May 17, 2011
With a new mayor installed on the fifth floor of City Hall, the incisive analysis and biting satire of the Mayoral Tutorial website is coming back.
A relaunch party featuring spoken word artists, comedy, live music, and “rabble rousing galore” takes place tonight (Tuesday, May 17, 7 p.m. to 12 midnight) at Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood.
A new version of the website (mayoraltutorial.com) should be up imminently, and organizer Don Washington said he plans to resume monthly forums focused on public policy topics, probably this summer.
During the recent mayoral campaign, MT forums offered an entertaining and participatory approach to allow voters to dig into issues behind candidates’ campaign positions. One featured a game-show format to elucidate the ins and outs of tax increment financing.
A couple mayoral candidates even participated, though not the eventual winner.
Washington has a basic community organizer’s analysis, which breaks things down to organized money and organized people. Mayor Emanuel represents organized money, in this analysis, and his task is now to “create a new reality – this is the way things are going to be – which means he remains in campaign mode, and second to control the playing field so there’s more space for organized money and less for organized people,” Washington said.
He’s “perturbed” that City Council members seem to be “lining up to follow” Emanuel and not countering with alternative policy options. “If the mayor dominates the process” it’s going to yield “public policy that’s written for the upper class,” Washington said.
Emanuel talks about “shared sacrifice,” but “I don’t know where the shared sacrifice is for the guys at the Board of Trade,” he said.
Washington is focusing right now on budget policy, and worries that indiscriminate cuts in city services risk “turning [the city] into Detroit,” while privatizing services as a way of cutting salaries and health coverage represents a “salary bomb” that will drain the city’s economic vitality.
Joining Washington tonight are educator Amesha Patel of the Grassroots Collaborative, educator Bill Ayres, Harishi Patel of the Progressive Alliance, performance artist Nicole Garneau, Sage X Morgan-Hubbard, and Louder Than A Bomb champ FX Supreme. Democracy Burlesque will offer a Farewell to Mayor Daley. It’s free.