Democratic faithful rally
Fall Festers told “get out the vote”
By Steve Metsch
A well-attended Fall Fest, hosted by Citizens for Steve Landek, attracted some big names in the Democratic Party as they rallied the troops.
The fest was held Sept. 8 on the sidewalk in front of the Lyons Township Democratic Organization, 7678 W. 63rdSt., Summit.
Visitors to Fall Fest heard political speeches, visited with elected officials while enjoying live music, hamburgers, hot dogs, bratwurst, and libations. The menu featured plenty of politics.
U.S. Rep. Daniel Lipinski (3rd), Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, longtime State Rep. Mary Flowers, and newly appointed State Rep. Celina Villanueva were among the elected officials there.
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State Sen. and Bridgeview Mayor Steve Landek, Lyons Mayor and Lyons Township Supervisor Christopher Getty, Countryside Mayor and Lyons Township highway commissioner Sean McDermott, and Summit Mayor Sergio Rodriguez also attended, along with numerous other officials.
Newly appointed State Rep. Celina Villanueva (21st) visits with supporters. Photo by Steve Metsch.
The day’s theme was pro-Democratic as speakers addressed the need for victories in elections this November.
Preckwinkle said “we need to work hard in November.”
“Look at what’s happened under this governor. He shredded the social service safety net, didn’t support public higher education, (and) local units of government have struggled,” she said.
“Over the course of the last several years, the state has owed (Cook County) at the end of every month anywhere from $30 million to $300 million. How can you manage your finances in local government when the state behaves that way?” Preckwinkle said.
She is “cautiously optimistic” Democrat J.B. Prtizker will beat incumbent Republican Bruce Rauner for governor. Asked about the suddenly wide-open election in Chicago, Preckwinkle said she has not decided whether she will run for mayor.
Nick Caprio, a trustee on the Argo High School board, expects Preckwinkle to do just that. “I think she’s going to be a good candidate for mayor. It’s coming. You know it’s coming.”
State Rep. Celina Villanueva, recently appointed in the 21stDistrict, agreed that fellow Democrats need to work hard, knock on doors, make calls and get out the vote.
“It’s been a whirlwind of a month and a half, but I’m energized. It’s been great,” she said of her new job.
Her diverse district includes all or parts of Summit, Stickney, Lyons, Bedford Park, Riverside, Garfield Ridge, Brighton Park and Little Village.
“There are certain things common to everybody. People want good schools, people want good paying and decent jobs, people want good retirement plans, safe neighborhoods … that’s common for everyone across the district,” Villanueva said.
Lipinski, who joked he will run for mayor of Chicago, said it was “great to see so many people out here today.”
Landek said he was also impressed by the turnout, along with an enthusiasm seen about the upcoming election.
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Email Steve Metsch at firstname.lastname@example.org