Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Naisy receives district Congresswoman's support

Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!!!!! Naisy Dolar, progressive candidate for Chicago's 50th ward, and possibly Chicago (and Illinois') first Asian American official who isn't a judge, just got the endorsement of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. Schakowsky represents the 50th ward, grew up in the 50th ward, and has HUGE credibility there, so this is a MASSIVE get. She is also a diehard progressive. Naisy is running against 79 year old incumbent (some might say petrified piece of wood) Bernie Stone, who wants to hand the seat over to his daughter. His campaign is so old school and out of touch, they printed campaign shirts with the following slogan: ''It's the Stone Age, and Age = Wisdom.''

Seriously. Naisy is running a campaign full of heart and enthusiasm about the future, and Stone's people are stuck in the Stone Age?!? His slogan just trumpets staid, status quo ways of thinking. Who's going to get psyched about that?

Stone is deputy mayor under the iron grip of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley Jr, so this will be an interesting test of political machines. Naisy was the Asian American liaison for Daley, and she received absolutely no help from him or his machine. When Schakowsky got her start, she ran a very lean grassroots campaign against the good ole boys club, and she alludes to the similarities she sees between her first and Naisy's current campaign. Schakowsky tells a cute anecdote about how when she won her first primary, people told her, "We thought the machine was going to win." Jan then says, "Well, actually, the machine did win. It was a new machine. A machine of ordinary people like myself, like Naisy, of grassroots residents who put together a new machine."

Apparently Schakowsky had been asked to stay neutral, which she did for the primaries, but she couldn't remain so in the general runoff, so she told Bernie Stone of her decision.

Just watching the youtube clips, it really seems like Naisy's skills as a campaigner have really improved. I am so enthused - Naisy does have a new machine behind her - she got the endorsement of Greg Brewer, who many thought would be the most potent challenger during the primaries. She has grassroots groups like Citizen Action and after Brewer released them, SEIU, AFSCME, and Democracy for America.

She also has the two biggest newspapers - the Tribune and the Sun-Times behind her. It sure looks like a new day could be dawning in Chicago, one where Asian Americans, Muslim Americans, and immigrants are truly and well represented.

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