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Mayor’s controversial RTA board nominee withdraws from consideration

Friday, May 24, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Jake Sheridan at the Tribune with the scoop

Mayor Brandon Johnson’s nominee for the Regional Transportation Authority, West Side pastor Rev. Ira Acree, withdrew himself from consideration Friday after activists and some aldermen argued he was unqualified for the position.

Acree, pastor of Austin’s Greater St. John Bible Church, is a close ally of Johnson’s and a civil rights activist. As his nomination advanced in the City Council’s Transportation Committee earlier this month, Acree struggled answering questions about the transit system during a tense hearing. […]

The former nominee described the aldermen who resisted his nomination as “so-called allies” who are “enemies of African American advancement and empowerment” in an interview with the Tribune Friday. […]

When asked when he last rode Chicago Transit Authority buses and trains, Acree answered [during a committee hearing] that he took them as a kid going to school.

“As a man, I don’t have to use CTA. I’m fortunate to have a car,” he said. “But I use the CTA often when I come downtown because, even though I am a working pastor, these prices, parking tickets are super high.”

…Adding… Heh…

       

11 Comments
  1. - Jerry - Friday, May 24, 24 @ 12:12 pm:

    I’m sure any African-American who rides the Blue Line from Forest Park to Kedzie/Holman have realized they can walk as fast or faster than the train.


  2. - ChicagoBars - Friday, May 24, 24 @ 12:14 pm:

    The Reverend had a statement ready for the committee hearing his appointment but as most, nay almost every, Chicago media outlet noted he sure wasn’t prepared for obvious questions by Mayor Johnson’s office. His testimony starts at the 1 hour 5 minute mark here:
    https://vimeo.com/showcase/8928551

    P.S. Sure would be nifty if Statehouse comiittee hearings were that easy to pull and post online…


  3. - Telly - Friday, May 24, 24 @ 12:19 pm:

    Hard to feel sorry for Arcee, but the primary blame for this goes on the mayor’s staff. Almost criminal how unprepared he was for the hearing.


  4. - As a man… - Friday, May 24, 24 @ 12:19 pm:

    Boy does that line make me chuckle.


  5. - Henry Francis - Friday, May 24, 24 @ 12:38 pm:

    The mayor seems to barely speak to the press compared to his predecessors. Yet the few things he does say have so little credibility (if any at all).

    All of my nominations, whether they are commissioners or appointments, we are batting 1,000.
    — Mayor Brandon Johnson,


  6. - Homebody - Friday, May 24, 24 @ 12:45 pm:

    I don’t know Acree. But what I do know of him is he shows up unprepared for major governmental hearings, and lashes out when people raise legitimate concerns. Based on that limited information, he has no business being near anything resembling a position of public responsibility.


  7. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Friday, May 24, 24 @ 12:46 pm:

    “even though I am a working pastor”

    Honestly I’m still needing some clarity on this.
    Is it “working pastors are too busy to ride transit,” or is it “working pastors are obviously too wealthy to ride transit.”
    I mean I know the answer, I guess I’d just like to see the question asked.


  8. - All 4 Kids - Friday, May 24, 24 @ 12:48 pm:

    Brandon’s awful track record with appointments doesn’t even include all the people who have turned him down, like Jitu Brown for school board.


  9. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, May 24, 24 @ 1:07 pm:

    Score one for homework.


  10. - Rudy’s teeth - Friday, May 24, 24 @ 1:15 pm:

    Just rode a CTA bus yesterday. It was packed with seniors including a gentleman who used a mobility scooter. The driver released the ramp so that the man could exit the bus and be on his way.

    Filled with seniors in the front and passengers all the way to the back. If only Rev. Acree and board members rode the CTA buses, they would learn a lot.


  11. - low level - Friday, May 24, 24 @ 4:02 pm:

    ==but the primary blame for this goes on the mayor’s staff==

    Agreed. His IGA team must be out to lunch


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