Monday, September 14, 2009

My Take on the 1st Quarterly Coffee Talk with a Trustee

This past Saturday I hosted a coffee talk for residents of Lake in the Hills. I've got several key thoughts about the event and ideas on what I need to do for the future. Before I share them, thought I'd link you to the press coverage of the event.

First Electric Newspaper coverage here
McHenry County Blog coverage here

The Good

Nice coverage for a very busy news Saturday with the protesters in Crystal Lake and Lake in the Hills on Randall Road. Two reporters showing up while the one citizen was there definitely was better than them showing up to me and 8 year old only. Additionally, it was good to introduce myself and my ideas to them. Neither had very much information about me and it was good to share my story.

Great day for it. The weather cooperated.

Got to meet a Parks and Recreation Board Member who was sitting there enjoying the Saturday as the whole event came and went. In the end, he quickly introduced himself and we connected. I look forward to working with him in the future.

One citizen took the time out of their morning activities to come and ask me a few questions. Just like my campaigning - meeting people, one-to-one is a good thing.

The Opportunity

With only one citizen showing up - clearly I need to get the word out better for my next meeting. Since I am looking to do it quarterly - technically that puts us in December - clearly not a good time so I will shoot for January. I will look begin identifying a date and place in the next few weeks.

In describing my thoughts about politics and life in general - I will recap from my point of view. So here's the context of my soundbites...

Gen X not loyal. This is my belief that as a generality, my generation is much more concerned with individuals vs. groups. We vote for people. We choose our places of work based on our needs and we leave as easily as we come if we are not able to contribute the way we want to contribute. I spoke about it as it relates to the current party system. It is tough on the two major parties our thinking and behavior. We are not loyal for loyal sake. I think the reporter was 100% on is saying that I am not fixed in my ideology.

Shameless plug for Urban Faith - I have written articles and book reviews for This site is part of Urban Ministries that creates content targeted to Christian African-Americans. Very cool site.

Recruited by Paula Yensen - Paula is a close friend and political mentor. When we were working hard to get her elected last fall (precisely now and I certainly don't remember it being this nice outside but I digress), we barely discussed me as a possible candidate. In fact - I brought it up to her after I'd finished canvassing my precinct for her. I felt so comfortable at the door and did think - "man if I can do this for her - I can do this for me". My only uneasiness with the "recruiting" sounded like this "party machine" and it simply was not so. I am extroverted and a leader who has always loved politics. Timing was really the number one recruiter.

"maybe the only Black Elected official in McHenry County and race as irrelevant" - This one is interesting. Race was clearly irrelevant to the residents who voted for me. And I appreciate that. I believe people heard what I had to say and wanted to give me chance. Period.

Still have not checked on my status as the only black official - if someone knows - let me know, it is an interesting fact that would be a great trivia question for my 25th high school reunion. Point here - not important. Again - I believe my generation is the first that truly integrated our lives with those who are different than we are and we are less likely to have deep ingrained issues with race. Of course, we saw the Kanye clip from last night and I will say on the record - he's younger than me. By a lot. He's a millenial.

Finally - I grew in Chicago Heights and it is where I got my "Italian" roots. Forgive me.

SO - I appreciate anyone who is following this journey and ask for your feedback on how to get more folks out to my next coffee. I have a feeling a snowy January Saturday morning offering free coffee might be more relevant.

Next week, I am attending the Illinois Municipal League's 94th conference and will blog about my experiences there.

Tune in.

1 comment:

  1. I learned of the meeting when it was too late for me to attend. I'll be more vigilant next time :-)