Toni Preckwinkle

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Toni Preckwinkle


Toni Preckwinkle is a long serving Chicago Alderwoman, and since 2010, a Cook County Commissioner.

Salute to Harold Washington

On April 6, 1983, the Hyde Park Herald published an endorsement from the Hyde Park/Kenwood Citizens Committee of Democratic Party Chicago mayoral candidate Harold Washington. Signatories to the endorsement included Toni Preckwinkle and Zeus Preckwinkle.[1]

Friends of Alice Palmer

In the mid 1990s Hon. Toni Preckwinkle was listed as a member of Friends of Alice Palmer (in formation), alongside Danny Davis, Tony Rezko, Timuel Black and Barack Obama[2].

"Progressive Chicago" event

200 people attended a panel presentation on "The Progressive Potential of Chicago City Politics" December 8 1998 at the University of Chicago. The panelists[3]included Jackie Grimshaw, Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, Alderman Helen Shiller and Bernard Craighead. The event was sponsored by the University of Chicago Democratic Socialists of America Youth Section and the Hispanic Association for Cultural Expression and Recognition.

Backing Barack Obama

In 1995, Barack Obama went to see his alderman, Toni Preckwinkle,after South Side Chicago politics was upset by scandal. Local Congressman Mel Reynolds, was facing charges of sexual assault of a sixteen-year-old campaign volunteer-eventually resigning his seat.) The looming vacancy interested several politicians, including state senator Alice Palmer, who prepared to enter the congressional race.

Palmer represented Hyde Park—Obama’s neighborhood—and, if she ran for Congress, she would need a replacement in Springfield, the state capital. The Palmer seat was what Barack Obama had in mind when he visited Alderman Preckwinkle.

“Barack came to me and said, ‘If Alice decides she wants to run, I want to run for her State Senate seat,’

Preckwinkle soon became an Obama loyalist, and she stuck with him in a State Senate campaign that strained or ruptured many friendships but was ultimately successful. Four years later, in 2000, she backed Obama in a doomed congressional campaign against a local icon, the former Black Panther Bobby Rush. In 2004 Preckwinkle supported Obama during his improbable, successful run for the United States Senate[4].

Speaking with Obama

Barack Obama spoke at a Democratic Socialists of America organized forum at the University of Chicago in early 1996.[5]

Over three hundred people attended the first of two Town Meetings on Economic Insecurity on February 25 in Ida Noyes Hall at the University of Chicago. Entitled "Employment and Survival in Urban America", the meeting was sponsored by the UofC DSA Youth Section, Chicago DSA and University Democrats.

The panelists were Toni Preckwinkle, Alderman of Chicago's 4th Ward, Barack Obama, candidate for the 13th Illinois Senate District, Professor William Julius Wilson, Center for the Study of Urban Inequality at the University of Chicago, Professor Michael Dawson, University of Chicago and Professor Joseph Schwartz, Temple University and a member of DSA's National Political Committee[5].

DSA endorsement

Among the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America endorsed candidates[6]in the 1998 Chicago municipal elections were Toni Preckwinkle (4th), Michael Chandler (24th) and Joe Moore (49th) who easily won re-election with landslide victories.

Saul Mendelson's funeral

Saul2.jpg

The Memorial Service for Chicago Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) member Saul Mendelson was held on Sunday, March 29, 1998, at the First Unitarian Church, Chicago[7].

The service was MC'd by a retired colleague, Bob Clark. Carl Shier of DSA, spoke first and was followed by Saul's friend Deborah Meier, "a MacArthur Genius Grant recipient who is now starting a new school in Boston". Amy Isaacs, National Director of the Americans for Democratic Action, spoke of what "Saul had meant on foreign affairs to the ADA".

Other speakers included Communist Party USA aligned Senator Carol Moseley Braun, Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, State SenatorBarack Obama, Illinois House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie and "a good friend from New York", Myra Russell.

The concluding remarks were made by an old friend, Harriet Lefley, a former Trotskyist with Saul Mendelson in the 1940s, who was then Professor of Psychology at the University of Miami Medical School.


Eulogies also came from Quinn Brisben, (Socialist Party USA presidential candidate 1976, 1992) and David McReynolds (Socialist Party USA presidential candidate 1980, 2000).

Both Brisben and McReynolds are also members of Democratic Socialists of America.

Business and Professional People for the Public Interest

In 2008, Toni Preckwinkle was listed as a sponsor/financial contributor to the Chicago based Business and Professional People for the Public Interest.[8]

Endorsed Communist Party affiliate's State Rep. run

On June 25, 2011, Communist Party USA affiliate Rudy Lozano, Jr. announced his second bid for State Representative, for the 21st District.[9]

Lozano's listed endorsers were;

Mayoral run?

First-term Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel could face a challenge from the mentor of his old boss, President Barack Obama, in 2014.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle may have her sights on the job, the Chicago Sun-Times reports, though she insists she is running only for re-election this year.

Preckwinkle could be Emanuel's "worst nightmare," according to Sun-Times veteran City Hall reporter Fran Spielman.

Emanuel has alienated the black community, the Sun-Times's Carol Marin notes, by closing neighborhood schools while opening charter schools. He also has angered police and firefighters in contract talks.

Though Preckwinkle says she isn't running, observers note a mayoral campaign would not be so different from that of Harold Washington. In 1983 Washington had just been re-elected to Congress, yet made a quick turnaround and beat the political odds to become Chicago's first black mayor.

Preckwinkle, if elected, would be the city's first black female mayor.

Losing after one term would be a twist for Emanuel, who took office in 2011, fresh off a cabinet position as Obama's chief of staff. It was Preckwinkle who once mentored Obama in his early days in Chicago.

Preckwinkle supported Obama's run for state Senate in 1996 and his unsuccessful bid for Congress in 2000. She took credit for Obama joining the church of the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

She has since soured on Obama, though, Breitbart notes. She was an Obama delegate in 2008, though she was already expressing doubts about him then.

Among those interested in seeing a Preckwinkle run is leftist radical Bill Ayers.

"She could be a formidable opponent," Ayers told Chicago magazine in December. "But the problem is she doesn’t have anything like the money [Emanuel] has and she screwed herself [by being too close to] the Democratic machine."[11]

Harold Washington supporter

In September 2014, when Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner invoked words of former mayor Harold Washington, to attack incumbent Governor Pat Quinn, a coalition of leaders who worked with, supported and espoused Harold Washington ideals and policies issued the below statement. Leaders who issued the statement are U.S. Representative Bobby Rush (D-1st), U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (D-2nd), U.S. Representative Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-4th), U.S. Representative Danny Davis (D-7th), Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia, Timuel Black, the Rev. Clay Evans, Jacky Grimshaw and the Rev. Dr. B. Herbert Martin:

“Harold Washington would be rolling over in his grave to see this desperate commercial run by a billionaire who didn’t hire a single African American executive at his own business and who wants to eliminate the minimum wage.
“Those who remember and loved Harold Washington know that he spent his entire career fighting against the Republican, anti-worker, benefit-the-rich policies that Bruce Rauner wholly represents.
“This is another desperate effort by a billionaire trying to change the subject from an ongoing federal trial targeting his company after misdeeds that led to the abuse, neglect and death of many senior citizens under his watch. Bruce Rauner can’t avoid responsibility for his business.”[12]

Endorsed CAIR, 2016

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References