Unprecedented level of Chicago money and manpower flooding into Norridge races, even non-partisan ones
The Chicago Improvement Party?
How many times have we seen stories in the Chicago media about why “Chicago should annex” Norridge and Harwood Heights, or the suburbs as a whole?
It seems we are now beginning to see a picture of the local foot soldiers who may be working to make that happen.
The star of the show has been David M Feller, Chicago’s 38th Ward Democratic Organization President, and a political operative of Chicago mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle.
Feller has been everywhere in Norridge the past few weeks, and appears to be personally directing the operations of Chicago backed candidates… snapping photos as he goes.
Norridge Village Trustee race
One candidate seemingly with deep roots to Chicago politics, is 25-year-old Norridge Village Trustee candidate Jack Bielak.
Like Feller, Bielak is a Cook County employee, and there are dozens of photos of him hanging around with both Avino and Feller.
It seems Bielak is unable to go anywhere in Norridge without Avino and / or Feller in tow… as if Bielak was their marionette.
Last year, Feller was seen at a Norridge Improvement Party fundraiser.
According to campaign disclosures, the Norridge Improvement Party is taking money from Avino, who in turn is being funded by… Robert F Martwick, the state rep who, as a property tax appeals attorney, profits off high property taxes.
Martwick and Avino seem to make part of the conduit through which Chicago money is surging into Norridge races.
In a Facebook post a few weeks ago, Feller posted what he said were the candidates he and Frank Avino are supporting for Village Trustee: Bielak and Bill Larsen.
Notably absent from the Avino/Feller endorsements is Donald Gelsomino. Last time we looked, Gelsomino is running on the same “Norridge Improvement Party” ticket as Larsen and Bielak.
Perhaps it means Gelsomino’s loyalties aren’t to Chicago, then? There is a reason he wasn’t endorsed.
Not only is the 38th ward eyeing Norridge, a Chicago Democratic operative from the Debra Mell campaign in Chicago’s 33rd ward was one of those who filed an objection against the two candidates opposing the Norridge Improvement Party in April.
Perhaps we need to start calling their political party… the Chicago Improvement Party.
Chicago moves in on fire, school races
Other races where Feller and Avino are involved in is the Norwood Park Fire Department trustee race (where Avino is also a trustee), and our favorite elementary school district: District 80.
Feller and Avino are openly supporting Gina Santoro for fire department trustee.
Santoro even had a fundraiser for her campaign… but if you look at the ballot, she’s running unopposed… which raises the question: who is she really raising money for?
Feller, Avino, and their pal Jack Bielak attended a fundraiser held for the four District 80 candidates Renzo Berardi, Sam Palazzo, Molly Dec and Lou Mezzano.
An image shows Palazzo in a photo with Feller, apparently taken at the Norridge Improvement Party golf fundraiser in 2018.
Somebody with an open mind would give Palazzo the benefit of the doubt that he may not have known who Feller was or what reasons Feller had attending a fundraiser for a “Norridge” political party.
But just yesterday, we had a photo of Avino going door to door with three of the four candidates, including Palazzo… and the 33rd ward Chicago Democratic operative.
The photo included Andrew Cichon, who had his own fundraiser, even though he too is running unopposed for fire trustee.
Cichon’s mother in law owns “the Tavern” talked about in Feller’s FB posts.
If you need to bring in all this Chicago muscle and money, how much local “support” do you actually have?
Local races need local people
Norridge and Harwood Heights both have low turnout due to low voter interest in local elections.
Some of the reasons for this as stated by voters, has been low opinions of candidates running.
No good candidates, or any candidates at all, makes Norridge and Harwood Heights look like it’s ripe for the taking.
It’s too late for 2019, but we strongly encourage you to consider running for one of your local races in 2021: fire trustee, school district, Village trustee.
Because if you don’t, Chicago will surely find a few more local Quislings to put in your place… and their loyalty to the independent Villages currently called “Norridge” and “Harwood Heights”… will be suspect.
Can you say 51st Ward of Chicago?