Remembering My Big Sister Who Walked With Dr. King

Dear Readers:

Right now, there is an exhibit at the Woodson Regional Library in Chicago about Addie Wyatt, a dear friend, mentor and true American hero.

I was fortunate to meet Addie in the 1970’s, during the celebrations of International Women’s Year and the fight for ERA ratification. I worked with her closely for years, most memorably to elect Harold Washington mayor of Chicago.

Today, as we remember Dr. King, let us remember Addie, too.  After all, every month is women’s history month, and every day is women’s history day.



The big fish, that would be Rahm Emanuel, stared him down

Dear Readers,

In the end, Tom Dart didn’t have it in him is the title of my piece in today’s Huffington Post.

For those of you who are non-Chicagoans, Tom Dart is the high Sheriff of Cook County. He was widely considered to be (until yesterday), along with Rahm Emanuel, the most viable candidate for Mayor.

However, he’s backed-out now, along with a bunch of other folks who had something to contribute, as mayoral candidates, to the civic dialogue Chicago needs before we elect our next mayor. I’m hoping they’ll still weigh-in, albeit from a different vantage point.

As luck would have it, right before this happened, I’d pitched an important national magazine about writing an occasional piece about the mayoral, since this mayoral looked like it might shape up as one important test of the President’s views (and his coattails), since it looked like Rahm would have stiff competition. Now, that’s not as clear.

As you might guess, I really wanted to focus on what would be the dialogue, in that highly-competitive context, about the needs of Chicago’s women. Well, here’s hoping there will still be a serious dialogue. I, for one, will push for it.

Anyway, check-out today’s piece: I think its larger message is an important one in these days when we cry-out for good, but also strong (enough), candidates for important public office.

Here’s that message, courtesy of my favorite political philosopher (that would be former Chicago Mayor, Harold Washington): Politicians–women, men, Democratic, Republican, whoever– take note: Unless you’re willing to cut them (the opposition) off at the knees, don’t get in the ring.

Happy Halloween to all, but, especially, to my wonderful and right-thinking (that would be to the Left, of course) sister, Helen. Happy birthday, Helen.


How a woman wins the race to replace Mayor Daley

Dear Readers,

How a woman wins the race to replace Mayor Daley: See top-featured post (as of now, and for the last day), at Huffington Post Chicago, in which I present my take on how this could get done.

And here’s a fun way to keep track of the (mayoral) players; for, as someone said, albeit in a different game-context, as many players as there are right now, how could you possibly keep track without
a score card? Well, thankfully, some very clever people have
created one.

Right now, this all is quite amusing, at least for those of us not trying to raise the millions it will take, or trying to figure out how to recruit the neighborhood organizers who really know how to make things happen. But, as those of you who’ve lived in Chicago for a while know well, it won’t stay funny for long. So, keep paying attention to what’s happening, if you would.

Meanwhile, if you need some motivation, remember that Chicago is a soulful, beautiful, big, important and wonderful place; it deserves the very best in its next mayor. Not to coin a cliche, but to repeat one: This city really is “Sweet Home Chicago*;” let’s all of us who care about it do everything we can to keep it that way.


*The best version of Sweet Home Chicago is by Magic Sam, heard best on the Delmark Records album, West Side Soul. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve listened to it, I could be a big donor to one of those mayoral campaigns: Check-it-out.

The Gulf: Between Perception and Reality

Dear Readers,

I hope you’ll take a look at this piece in today’s Huffington Post: The Gulf: Between Perception and Reality.

Then, if you’re so inclined, take action (NOW):

–Write the President, or your Member of Congress, or your U.S Senator, or whoever (else) you think can make a difference.

–Or, join in one of the environmental organization advocacy efforts. I’m partial to: the Natural Resources Defense Council, and to the Gulf Restoration Network,

–And/or post this article, and any others you think pertinent, to Facebook, or to Twitter, or otherwise share, by way of encouraging people’s awareness of this tragedy and the need to speak-up, and take action.



Toni Preckwinkle: A Chicago Heroine for Women’s History Month

Dear Readers,

I made a wish list for Women’s History Month: You can find it here:

And here’s a hint about the wish list: A wonderful and very gifted woman is likely about to become the head of one of the very largest American governments: WAY COOL.