Following are lessons I learned from the Ethnic News Media workshop at Community Media Workshop. I am sharing this information not only to enlighten you, but to help you in your decision making in this upcoming mayoral and aldermanic race. I want to encourage you to REALLY listen to the people and determine which one has your best interest at heart.
• Community journalists need to discuss issues that are important to the people.
• There is an increase in crime in ALL communities in Chicago; not just the ones you see on TV. Check Every Block Chicago for specifics.
• Records show that whites are the minority in Chicago.
• Hunger in Illinois has increased greatly. There are more than 800,000 people receiving SNAP benefits.
• Many are people working living wage jobs with no way to fully provide for their families.
• Politics in Chicago is racially loaded.
• The voter turnout in black communities is approximately 30% and between 14% – 17% in Hispanic communities.
• There will be community redistricting based on census results. There will be further divisions in the city.
• Research your own data. Do not use what the politicians are saying.
• Many immigrants are NOT undocumented.
• Many immigrants flew to the United States; they did not attempt to cross the border illegally.
• There are more Polish and Irish documentation violators, but they have political protection. Mexicans, Haitians and Africans are not the main culprits as mainstream media would have you to believe.
• Chinatown does not have its own ward. It is broken down into three different wards.
• There is a lack of Chinese representation in politics.
• There are over 150,000 foreclosures in Illinois with approximately 60,000 of them in Chicago.
• In some communities, more than 50% of the homes on a block are foreclosed.
• There is a huge increase in the consolidation of families.
• DON’T leave your home if you receive a foreclosure notice. There is a lengthy process between the time you get that notice and the time you have to vacate.
• Transportation on the South Side makes it difficult to get to Stroger hospital.
• There are very few trauma centers on the South Side of Chicago which could be deadly with the high rate of violence.
• Not confirmed by stated: people die in hospital waiting rooms waiting for care.
• How many social service organizations are starved for funds?
• Who’s going to fight for those funds?
• Have banks lent money to these organizations so they can continue to operate and serve the community?
• Do you know what TIF is? We need to find out what it is and what the funds are used for.
• An elected school board is being proposed because currently public schools are being run from the Mayor’s office.
• More understanding about charter schools is needed.
• Vote no to vouchers. They take money from public schools to give to private and Catholic schools.
• This whole election is being run from the White House.
What are your thoughts on these issues? Do you have any more to add?