floorâ€¦.â€ â€œThe wealthy are subsidized and the working poor are marginalized.â€
Braun , who has promised to change that equation, took a swipe at the media one outlet that challenged her for telling the truth. â€œBe clear. If your team is about money and power and not about the people, just say that. Just tell the folks the truth.â€
She gave more bills that Emanuel voted for like â€œthe warrantless wiretap and surveillance authorization. H.R. 339 that let people who sell you meat from animals that have fallen down because of illness they canâ€™t be sued and he voted for those things. I didnâ€™t make that up. Thatâ€™s the record. Check the records. Thatâ€™s the simple truth.
â€œAll the TV ads, the huge spending, the unlimited money cannot get past what you (Emanuel) have already done, what team youâ€™re playing on, what interest you represent, what youâ€™re going to do to the people of the city of Chicago,â€ said Braun.
â€œI have the truth on my side. I have the experience, the capacity and the will to lead this city into the next economy,â€ she said. â€œOut of the ashes ofÂ this recession, we will create a new urban model with green jobs and reclaim homes that families can live with revitalized neighborhoods and reinvigorated schools.
â€œI have pledged no new taxes because working people have been taxed enough. We have to do better with what we have,â€ she said describing that practice as being more â€œprudent.â€
â€œWe will grow this economy by making this city work for everybody. Our great diversity in this city will be our strength and we will build communities in which there is balance and shared prosperity for all of the people,â€ said Braun.
â€œIn the end, it is really up to you. I only have one vote,â€ she said explaining she has brought a message of hope to them. â€œYou have the vote. You have the power. Protect your interests. I ask for your vote and together we will make this city as great as it can be. Together, we will rebuild Chicago and set a standard that the rest of the country can look at and emulate. Punch 3 on February 22ndâ€¦.
â€œGod willing weâ€™ll win. Weâ€™ll get to City Hall, and I will invite all of you to join me there,â€ Braun told a cheering audience.
And, Bonnie Grabenhofer, executive vice president ofÂ NOW, plans on being there. Her organization has endorsed Braun for mayor. She said NOW and the National Equality PAC and the Chicago NOW Pac are so proud to endorseâ€ Braun.
â€œThroughout Carolâ€™s 25-years of public service, she has had the courage to always do the right thing to improve our lives,â€ said Grabenhofer. She wants to end no-bid contracts â€œand we want a mayor we can trust in a way that includes us all. Carol Moseley Braun is that mayor.â€
She said when Braun was a state representative she sponsored the stateâ€™s first minority and female set aside legislation and said when she was a U.S. Senator Braun passed a law that was the first five percent procurement goal for women-owned business in federal contracting. She fought efforts to repeal tax incentives for minority ownership for broadcast properties.
â€œShe has real ideas on how to improve our schools, stop the killing of our children, make our streets safer and get our economy working. Carol is for us, Rahm is not unless youâ€™re a millionaire or a movie star,â€ said Grabenhofer.
She said Emanuel â€œrepresents a bunch of insiders but nothing will change for the better. This is a man who disrespects everyone around him.â€ She criticized Emanuel for not attending a candidateâ€™s forum on violence against women and LGBTQ people. She said Emanuel and Gery Chico never showed up. â€œDoes Rahm think that we should trust him because he made promises? Actions speak louder than words. Rahm is a wolf in sheepâ€™s clothing. He is a conservative dressed up to look like a liberal, but Rahm has consistently opted to throw away womenâ€™s rights in order to strike deals with..anti-women special interests groups. He has consistently voted against the Black Congressional Caucus, against proposals to end discrimination and help uplift African Americans.
â€œCarol has made gender equity and the needs of the African American community a priority. She includes us in her discussion and she has spent her entire life as a public servant fighting for us. She will continue to do so as mayor of Chicago,â€ Grabenhofer said urging all to Punch 3â€¦.
â€œA vote for Carol is a vote for yourself. We can take the power. If we all vote, we can win this and we can take back our city,â€ she told a cheering audience.
Rev. Jackson concluded the broadcast by reminding everyone to â€œdonâ€™t you do less than your best on Tuesday.â€
Photo: By Chinta Strausberg
Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host.