Sadly, of the 21 folks who’ve thrown their hats in the Elgin Anna Moeller aldermanic replacement ring, only one will get that final nod. But if the powers that be in The City in the Suburbs do it right, there won’t be 20 also-rans, they’ll have 20 civic minded folks who are willing to step forward and make Elgin even better than it is today.
That said, since this ain’t a kindergarten t-ball game, someone has to come out on top. And even though my opinion doesn’t count for all that much these days (and nobody really asked), I’m gonna add my two cents. Of course, some of you aren’t going to like my final assertion, but I’ve long gotten used to hiding in the crawl space until the politically correct storm blows over.
So throwing all caution into the wind, here’s my theory.
As I gaze upon those fervent Elgin city council faces, I’m somewhat blinded by the vast amount of whiteness. (My apologies to Tish Powell for lumping her in with the rest of those Caucasian males). In a great city that boasts a 44 percent Hispanic population, we seem to have a problem. Because, if representative government is supposed to be…well…representative, then we desperately need at least one of those city council bodies to be not like the others.
All things considered equal, I could just as easily go with Craig Dresang, Big Mike DeBrocke, Mitchell Esterino, Mo Iqbal, Julie Ann Schmidt, or John Walters. But, if we were on a level playing field, then we’d already have four Hispanic councilmen.
When certain Elgin constituents voiced the very same concern to Aldermen John Prigge and Terry Gavin, they immediately contracted the kind of severe case of the vapors (a strange southern disease) that only seems to affect old white male politicians in positions of power.
Why, they were aghast that anyone would even consider that they’d consider appointing someone based solely on race.
But the truth is, Ms. Moeller’s good fortune provides Elgin with the good fortune to redress an obvious imbalance. And when you have a group of aldermanic applicants in which eight of the 21 contenders have essentially equal curricula vitae, then maybe it’s time to do just that.
So please allow me to not-so-humbly suggest that the council should narrow their final list down to Alberto Lopez and Rosamaria Martinez. Then they can take it from there.
You may now commence to calling me a racist.