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Today’s quotable

Friday, Dec 1, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Former Kenwood Oakland Community Organization organizer, Chicago Democratic Socialist Caucus member and second-term Chicago Ald. Jeanette Taylor was on Ben Joravsky’s show

Joravsky: As you said, we’ve got some work to do in the movement.

Taylor: Absolutely.

Joravsky: What do you mean by that?

Taylor: A) we should not be on the Fifth Floor. And I’m speaking my whole heart. I feel like, and I’ve said this to them, and so whoever get the backlash, come on with it because I’m ready for it.

We were not ready because we haven’t been in government long enough to know how government really runs. You still got Rahm’s, you still got Daddy Daley’s people still in these committees, still in these departments. And so we got some uprooting to do.

But we just weren’t, I felt like we’re not ready and it’s showing out in the wash. I don’t gotta say it, people see it.

And we stopped doing the most important thing that movements do, and that means organize. Ain’t no way we’re on the Fifth Floor and we’re having all these issues and now they’re talking about he’s going to be a one-term mayor. Because we ain’t doing the thing that the movement does best, and that’s to organize our people and get people to see the entire picture, not the part of the picture or not a part of a conversation that they came in on.

Half of the people that are hollering at us that come to City Hall are not things that City Hall can fix. They are things that City Hall initiated, but they are not things that City Hall can fix. Why not take those people to the side and say, Hey, how do we help you? How do we do this? Well, we won’t do that.

We’re pretending like now we got the power let us show you how it’s supposed to be done. And we look real stupid right now.

The full show is here.

…Adding… I wrote this in comments, then decided to front-page it…

===Practitioners of “movement” politics are intellectually wired to operate as disrupters — or as an opposition party. Being in charge is not part of what they do.===

While mostly true, the alderperson’s comments are spot on.

The Brighton Park fiasco is a great case in point. They could’ve had people canvassing that neighborhood to calm folks down and counter the misinformation. The CTU has plenty of front groups and allies that could be dispatched.

Also, Johnson’s father is a pastor. He’s tapped in to a huge church network. Why did it take the mayor so long to talk to churches about taking in asylum-seekers? Why didn’t he bring pastors in and urge them to calm down their parishioners with facts instead of inciting fear and hate?

I could go on, but why bother?

       

42 Comments
  1. - Hannibal Lecter - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 10:29 am:

    Wow. Powerful words form the Alderwoman.


  2. - Patti - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 10:32 am:

    It’s too bad Brandon and the DSA alders aren’t up for re-election next year, because “we should not be on the fifth floor” is the most beautiful campaign ad I’ve ever seen for their possible opponents.


  3. - The Truth - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 10:37 am:

    MBJ would comment on the alderwoman’s remarks, but he’s too busy flying through a school zone at 55 to stop for a quote


  4. - Teve Demotte - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 10:43 am:

    The decline of a great city is at hand.


  5. - Friendly Bob Adams - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 10:48 am:

    Time is running out for the mayor’s team to make a good first impression…


  6. - Roman - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 10:53 am:

    Incredibly honest. Practitioners of “movement” politics are intellectually wired to operate as disrupters — or as an opposition party. Being in charge is not part of what they do.

    In that respect, they are similar to the MAGA Republicans in Congress. They believe government and the established political process are inherent evils, so they are fundamentally incapable of running those things.

    Hence a dysfunctional 5th Floor and a dysfunctional GOP majority in the US House.


  7. - Montrose - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 10:56 am:

    “The decline of a great city is at hand.”

    Stop. Don’t take a fair, insightful critique of the moment and turn into another hyperbolic cliche.


  8. - NotRich - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 10:58 am:

    Rock throwers are never good at governing.


  9. - Mr. Green Genes - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 10:58 am:

    == Being in charge is not part of what they do.
    In that respect, they are similar to the MAGA Republicans in Congress.==
    There is this thing called on the job training. Other people do it, they can do it too.


  10. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 11:00 am:

    What Montrose said.


  11. - Rudy’s teeth - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 11:00 am:

    Brandon Johnson is on the fifth floor but he does not know in which direction to turn. Johnson resembles the kid who gets lost on a field trip and wanders around until he locates members of his group.

    Ald. Taylor’s colloquial use of language delivers a stark message about the readiness of Mayor Johnson to direct the city and manage all its components.

    Complex situations are a day-to-day occurrence when one sits in the chair on the fifth floor. Managing the city effectively requires a team of experienced professionals.

    Is Mayor Johnson willing to take advice from experienced individuals to assist him in the role of mayor?


  12. - So_Ill - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 11:01 am:

    ==Practitioners of “movement” politics are intellectually wired to operate as disrupters — or as an opposition party. Being in charge is not part of what they do.==

    Yep.


  13. - Louis G Atsaves - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 11:02 am:

    If she admits that her organization(s) are incapable of governing if elected, then what are they organizing for? What am I missing here?

    Don’t vote for me, I have no idea how to govern if elected. Is that the message?


  14. - wowie - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 11:08 am:

    She is doing her part to make him a one-term Mayor


  15. - H-W - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 11:15 am:

    @Patti

    I assume you mean Mayor Johnson. Keep it professional.

    Unless you are intimates and that fact is well known to your audience, first name references are inappropriate and disrespectful regardless of your perspective. They seek to diminish others who might disagree with your position.


  16. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 11:16 am:

    Yeah, I am sure uprooting the Mayor’s senior staff will have no impact on the Mayor.


  17. - Patti - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 11:21 am:

    – H-W - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 11:15 am:

    @Patti

    I assume you mean Mayor Johnson. Keep it professional. —

    Thanks for the insufferable lecture. Did you also yell at CapFax commenters who called Rahm and Lori by their first names when they were in charge?


  18. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 11:22 am:

    ===Practitioners of “movement” politics are intellectually wired to operate as disrupters — or as an opposition party. Being in charge is not part of what they do.===

    While mostly true, the alderperson’s comments are spot on.

    The Brighton Park fiasco is a great case in point. They could’ve had people canvassing that neighborhood to calm folks down and counter the misinformation. The CTU has plenty of front groups and allies that could be dispatched.

    Also, Johnson’s father is a pastor. He’s tapped in to a huge church network. Why did it take the mayor so long to talk to churches about taking in asylum-seekers? Why didn’t he bring pastors in and urge them to calm down their parishioners with facts instead of inciting fear and hate?

    I could go on, but why bother?


  19. - 102 strong - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 11:57 am:

    ===Why did it take the mayor so long to talk to churches about taking in asylum-seekers?===

    It wasn’t just a matter of talking. Even after the archdiocese was able to tell the Mayor’s Office it had space in many buildings across the city to house migrants, my understanding is the MO wouldn’t get back to them on next steps, month after month.


  20. - Forever Winter - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 12:20 pm:

    It usually takes an elected longer than this to alienate their most ardent supporters. I would say they still at least have time to turn the ship around, but no one on the fifth floor seems to think there’s a problem.


  21. - low level - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 12:23 pm:

    At least the “Daleyites” knew how to get things done.


  22. - Stephanie Kollmann - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 12:25 pm:

    ==They could’ve had people canvassing that neighborhood to calm folks down and counter the misinformation.==

    Counter it with what? First, you have to have an agenda that organizers are willing to fight to accomplish and a workable plan that will sell.


  23. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 12:26 pm:

    ===Counter it with what?===

    Facts. But, yeah, I take your point.


  24. - JS Mill - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 12:35 pm:

    Montrose is correct and so is the alderperson.

    The current regie is not ready for prime time. The responsibilities of the Chicago mayor are greater than the governors of at least 13 states.

    From day 1 post election their efforts should have
    been focused on ramping up their organization and finding those professionals that could help them learn the ropes quickly. My guess is that their need for political purity got in the way.


  25. - Stephanie Kollmann - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 12:35 pm:

    And I yours. Yes, people have been pumped full of bad info and 8ts important to dispel it

    but I actually think this admin is far too ready to assume the answers lie in getting their supporters to defend them

    rather than giving those supporters tools to work with and a reason to pick them up.


  26. - H-W - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 12:41 pm:

    @Patti

    Just trying to help you (and others) avoid expressing implicit biases that people of color sense when leaders of color are referred to by their first names rather than their achieved titles.

    We had a major incident here in Macomb a few years ago when the white community referred to our African American president by his first name in derogatory comments. The Black community rightly called it out as being somewhat racist.

    Emmanuel and Lightfoot are also good example to use herein. Thanks for pointing that out.


  27. - Flapdoodle - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 12:54 pm:

    ==Thanks for the insufferable lecture.==

    @Patti — He’s good at it. Don’t let it get to you.


  28. - Biker - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 12:59 pm:

    Movement organizers can govern. But they need to want to govern. If you don’t listen because you don’t want to, or you don’t listen because you haven’t hired leadership positions for major agencies that are your eyes and ears, the effect is the same. Wake me up when da mayor hires a director of CDOT, CTA, Parks, CHA, CPS. Might want to post a job at some point. Can plan a rally all by yourself. Can’t install a water main or a bike lane.


  29. - Westsider - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 1:00 pm:

    “You still got Rahm’s, you still got Daddy Daley’s people still in these committees, still in these departments. And so we got some uprooting to do.”

    This would take decades to get done. Chicago Democratic Socialists do not have the numbers. They need to build a broader coalition, but their self-righteousness is hindering progress. If they would swallow their pride and make peace with Iris Martinez, Scott Waguespack and Gilbert Villegas they might actually get some work done.


  30. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 1:04 pm:

    “And so we got some uprooting to do.”

    Those are not good words, per se, and they share the same vitriol for opponents that MAGA and many Republicans have.

    If it was for extremists, Biden would not have the infrastructure law, which is helping millions of people. Obama would not have had the ACA, which is helping and has helped millions of people. Getting doable wins is not enough for certain people. Very Rauner-like.


  31. - H-W - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 1:19 pm:

    @Flapdoodle and Patti

    My teaching evaluations suggest so. Indeed, some pay for my lectures. Peace be with you each and all this holiday season.


  32. - Flapdoodle - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 2:00 pm:

    @ H-W — After 35 years in higher education, including some at your current institution, I know how worthwhile those teaching evals really are. In any case, they’re irrelevant here. The blog isn’t your classroom and the commenters aren’t your students. Stop treating both as if they are.


  33. - Lurker - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 2:25 pm:

    @Grandson of Man I like your point that this is Rauner-esque. There are things that can be accomplished but they go out of their way to avoid the simplistic. Yep, like Rauner did.


  34. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 2:28 pm:

    Does Ald. Taylor disagree with the unofficial/official “make the migrants eat balcony sandwiches so they don’t come here” policy? Rando Commissioners, deputies, and staff are just 2024’s Kulak class.


  35. - Excitable Boy - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 2:54 pm:

    - Obama would not have had the ACA, which is helping and has helped millions of people -

    That’s revisionist history. Obama had an enormous organization that helped him get elected.

    Instead of using it to build support for something better than the ACA, he dismantled it.

    The Alderperson is making the same point about Johnson and she’s correct, as is Rich.


  36. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 3:01 pm:

    Never thought I’d say this….
    but, I miss Rahm.
    And the next mayoral election’s not ’till when???


  37. - It's not wrong but - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 3:10 pm:

    First of all someone called out Alders as not being ready - Taylor said 5th Floor (Mayor’s Office) not Alders. Second of all it’s been 6 months, and while everyone wants everything done on day 2 that is impossible, Mayor Lightfoot left a million and one problems on her way out the door. She didn’t know how to govern that’s for sure. Under this Mayor, things are getting done and there are also big bumps. Let’s look at things in another 6 months. I expect we’ll find it a lot better. If not, I’ll be more worried.


  38. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 3:21 pm:

    ===it’s been 6 months===

    That’s more than enough time. The problem is the mayor and many of his people keep making the same mistakes (commission and omission) over and over and over again. Their learning curve seems to be almost flat.


  39. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 3:25 pm:

    =Let’s look at things in another 6 months. =

    Sorry, but carjackings and robberies need immediate (like yesterday) attention.
    Six months just doesn’t cut it.


  40. - Excitable Boy - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 3:29 pm:

    - Lightfoot left a million and one problems on her way out the door. -

    That’s a million and one chances to be a leader. I want Mayor Johnson to succeed, but he’s been flailing so far.


  41. - Dotnonymous x - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 3:49 pm:

    Chicago Ald. Jeanette Taylor…a rare oddity of honest plain speech in politics.


  42. - Roman - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 4:04 pm:

    Rich and the Alderwoman are correct. They could have used their organizing skills to help build support for their policy decisions. The fact that they didn’t think of that is an example of how they don’t really know how to run things. The lack of fully-staffed communications operation at City Hall, one that could anticipate and react to criticism, is another symptom of their ignorance when it comes to crisis management.

    Members of a “movement” rarely learn how to play defense. They usually just throw another bomb.


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