Upcoming election is historic for candidates running for city’s new police district councils

After receiving my filing receipt, I held back tears. I felt proud to be in the company of people who had the courage to take on this monumental task.

SHARE Upcoming election is historic for candidates running for city’s new police district councils
The crowd in line to file nominating petitions at the Chicago Board of Elections for the 2023 municipal election.

The crowd in line to file nominating petitions at the Chicago Board of Elections for the 2023 municipal election.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

On the first day of filing petitions for the 2023 municipal elections, major news channels seemed mostly interested in Ja’Mal Green’s petitions in a wheelbarrow or which aldermanic candidate was first in line.

I was in line by 6:25 a.m. that day, along with police district council candidates Dion McGill, Elianne “Ely” Bahena and dozens of other residents running for office for the first time. While cameras swarmed around mayoral hopefuls, we shared stories about our experiences collecting signatures.

Ely talked about a man who signed her petitions who had recently become a citizen and registered voter. Dion talked about the extra time he took to educate voters, as many people had no clue about this office.

My canvassing uniform, a Morgan Park High School sweatshirt, often made for good conversations while ringing doorbells. I ran into countless graduates of my beloved alma mater and enjoyed some smack talking with graduates of other local high schools.

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After receiving my filing receipt, I held back tears. I thought of my father, the son of sharecroppers and descendant of enslaved Nigerian people. I thought about my amazing children and my supportive mother.

I felt so proud to be in the company of people who had the courage to take on the monumental task of becoming part of the inaugural class of candidates. People who walked in the rain, cold and snow to earn the trust of Chicagoans. Some of whom, like Letina Pettis, had to collect a minimum number of signatures from registered voters that was almost 200 more than the number required by aldermanic candidates.

I hugged Ely, who had tears in her eyes. I know that she. too, was thinking of her parents, her ancestors and the people she is so committed to serving. Before we left, Dion took a picture of all the news stations set up in the back of the room. 

Hours later, we would be so disappointed that not one of them shared a news story highlighting the pioneers of district councils. In a city where activists united and fought for years to have an ordinance passed for community oversight of police, this election is historic.

Carisa Parker, candidate for 22nd Police District Council

Kinzinger is a man of conscience

I am so sorry that Adam Kinzinger is leaving the U.S. House of Representatives. Politicians are rarely heroic, but he is one of the few.And the country needs courageous leaders.

He stood up and was counted when it was hard and did not succumb to the blatant GOP lies, the insurrection excuses and the pressure to back Trump in his dishonesty. He spoke out with truth and courage.

His assessment that American democracy could “fall into the ash heap of history” is a warning that merits our heed. We have been to the brink and barely pulled back in time, while the forces of white supremacy and autocracy fight on.

Kinzinger is a man of conscience, and when the Trump fever truly breaks, I hope he will return as a leader in his party.

Carol Kraines, Deerfield

Lenient sentence in cop’s murder

It’s absolutely disgusting that U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman gave a weak sentence to murderer-enabling Jamel Danzy, who is not, as he claims about himself, “a great person inside and out.”

If we don’t give the full sentence to someone whose straw purchase led to a police officer, Ella French, being murdered and another officer seriously wounded, then what good will more anti-gun laws do?

There was no “crooked line” in this straw purchase. Danzy knew damn well someone would use this gun in a violent crime. Gettleman should be removed from the bench.

Jim Lanham, Joliet

Ticketing for illegal guns makes sense

It’s surprising to me that anyone in Chicago would be against an ordinance that would help to address Chicago’s gun violence. In my opinion, the ordinance to issue administrative notices of violation to those carrying illegal firearms is a sound weapon to help reduce gun violence in a city that is awash in gun killings and shootings.

Most guns today are very expensive. If a gun offender can afford to pay for and maintain a gun, why not the fine for an illegal gun? Another argument against the ordinance is that most likely the burden will fall on the parents of teens who are caught in violation of the gun ordinance. But if a teen owns a gun and is living at home, a parent should know what’s happening and should have some responsibility for their child’s actions.

Issuing a ticket also bypasses the criminal justice system. The person who is issued the violation is entitled to a hearing. If the gun is in fact illegal and it is inventoried and confiscated, it could, and most likely will, help reduce gun violence. What’s not to like?

Bob Angone, retired Chicago Police lieutenant, Austin, Texas

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