Idealism -- Integrity -- Independence
April 4, 2018
Fifty years ago today, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. I imagine that more than a few of you reading this are old enough to remember his death and the violent events that followed. That series of national traumas still identify 1968, and their ripples are still felt today. Of course at the moment of Dr. King's murder we couldn't know this. - That's kinda how history works.
But enough of that "what if" stu
ff. "What is" today, is a clear measure of the greatness of Dr. King and the impact of his enlightening influence on our society. Yes, we have not yet achieved the levels of equality that King stood for so strongly. But today's awareness of the wrongness of inequity -- whether regarding race, gender, sexual orientation, every category of humanity -- can in large part be traced back to the stands taken by the Reverend Dr. King.
When Dr. King was killed he was in Memphis in support of a strike by the city's African American garbage haulers. But, in the months leading up to his Memphis visit, Dr. King was moving toward championing issues that included the common interests of all poor people, not just black citizens. This included the economic inequities that increasingly dictated who was dying in Vietnam and who managed to stay safe at home. In the weeks before his death he was working to organize a new march on Washington known as the "Poor People's Campaign."
If he had not been murdered, what role might he have played in the shaping of today's America? His father lived to be 84. If fate had allowed the Reverend Dr. King a full life span, would he have been an influential voice well into our present times?
Now, I know that playing the game of "what if" is always considered a waste of time. But for me, playing it a bit does underscore what a huge figure Martin Luther King was in our history:
For example, to carry my "what if" speculation further, if the Reverend Dr. King hadn't been assassinate in April, there wouldn't have been riot- torched neighborhoods on Chicago's West Side. If there had been no West Side riots, Mayor Daley (the first) might have handled the crowds of Vietnam War protestors on Chicago's streets with less reactionary fear. If his approved "police riots" (as defined by the Kerner Commission) had not occurred, the eventual Democratic Party presidential nominee, Vice President Hubert Humphrey wouldn't have had to spend weeks repairing his Party's morale and focus, weeks that took time away from serious campaigning. And if Humphrey had had those few extra weeks to build on his rising campaign momentum, the odds are good that he would have defeated Richard Nixon. No Nixon and a whole lot of our history, much of it harmful, changes. -- Of course, who can say where that "new" history might have led us.
In thinking today about Martin Luther King, I remembered how, several years ago, I was surprised to learn how young MLK was at his death. When he died, I was in my twenties and had been aware of Dr. King for what already seemed like a long time. (It was probably not much more than ten years, but to someone in his twenties, ten years is a "long time.") So, because of my familiarity with his name, the established record of his leadership and the maturity of his message I thought of him then as an older man. - King was just
Last week, I commented on the optimism I gained from watching the remarkable student leaders from Parkland Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the thousands of young people who have joined in a crusade to make America less exposed to gun violence. These youths are similar in age to many of the young followers of Dr. King. And last month's success of their March For Our Lives demonstrations is the most recent example of Dr. King's legacy. There have been many examples in the past and there will be many more in the future.
The Reverend Dr. King was just 26 when he began his fight for civil rights as the elected leader of the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott. Sadly, his time to affect change was cut short by an evil act. But that act could not erase what Dr. King began. He helped turn America in a better direction. On this 50th observance of his assassination, we should all take a moment to be grateful for his incredible gift to all of us.
Today, there's no question in my mind that it is going to take youthful activism to get our America back on track. I'm not saying the rest of us don't need to be involved too. But success is going to require relentless commitment, boundless energy and lots of time. These are resources young people have in the greatest abundance.
NTDO member since 1973
In researching info for my comments, I came upon a video of the speech made by Bobby Kennedy as he delivered the news of MLK's death to a mostly black Indianapolis crowd. Many believe his heartfelt words saved that city from the type of riots that exploded in other cities, including Chicago. It is
one of the most moving speeches I have ever seen.
Other events of interest:
Tomorrow Night, Apr. 5 in Wilmette - The League of Women Voters Presents A Discussion With Cook County Clerk David Orr
When: Thursday, April 5, 2018 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Where: Wilmette Public Library, 1242 Wilmette Avenue, Wilmette
What: The Wilmette League of Women Voters presents a Discussion with Cook County Clerk David Orr. As he winds up his final year in office, Mr. Orr will discuss advances in election protection, updates on voter registration and safeguards again voter fraud in Cook County and Illinois.
This Sunday Apr. 8 in Libertyville - Stevenson Center Presents: "Is the Civil Society Dead? Can Europe Be Saved From Populism and the Distrust of Liberal Democracy?"
When: Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 2:30pm
Where: Stevenson Center on Democracy, 25200 N. St. Mary's Rd., Mettawa (Libertyville).
The Stevenson Center on Democracy hosts Michael Zantovsky's presentation, "Is the civil society dead? Can Europe be saved from populism and the distrust of liberal democracy?" Mr. Zantovsky is the current director of the Vaclav Havel Library and President of the Aspen Institute Prague. Coffee and conversation follow the presentation.To register or for more information, visit
or call 773-633-5661.
Wednesday, Apr. 11 in Chicago - Susana Mendoza Re-Election Launch Party
When: Wednesday, April 11, 2018 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Where: Texas De Brazil, 210 E. Illinois St., Chicago
What: A campaign kickoff reception in support of Susana Mendoza's re-election as Illinois Comptroller.
For additional information or to RSVP,
or email Katy Langenfeld at email@example.com or call 312-600-9496.
Thursday, Apr. 12 in Chicago - Ida's Legacy Luncheon with Hillary Rodham Clinton
When: Thursday, April 12, 2018; Doors open at 11:00 am; Luncheon from 12:00 noon to 2:00pm
Where: Sheraton Grand Chicago, 301 E. North Water Street, Chicago
A luncheon hosted by the Ida B. Wells Legacy Committee with a keynote by the Honorable
Hillary Rodham Clinton
. Ida's Legacy, in honor of Ida B. Wells, was formed in response to the 2016 election. It is the only Illinois PAC with a focus on
developing and supporting Progressive African-American women candidates
. For additional information or to RSVP,
Saturday, Apr. 14 in Deerfield -
Wine Women & Shoes Benefitting A Safe Place
When: Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 5:30pm
Where: Venue One North Shore, 550 Lake Cook Road, Deerfield, IL
What: If you're a wine, shoe or fashion enthusiast, then this is the place for you!
All proceeds will help
A Safe Place provide lifesaving services for survivors and children of domestic violence.
Tickets on sale now,
or call (847) 731-7165.
Saturday, Apr. 21 in Evanston - Earth Day Panel on a Fossil Free Wilmette & Skokie
When: Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Where: Lake Street Church, 607 Lake Street, Evanston
Chicago Area Peace Action's (CAPA) Climate Group
decided to take to heart 350.org's call for a "fossil free future" with a focus on municipal-level action. Building on the demonstrated success in Evanston when it comes to planning and benchmarks to reduce carbon emissions by 28% by 2025 (over 2005 levels), CAPA is embarking on community education and coalition building. The panel will include:
Katherine Moore Powell, Climate Scientist, Field Museum; Lindy Wordlaw, Senoir Manager, Public Sector Programs, Elevate Energy; and Tomas deMedici, Trajectory, a Community Solar company
. CAPA will encourage a good Q and A discussion between panelists and audience. These are the experts that can help us become more comfortable "in the weeds" of this fairly complex transition.
CAPA believes that with a lot of citizen involvement in both Skokie and Wilmette, they can put this conversation on the table and discover what it will take to get a commitment to move in a planned way in both villages toward 100% renewable energy
. For more information,
visit their Facebook page
Sunday, Apr. 22 in Deerfield - Brad Schneider's Coffee Club
When: Sunday, April 22, 2018 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Where: The Cherry Pit, 808 Waukegan Rd., Deerfield
What: At Brad's Coffee Club, members enjoy a free cup of coffee and bagel or pastry during monthly meetings at local coffee shops in the 10th District.
Members also have the opportunity to meet with the campaign staff and have in-depth conversations with Congressman Schneider. For additional questions or to RSVP,
, email Allison at Allison@schneiderforcongress.com or call 616-516-0734.
Monday, Apr. 23 in Chicago -
Jan Schakowsky's 17th Annual Ultimate Women's Power Lunch
When: Monday, April 23, 2018 at 12:00 noon
Where: Chicago Hilton, International Ballroom, 720 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago
What: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky holds her 17th Annual Ultimate Women's Power Lunch.
This year's Keynote Speaker is
Stacey Abrams, former Georgia House Minority Leader and candidate for Governor of Georgia
. If elected, she will be the first African American Governor in U.S. history. For more information or to reserve your seat,
visit Rep. Schakowsky's website
One of the exciting activities we will be pursuing across the state line in 2018...
will be to help the Democratic candidate for Congress,
, defeat Wisconsin's Congressman
. This is going to be a hard fought campaign and Randy Bryce can win it. To see his first campaign message
who represent New Trier Township in
Washington, Springfield and Cook County
You'll be hearing a lot from these exceptional public servants. --
And they want to be hearing a lot from you.
The fact is, they need to hear from you and want to hear from you in order to represent you most effectively. So, the first thing you can do is get to know who these people are. The links below to their campaign websites are a good place to start.
, 9th U.S. Congressional District Representative
and Chief Deputy House Democratic Whip. The new Ninth District boundaries include all of New Trier except for Glencoe.
, 10th U.S. Congressional District Representative which includes a number of precincts in Glencoe.
Julie Morrison, State Senator for Illinois' 29th State Senate District
State Senator for Illinois' 9th State Senate Distric
t.The Ninth District includes all of New Trier Township.
. The district includes New Trier's northernmost precincts.
IL 18th District State Representative
. The 18th District includes much of New Trier up to Hazel Avenue and Dundee Road.
, IL 17th District State Representative.
The 17th District includes the East Glenview and West Wilmette areas of New Trier Township.
IL 58th District State Representative.
The 58th District includes the northernmost precincts in Glencoe.
Larry Suffredin, Cook County 13th District Commissioner. The 13th District includes all of New Trier, Evanston and Niles Townships.
Dear Fellow Democrats,
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|Still not a member of the New Trier Democrats? Your participation in grassroots political action will make a difference. -- Come join us.
When you're a member of the New Trier Democratic Organization, you have an active role in affecting the political process; participating in grassroots campaigns, staying in touch with elected officials, playing a role in deciding which candidates are endorsed. You'll also gain free admission to select forums and events throughout the year.
Come be a part of New Trier's grassroots political community.
The New Trier Democratic Organization is made up of hundreds of grassroots volunteers dedicated to advancing progressive ideals through the political process. We welcome your participation.
Dean T. Maragos, Committeeman New Trier Township
We are located at 800 Oak Street, Suite 112, in Winnetka, IL. Ph: 847-446-8030
*This Internet communication paid for by the New Trier Democratic Organization and not authorized by any federal or state candidate or campaign committee. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is available for purchase from the State Board of Elections in Springfield, Illinois.