By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
Chicago Hyde Park Village hosted a “Meet The Candidates In Our Local Primaries,” event on Wednesday, March 14, at Augustana Lutheran Church, 5500 S. Woodlawn Ave.
The event was moderated by Susan Alitto, board member of Chicago Hyde Park Village, as candidates from the 25th District, Cook County Commissioner 3rd District and Judicial race all addressed questions from senior citizens in the audience.
Candidates in attendance included those running for the State Rep. (D-25) seat – Adrienne Irmer, Ann Marie Miles, Grace Chan McKibben, Curtis Tarver II and Flynn Rush. Candidates running for the Cook County Commissioner (D-3) seat – Horace Washington Howard, Joshua Gray and a representative from Bill Lowry campaign’s office – were also in attendance.
Attorney General candidate Sharon Fairly and a host of other judicial candidates attended the event as well.
“I think it’s absolutely critical that our retired folks and our seniors have a network or a village where people of Hyde Park can interact with each other, share information and keep their minds, their bodies and spirits active in their golden years,” Irmer said. “What’s even more critical is that they are organizing and when they organize their voices, they can make demands and ensure that the programming that they use as critical services are still available for them. With [Gov. Bruce] Rauner’s cuts, long-term care is a real issue in Illinois.”
Since the cuts in health care by Rauner, Irmer said it has made it hard for nearly 60 percent of African American senior citizens living in the 25th District that are raising their grandchildren. And if elected, she will make funding available for seniors.
Miles, McKibben, Rush, and Tarver all agreed that seniors are in need of better services.
For the race for Cook County Commissioner, seniors asked who were the candidates, top three financial contributors. Washington Howard and Gray said they’ve used grassroots efforts to help acquire funds throughout their campaign because the election is all about serving the people.
“My campaign has been fully endorsed by the people,” Gray said. “My neighbor gave me a $1,000, I have another contribution from my mentor [who] gave me three $3,000.”
After his announcement, Gray Jokingly opened his pants pocket and said “I’m taking money in my pockets if anybody wants to donate.”
The crowd laughed.
The Primary Election is Tuesday, March 20.