New Chicago 2011 Denies Inclusion of Speaker, Blames IRS
If our youth are going to run things in the future, we must clean up our acts, the election process and the manner in which campaign forums are held. Foremost is reinstating fair play and being inclusive.
Open Letter to New Chicago 2011 and Amisha Patel, The Grassroots Collaborative and the Voters of Chicago Who Deserve to Hear from All Candidates
I am appalled at the lack of fairness, inclusion, and flexibility of the New Chicago 2011, which to my knowledge includes the Jewish Council On Urban Affairs as a member of the Grassroots Collaborative. According to letter to William Walls III (Dock Walls) from Amisha Patel, he is not invited to speak on Tuesday December 14, 2010. That means one group has determined for voters whom they should listen to in the Chicago Mayoral Campaign race and whom they should not.
It should not matter if I support Dock Walls. I do. But I support social justice, corporate responsibility, and fair play more. And I will get the word out and ask people to flood the offices or inboxes of the Grassroots Collaborative, New Chicago 2011, Jewish Council On Urban Affairs and attend the forum or blast the Internet to let all know how much they support fair play.
This is not just about the man Dock Walls, but the principles of fair play that he stands for and the fact that not just he, but 4 candidates were excluded based simply on how many signatures they turned in, not how many were valid or went unchallenged.
Moreover, why is it based on signatures alone?
I will be sure to include this information to my facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, BNICEH and IMPRUVE families and members, if I have to stay up most of the night and ask them to email their lists and call their contacts tolt them know of his miscarry of justice by organizations that I thought support social justice.
I have lived in this city over two score (that's over 6 decades). I have not been asleep at the wheel, bombed out on alcohol or drugs, locked up, or in a country where there is no contact with other people or access to media.
What the Chicago media has done to erode campaign fairness is a sin. What you are doing by excluding a viable candidate such as William Dock Walls and others whom people need to hear to make a sound judgment and informed consent is almost akin almost to fixing the election so candidates chosen by you are favored.
By not exposing persons to all or most of the candidates, at least those whose petitions proved to be sound and unchallenged from the beginning, you give validation to the candidates who are being challenged, and invalidate those who worked hard to get on the ballot and did it without paying for signatures or excluding those who could not get as many petitions from the disability community and non-disabled community due to barriers of inaccessible facilities, buildings, and weather.
I can tell you for those who are disabled and believe in fair play who went out for William Walls III aka Bill Dock Walls to get signatures as hard as it was to get over construction sites, brave the cold weather and the cold suspicious hearts of residents who thought we might be begging and did all but fall over our wheelchairs trying to get away from us before they could hear us out, we are not happy with the New Chicago 2011's decision. We also did not support you excluding the other 3 candidates. We get enough of that from WVON and the major networks.
I just watched an excellent mayoral forum held at UIC on Channel 19 CAN-TV on Sunday from 5-7 pm. I did not know most of the candidates, but it was a pleasure having the opportunity to hear the ten of them on every question. That is what a democratic process is suppose to do. Noticably absent were three candidates who turned in the most petitions and are being challenged, but you have invited them to your forum. Unlike what you did, they were not excluded. They were just not there to publicly answer the panel's questions. Andy Shaw did an excellent job of representing the Better Govt. Assn. By the way, all asked excellent questions that resonated with the issues of which voters are most concerned.
We cannot let this slide. I am not angry, but I am weary of the games played in this town to exclude people we need to hear.
I would like to know how in this world did the sponsors of Tuesday's mayoral forum expect us to accept their refusal to allow 4 of the candidates who are not being challenged (incl. William Walls III) to be included, based on mere petition numbers. What would you decide if like in Portland, only 50 signatures were required? Only invite the first six in line when petitions were turned in? Or the first six to call and ask to be invited? I shudder to think what basis you would use in the future. And why six? It's not based on Feng Shui, some mystical reason, or astrology and indeed it should not be.
When people pay for petition signatures or have huge campaign financing behind them, that is no indication that they are the best or only candidates that should be presented before the people who will be voting.
In fact, that takes it out of the realm of a public forum and makes it a forum of selective candidates--sort of elitist, what does that say about New Chicago 2011 and who is pulling your strings or financing the forum. Perhaps a better name for the collaborative would be Same Old Chicago 2011.
This is no different than the unfair system that we are trying to get rid of now as it exists within the Chicago Board of Election Commission.
The weather is not the only thing that is fierce in Chicago. Here's my weather advisory for the forum -- watch out for backlash from a Chicago that stands for fairness, expects it, and won't support those who want to carry on business as usual in presenting candidates to the public.
One final question--did you exclude the 4 candidates, because your funding or position has been threatened? because the argument you used to exclude Dock Walls was less than weak,--"can't jeopardize your IRS 501(c)(3) approval"-- it was right up there with the worst excuse for not turning in homework: "my dog ate it." So IRS not only gives you nonprofit status, requires you to file 990 tax forms, but now determines for nonprofits whom they can invite to speak at forums and you have decided that to keep from violating 501(c)(3) rules, you cannot invite those with the lowest signatures even if they met the requirements of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, are unchallenged and are on the ballot. If true, sounds like the IRS is wasting our tax dollars and violating one of Maat's 42 laws--
30. I have not overstepped my boundaries of concern. Sounds like someone has had a lobotomy of that part of their brain that includes reasoning.
Sincerely in Love and Peace, I am
Dr. Ayo Maat
Coordinator of GreenThink Tank for the Disability Community
President, Black Network In Children's Emotional Health (BNICEH) and
(IMPRUVE) Independent Movement of Paratransit Riders for Unity, Vehicles, Equality
btw, Maat is not just a name. Maat is the energy of Justice, the one who weighs the heart on the scale of truth to be sure nothing is weighing down the heart. Maat abhors injustice, disorder, chaos; and favors those who have not cheated anyone at the scale due to injustice or skimming. Balance of the scale is required. There are 42 laws or principles of Maat--these are two of them that most of us should use for self-examination: I have not acted hastily or without thought and I have not acted with insolence.