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Union Offers Candidate Trainings

On issues like affordable housing and a living wage, the Chicago City Council has shown a growing independence from mayoral influence – and with federal prosecutions shaking a citywide patronage network which had supplanted ward organizations, that trend could grow. That could boost the significance of next year’s municipal elections.

One early sign: interest is high in free grassroots training sessions for potential aldermanic candidates being held by the Illinois Council of the Service Employees International Union, said executive director Jerry Morrison.

“We want to encourage the broadest possible participation” in the city election coming up in February 2007, Morrison said, noting that voter and candidate participation has dropped steadily in recent elections.

The union has reached out to community groups and Local School Council members as well as incumbent elected officials, and expects each session to be full, he said

“There will be people with all kinds of agendas” at the trainings, Morrison said. “There will probably be incumbents and challengers in the same sessions. It should be interesting.”

The day-long trainings cover campaign planning, fundraising, and communications. They take place Saturday, July 15 at Olive Harvey College, 10001 S. Woodlawn; Saturday, July 22 at Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N. Narragansett; and Saturday, July 29 at UNITE HERE, 333 S. Ashland.

There is no registration fee but pre-registration is required. Registration information is at 312-850-1706.

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Category: elections, labor

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