Jackie Grimshaw

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Jackie Grimshaw

Jacquelyne D. Grimshaw is an Hyde Park, Chicago activist and neighbor of Barack Obama.


Jacky Grimshaw has completed the M.A. in Public Policy requirements at Governors State University and holds a B.S. in Biology from Marquette University in Milwaukee[1].

Medical research

Jacky Grimshaw spent time as a researcher in hematology and gastroenterology, in both state and federal government[2].

Harold Washington

Both Jackie and Bill Grimshaw worked for Harold Washington, Chicago's far left Mayor from 1983 to 1987[3].

Obama's neighbor on the less famous side of his house is Jacky Grimshaw who ran Harold Washington's successful campaign for Mayor. Her husband Bill is a U. of Chicago prof. The Grimshaws sometimes baby sit the Obama girls. Jacky and Michelle Obama are very close.
Jackie Grimshaw served as a senior advisor director of intergovernmental affairs under Harold Washington. Bill Grimshaw, the author of Bitter Fruit: Black Politics and the Chicago Machine, 1931-1991 was also a political adviser to Washington.

She was also Deputy City Treasurer under Washington[4].

Links to Obama

With the decisive backing of the Communist Party USA and Democratic Socialists of America, Harold Washington won the Chicago mayoralty in 1983. His victory inspired the young Obama's original move to Chicago.

According to PBS Online News Hour[5].

JACKY GRIMSHAW, Barack Obama Next-Door Neighbor: One of the things that Harold started was going out to the community with the budget, listening to what people wanted in their communities, and then responding.
I think, you know, Barack coming in fresh out of school, seeing this kind of leadership, I think, helped to shape him in terms of people being empowered.

Community Organizing and Family Issues is a Chicago based non-profit. COFI Sponsoring Committee -1994-95 members included Pastor Alvin Bergh, Lina Cramer, Barbara Engel, Jacky Grimshaw, Anne Hallett, Judy Hertz, Maria Mangual, Della Mitchell, Barack Obama, Elce Redmond, Amanda Rivera, Mary Scott-Boria, John Schmidt, Coretta McFerron, Kaye Wilson, Ellen Schumer, Founding Director and President, Nancy Aardema, Founding Vice-President, Sandra O’Donnell, Founding Vice-President[6].

New Directions


Links to Democratic Socialists of America

In 1988, Grimshaw served on the Board of Directors of PROCAN (Progressive Chicago Area Network), an oganization which included several prominent Democratic Socialists of America members, including Alderman Danny K Davis, Roberta Lynch and Dr Ron Sable.[7]

The Chicago DSA's New Ground Archive Spring 1992 issue includes an article entitled[8]"Heather Booth, Jackie Grimshaw and Michael Dyson Wow Crowd at the University of Chicago". The meeting was sponsored by the University of Chicago DSA.[9]

Heather Booth's husband Paul Booth has been a confirmed Democratic Socialists of America member as is Michael Eric Dyson.

In 1998 200 people attended a panel presentation on "The Progressive Potential of Chicago City Politics" December 8 1998 at the University of Chicago. The panelists[10]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.

DSA honor


Every year Chicago Democratic Socialists of America hosts an awards dinner named in honour of U.S. socialist icons Eugene V. Debs, Norman Thomas and Michael Harrington.

Jackie Grimshaw and her colleague Heather Booth won the Debs-Thomas Award in 1987.

Jacquelyne D. Grimshaw
You have shown by your extensive experience in working in the public sector that you are a person who cares.
Your caring has come through whether it was in the Bureau of Employment Security, Department of Personnel, Children & Family Services, the very important Federal Head Start Program, and presently as Director of the City of Chicago Inter-Governmental Affairs Department.
You have been a stalwart in the Chicago independent political movement for years, and firm in your belief that building coalitions will make changes and reform possible.
In both the 1983 and 1987 campaigns to elect and re-elect Mayor Harold Washington, you made your contribution by providing inspiring leadership in the victorious coalition.
For all this, the Norman Thomas - Eugene V. Debs Award is presented to you on this 9th day of May, 1987.

The 1991 Eugene V. Debs - Norman Thomas - Michael Harrington Dinner was held at the Congress Hotel Chicago on Saturday, May 11, 1991. Master of Ceremonies was Jackie Grimshaw.

Chicago New Party

Madeline Talbott of ACORN was one of the key early organizers of the Chicago New Party.

She wrote a progress report on August 12 1992 which detailed meetings with Joe Gardner, Jackie Grimshaw (Deputy City Treasurer), Jim Pena (Federation for Industrial Retention and Renewal), lawyer Paul Strauss, Frank Rosen (Labor Party Advocates), Connie Hall (IVI - IPO), Greg LeRoy and Lisa Oppenheim, (both Midwest Center for Labor Research). All were supportive.

She was also looking forward to meeting Ron Sable and Dan Swinney and reported that in May Dan Cantor held a New Party fund raising meeting in the Chicago home of Quentin Young, "with half a dozen good people present".[11]

Progressive Chicago

On July 16, 1993 Progressive Chicago wrote a letter to Jackie Grimshaw of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, inviting her to join the network.

The letter was signed by;

Midwest Academy

Heather Booth and Jackie Grimshaw have served together on the board of the Chicago based Midwest Academy. Booth as chairman, Grimshaw as secretary/treasurer[12].

According a December 1998 Freedom Road Socialist Organization document[13];

Probably the most well-known organizing method is Alinskyism, named after Saul Alinsky, a Chicago-born community organizer who helped set up the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council and later the Industrial Areas Foundation in the 1930s...The Mid-West Academy is a training center set up by members of DSA that draws heavily from Alinskyism.

The 2009 Midwest Academy board of directors consisted of[14];

2014 Midwest Academy board

In 2014, the Midwest Academy board consisted of;

Center for Neighborhood Technology/more Obama links

Jacky Grimshaw joined the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) in 1992 and has developed CNT's capacity to engage in public policy advocacy, transportation research, public participation tool development, GIS mapping, and community economic development.

In May 2008 Grimshaw was named to represent Barack Obama on the Credentials Committee for the Illinois Democratic Delegation to the Democratic Party National Convention in Denver.

The pair are also linked through the Center for Neighborhood Technology, a Chicago based Environmental group where Grimshaw serves as vice president for Policy, Transportation and Community Development.

According to the Republican National Committee[16].

Over A Two-Year Period In The U.S. Senate, Obama Requested $3.2 Million In Earmarks For The Center For Neighborhood Technology.

For what return?

Former Employees From The Center For Neighborhood Technology "[Ben] Helphand and [Paul] Smith Have "Done Multiple Tours Of Duty In The Political Trenches-For Obama..." Executives And Board Members Of The Center For Neighborhood Technology Have Contributed $20,688 To Obama's Campaigns.


Jacky Grimshaw serves on numerous boards, including: Congress for New Urbanism, Chicago Transit Authority’s Citizens Advisory Board, Renew America-Renew the Earth, Smart Growth America, Smart Growth Network, Surface Transportation Policy Project, and the National Academy of Sciences’ Transportation Research Board’s Committees on Women’s Issues in Transportation and Environmental Justice. She was a member of the Energy and Transportation Task Force of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development and has been a "longtime activist for social justice".

Prior to CNT, in the Chicago Public School district and served in numerous other capacities, and talk show host for the Chicago NPR and ABC affiliates, and columnist for Crain’s Chicago Business[17].

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.”[18]