City/Suburban Clergy Coalition Backs Sen. Durbin Snubs GOP ‘Ice Cream Politics’

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Snubs GOP ‘ice cream politics’

By Chinta Strausberg

Fed up with the misinformation that the community was getting over the re-election of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Bishop Simon Gordon Monday held an informational forum at his church, Triedstone Full Gospel Baptist Church, 1415 W. 104th St., where they officially endorsed his re-election bid.

After breaking bread during the breakfast meeting, Bishop Gordon held a meeting where he told the Senator and his peers how he was highly offended at Illinois Senator Jim Oberweis’ ice cream politics.

He told of being accidently invited to a meeting Oberweis held at Sweet Holy Spirit Church headed by Rev. Dr. Bishop Larry D. Trotter who last August endorsed Oberweis over Senator Durbin. Pastor Corey Brooks also endorsed Oberweis.

Gordon, who grew up in the Robert Taylor Homes, said he will not be fooled and will not mislead his people. When Trotter mentioned that Oberweis brought cream to his parishioners, he was highly offended and very angry.  One of the ministers asked Oberweis how many ice cream stores were located in the African American community and he told them at 95th and Kedzie, which is Oak Lawn, 159th and Torrence, which is the River Oaks Mall and the Forest Preserve.

A shocked Bishop Gordon told Oberweis those stores were not located in the African American community and his lack of knowledge about that was a clear signal of his “disconnection between how he employs his services for jobs and his relationship with the community.”

And, Bishop Gordon had some sharp words for Oberweis’ rolling up in front of Trotter’s church with an ice cream truck. “The one thing I have to say about ice cream is that it melts in the summertime and it’s messy…. We do not need to be trading food for votes.”

Drawing the picture between Oberweis and Durbin even clearer, Bishop Gordon said Oberweis spoke glowingly of being opposed to the Affordable Care Act where in Illinois alone more than 640,000 people now have health care. Durbin works closely with President Obama to make that bill a reality.

While Oberweis said he promotes school vouchers, Bishop Gordon said, ”We are not ignorant to the fact that our schools are funded by the tax base of the homes and business in the area. That is the challenge with the voucher system.”

Gordon said, “Please don’t bring us unfinished ideas and promote them in the campaign as if they are possibilities.”

And, when Oberweis told the clergy at Trotter’s church he was not a politician, Gordon said he was stunned since he was trying to defeat Senator Durbin. “We at least need someone who has an acumen for public policy,” said Gordon. Bishop Gordon said they came together to set the record straight before he November 4th election in embracing Senator Durbin.

Pastor Walter P. Turner III, president of the Minister’s Conference of Chicago and Vicinity, introduced Senator Durbin praising him for his work on the Affordable Care Act and for Durbin’s, along with Congressman Robin Kelly, Rep. Danny K. Davis, worked to help black churches remain open. Given the tough economic times, Turner said many churches have had to close their doors.

Turner also talked about voter suppression and pointed to the GOP as the designers of that plan. “That is what Republicans are trying to do all over again that our community does not vote. Senator Durbin has waged a fight to try to break down that barrier and deal with voter suppression.”

Referring to both Oberweis and Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner, Turner said, “They want to get rid of, eliminate the minimum wage. Senator Durbin is helping to raise it to another standard…,” Turner said thanking Durbin for his support. “He stands for what we believe in.” Apostle Carl White also spoke highly of senator Durbin.

Durbin touched on a number of topics including his love for Africa. Pointing to the many flags posted around Gordon’s sanctuary, Durbin said the third one represents Ethiopia the cradle of civilization.

But he also told the minister how after meeting with construction and union he has renewed his fight to get more African Americans hired.

Pastor Turner also introduced Mike Frerichs, who is running for Illinois State Treasure under the Democratic banner.

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:

Photo by Chinta Strausberg

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