To the editor:

As a candidate in the upcoming Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner race, I was stunned, appalled and disappointed to receive an email from the Cook County Democratic Party slating committee last week asking me to sign a pledge in a show of support for party unity. The pledge request came in just days before appearing before the Democratic Slating Committee. I later learned that not all of the 80 member committee was privy or made aware of this pledge.

I am an independent Democrat, an independent thinker, but willing to work across the aisle collectively and cohesively with other party Democrats and officials. As a child growing up in a household where community service, public service and being an independent thinker was something that was lived. I am blessed with two parents heavily involved in the civil rights movement. My father, U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, was Minister of Defense in the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party during the racially divisive turbulent Sixties. He later moved into mainstream politics as an Alderman of the 2nd Ward, on that blessed, independent history ticket with Harold Washington in becoming Chicago’s first Black mayor in 1983.

As this pledge stated, if I were to get slated by the party, I couldn’t show or give any support to any candidates that were not slated in the upcoming June election. Well, if Harold Washington, Bobby Rush and other independents hadn’t been independent thinkers in not signing gimmicky pledges, I doubt they would’ve been able to build strong rainbow coalitions and cohesive alliances while being led by the pulse of the people to create visible change for all.

With that being said, I had no interest in signing this bullying tactic pledge, as some did. This shows me that machine politics is still at play, even today. Harold Washington is no longer with us, but some of the same plantation players and systems are present. I say to the pledge, let the pulse, voice and informed educated voter speak in the June 28, 2022, election cycle. The only constant thing in life is change, and to know better, is to do better. Let’s be and do better by the people. They deserve that, not for the sake of a machine generated pledge, but for God’s people. “Rush for Change.”

Flynn Rush

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