By Chinta Strausberg
Just when you think 66-year-old Dr. Willie Wilson has done everything being a deacon, a philanthropist, a successful businessman, a recording artist and the producer of WGN-TVâ€™s â€œSingsation,â€ he comes out with yet another stingerâ€”this time Wilson is announcing heâ€™s running for mayor of Chicago.
Yes, you heard it right. Dr. Wilson moved from his Country Club Hills home to downtown Chicago more than a year ago, and he has his eyes set on claiming the Fifth Floor of City Hall. â€œI am with the community, of the community, and I never left the community,â€ he said referring to his work that kept him in Chicago.
His announcement comes on the heels of a very controversial election of his friend, now Gov.-Elect Bruce Rauner, a Republican, who defeated Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. Dr. Wilson was one of several African American ministers who endorsed Rauner. Wilson is on Raunerâ€™s transition team. Wilson describes his political stripes as being a â€œlife-long independent.â€
Born on June 16, 1948 in Gilbert, Louisiana, Dr. Wilson grew up very poor and eventually made his way to Chicago where he worked for $2 an hour mopping floors and cleaning tables at McDonalds. One day he boldly asked McDonald founder Ray Kroc to give him a restaurant. Surprisingly, Kroc did just that and ultimately, Wilson owned four successful McDonald restaurants.
But, he wanted more. Wilson sold his restaurants and started the Omar Medical Supplies Company. Besides his â€œSingsationâ€ gospel show, Dr. Wilson is also a gospel artists and has sold a number of records, but his strong point is his business acumen, and that is why he wants to be mayor of Chicago to run the city like a business but in a manner where he has input from the citizens and compassion for the poor.
â€œMany people have been asking me to run for mayor because they feel I am the most credible candidate,â€ Dr. Wilson told this reporter. Wilson joins other mayoral candidates including Dr. Amara Enyia, Robert â€œBobâ€ Shaw, Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd), William â€˜Dockâ€™ Walls, Frederick Collins and Jesus â€œChuyâ€ Garcia. All hope to defeat Mayor Rahm Emanuel who has a huge political war chest and who is making his rounds in the black faith community to solidify his support.
â€œPeople trust me,â€ Wilson said. â€œThey know I give a lot, and they know I will act in their best interests.â€ Explaining, Wilson said he would get rid of the controversial red light program. â€œThey got to go,â€ he said. â€œWhen our soldiers come home from the military, they have no place to go.â€ Wilson has a solution for that dilemma.
He criticized Mayor Emanuel for just now fixing the streets of Chicago chalking the late action to the upcoming Feb. 24, 2015 municipal elections. Dr. Wilson is still doing a slow burn over Mayor Emanuel closing 50 Chicago Public Schools, and heâ€™s not happy with the contract letting system, high parking rates, crime, which he vowed to reduce through job creation, and economic development.
Dr. Wilson is gathering his required 12,500 signatures but hopes to file 40,000 before the filing deadline.
Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.