Bishop Porter unveils Black agenda
By Chinta Strausberg
While pressure continues to mount on former mayoral candidate Dr. Willie Wilson to either throw his support behind Mayor Rahm Emanuel or the second runner-up, Jesus â€œChuyâ€ Garcia, Wilson Thursday told this reporter he has to first hear from his supporters.
And, a prominent bishop has released a â€œBlack Agendaâ€ a sort of litmus test of support for the African American community on which mayoral candidate is worthy to be endorsed.
So as not to be a perceived as a political dictator, within the next two-weeks Dr. Wilson will be putting up a new website seeking the advice from the 49,612 people who voted for him.
Thatâ€™s important to Wilson, 66, a self-made millionaire and president/CEO of the very successful syndicated gospel show, â€œSingsation,â€ who came in third place in last Tuesdayâ€™s mayoral race with 10.64 percent of the vote. For the first time, there will be a mayoral run-off because Emanuel failed to get a 50 plus 1 vote.
Wilson, who funded his own campaign with a $1 million check, said he never got into the mayoral race to fatten his own coffers or those of his friends unlike the mayor he says continues to give contracts to his supporters.
While Wilson has met with the mayor and Garcia, when asked which candidate would he support, Wilson said, â€œI am for anybody for except the mayor but when I said that I was running in the primary. I am also obligated in fairness that I should hear from those who voted for me.
â€œIf I went and did what I felt, that would not be right. I need to get the opinions from the people who voted for me,â€ Wilson told this reporter. â€œThat would not be right…,â€ he said explaining he doesnâ€™t want to be like other politicians who donâ€™t get input from the citizens.
â€œI will make a decision who I will support within ten-days,â€ Wilson said.
When contacted, former mayoral candidate Robert Shaw warned that jumping aboard the Garcia band right away is not the way this process is going to go.
â€œSome conversations have to take place,â€ said Shaw. â€œWe just canâ€™t go out there and jump up and give people our vote.Â The candidate that serves the black community best is the one we should look at.â€
But, when asked if the black community will forgive Emanuel for closing 50 schools mostly in the black community or for his red light program or make history by supporting Garcia who could be the first Latino mayor, Bishop Claude Porter, chairman of the Interfaith Illinois, Inc., is taking this process a step higher.
â€œI think the black community will come together and re-evaluate both sides of the situation and make an intelligent decision who they will support,â€ Porter told this reporter.
â€œThere have been a lot of activities concerning the losing of the schools,â€ said Porter. â€œWe know that was a bad move and saying he would do more by putting more police on the streets. The black community needs to evaluate who is going to follow the agenda that is being put out there to take care and look out for our best interest.â€
â€œWe have a black agenda that has been put out there. We need to look at that agenda and see who will adopt the interest of the black community,â€ Porter stated.
When asked how would the community know if they were not once again getting empty political promises just to secure their votes, Porters said, â€œWe had that recently with the governorâ€™s raceâ€ â€¦empty political promises. â€œ
â€œWe have to look very closely at what people are telling us. We have to demand that they stick to what theyâ€™re talking about; otherwise they would be one-termâ€¦.â€
Reminded that blacks are the largest voting bloc in Chicago, Porter said, â€œWe have over more than 600,000 registered right nowâ€¦. We have the controlling vote, and we have to make sure we utilize that now and stop being put on the sidelines as if we donâ€™t count.
â€œWe need to rally around each other,â€ Porter said. â€œWeâ€™re all leaders and we have to look at it that way.â€
Porter said Wilson â€œis going to be a broker in this situation. I am proud of what he has accomplished. He is doing a great job and I believe he will speak out the same way weâ€™re talkingâ€¦.â€
Porterâ€™s Black Agenda includes a demand to reintroduce vocational training in CPS, turn the closed schools into â€œviable community enhancement centers needed for occupational training, more contracts for blacks, a holistic plan to reduce crime, increase funding for mental health, increase youth voting, plan to retain homeowners, establish micro loans so blacks can open up fresh food stores in desert areas, and a number of other business demands that would include blacks.
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.