Bill Daley calls for drones, Bobby Rush nods in agreement.

Elected officials without proximity to the Black and Brown communities of Chicago cannot be expected to maintain our districts’ most vested interests.

Chicago, IL February While Bill Daley’s call for ubiquitous drone surveillancemay succeed in painting the portrait of dystopian science fiction, it cannot expect to eradicate crime in our communities. Not to mention that this proposal supports the overt criminalization and militarization of low-income areas. Legitimate solutions, those which seek cultural reform, do not begin with a hundredfold spike in the presence of law enforcement. Impactful solutions to human issues are inherently human-centric. New ideas — while they appear fresh, exciting and increasingly effortless — do not always present smart solutions that work for people. Bobby Rush’s recent endorsement of Bill Daley shows a striking lack of proximity to the root causes of violence. There is a fine line between effective mediation and easily digestible talking points. Many in our community — myself included — are gracious for the work that Congressman Bobby Rush has done over his two-decade tenure. I understand the pressures that he must face with an impending election, and do not believe that he shares Bill Daley’s confidence in this hypothetical legislation. However, his public endorsement of the candidate shows that he is willing to put politics over his own district, and I have come to understand that he may no longer represent the voices of the vast majority of people on the Southside of Chicago.

There are many mayoral candidates that would exhibit a better comprehension of our districts’ needs, all of which Bobby Rush neglected to acknowledge with his endorsement. He concluded his endorsement with the proclamation that Chicago “needs” Bill Daley. The certainty in his conviction, while an admirable acknowledgment of pressing change, fails to stress the importance of the correct solutions over the individual in office. These solutions, which will ultimately dictate the future of our district, will only work towards long-term innovation if they are derived through a proximate understanding of our community; a characteristic that Bill Daley seems to lack. While Congressman Bobby Rush is entitled to his endorsement in the same capacity as every constituent in every district of our country, endorsements do not come without weight and scrutiny. If the collection of a Congressman’s endorsement was meaningless, Bill Daley would not seek to obtain it. Congressman Bobby Rush’s selection as our representative carries with it an alignment to Daley’s agenda, and an alignment to Daley’s patent lack of proximity to Illinois’ First Congressional District. It is not only time for new representation, but a representative that understands their district as much as their obligation to its people.

Robert Emmons