Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers. Episode #33. Cook County Clerk David Orr and Chicago Votes’ Stevie Valles.

Our problem has become that one hour isn’t near enough to talk about all the things we want to talk about, especially when we have guests like David Orr and Stevie Valles from Chicago Votes.

David is, of course, the retiring Cook County Clerk which is the office that runs the elections in Cook. This is not your daddy’s Cook County operation which was known for ghost voters and shoe boxes full of uncounted ballots.

It was a perfect match of guests. Because of the work of Chicago Votes, even Governor Rauner was forced to sign a bill allowing for automatic voter registration in Illinois. At a time of voter suppression by Repugs all across the nation, Illinois has the potential to add a million more registered voters.

But to vote for who?

And that becomes the principle issue.

How do we turn election campaigns into political movements that hold office holders accountable and elect progressives in the first place?

Money has definitely become a corrupting influence as never before.

My brother quotes Harold Wahington’s campaign manager, Al Raby, who said, we’re not leading an election campaign. We’re leading a movement.

David Orr reminds us that Harold’s election was in many ways a perfect storm of an arrogant, white, Democratic Machine, a movement and the perfect candidate.

We got to find a way to make that storm systematic.

Listen to the entire podcast here.

*Some of the pics in this post are by Lucy Gunderson Klonsky of Brooklyn, New York.

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