My endorsements for April 7

I hope a lot of people agree that in many ways this has been one of the best, most active, most involved election seasons we've seen in Evanston. A common refrain is that some of the choices are tough, and I agree. That's a good thing, not a bad one, because it forces the candidates to work harder, and us to look more deeply. And the deeper we look, sometimes the harder the choice, because rarely will we agree completely with all of a candidate's stands or record. In a campaign of any length, gaffes and inartfully-worded comments are also inevitable. A few feathers are probably ruffled here and there. But in the end we have to choose; once having chosen, the calibre of the offerings for tomorrow indicates that coming together, to work together, should be easier after this election than in some others.

I respect and thank all those who, directly or through a campaign, have posted their support of a candidate here. Since my leanings and reasoning apparently interest some, I'm posting them here now.
For mayor, I am supporting Liz Tisdahl. Like CSNA itself I see pluses in all the candidates and feel that this race has narrowed. Like the Daily I also see the minuses as well as pluses in "experience," given City decisionmaking these past 6 years. However, the job of mayor as currently defined is more parliamentary than activist. To the extent that pulling coalitions together to make the changes we need requires mustering support from many of the myriad sectors in Evanston, Liz just has more tools at her disposal right now, especially considering the Council will have at least four returning aldermen. Her political support will help Evanston. And I think her view of what Evanston should become is pretty close to most Evanstonians'.
Barnaby Dinges has raised some very important points in this election, that resonate with many voters, and I hope that if not victorious in this race he, like the other two candidates, will maintain a continued high level of involvement.
In the hotly-contested 7th Ward I am in accord with the CSNA Board evaluation and support Jane Grover. John Zbesko's a great guy, with generally good instincts, former anti-NU "Fair Share" activism excepted. But I've been impressed with Jane's depth, thought her CSNA forum and questionnaire answers tops, and have confidence in her ability to not just reach the right decisions, but in a style that builds support along the way.
In my own ward, I am supporting Mark Tendam. There will be a lot of talk in the next few years about making government "leaner and meaner;" government is already plenty mean, and needs to be cleaner and greener. I sense in Mark Tendam compassion for those who might otherwise be marginalized; we need this on the Council, to balance less charitable municipal impulses. I would have liked to see more specifics in all of the 6th Ward campaigns, and more involvement in our big issues of the past few years. But I believe Mark will be both open-minded, and accessible.
There is risk in any endorsement; not just in venturing out from political "safety," but because we've all been burned before by candidates who turned out, a few years later, much different than how they campaigned (a certain ex-governor comes to mind, but there are plenty other examples). The key is to keep politicians responsive to the polis. The more who vote, and who express support one way or the other, the better our chances of doing this.
Good things have been rightly said about many candidates in this election season; no matter who wins, I am hoping for a more responsive City government.
--Jeff Smith

Jeff - you are supporting all those connected to the Evanston Machine.  You know doubt will be happy next year when the raise your taxes!
I think the three you are endorsing are the weakest - ( in terms of their ideas and understanding of issues ) interestingly they have all been endorsed by the Evanston Fire Fighter's PAC - while I know you see nothing wrong with this - many in town find it disgusting and against the public interest.

I read & hear that you are running for State rep. ? Is that true? Also, thanks for not mentioning me as a candidate in the 7th ward race, at least you have good company in the fact that JohnZbesko never mentioned me in a piece showing comparisons between Grover and himself, but curiously I don't exist . I didn't want to pass up the chance to thank you not just for marginalizing me, but pretending I don't exist in the race. Perhaps, you are finally following through publicly on your private threat that I should "not be recommended" by the CSNA due to "the increasingly negative fashion of my campaign" (your opinion).
Gosh, I thought CSNA was a place to have a good honest discussion of issues. I wonder if underneath the veneer a personal political agenda is being threatened?
I don't know what Barnaby will do after the election, if he doesn't win. I'm not sure what I will do, but I will be involved somehow. You claim Jeff, to want good people involved in government, but I can no longer tell where CSNA begins and your personal political agenda begins. Your private e-mail to me and false claim that you want to see me involved going forward in Evanston are belied by the fact that I'm not mentioned in your comments. Ouch!
The political and media system is broke. We need to find a way to get honest issues and accountability before the voters. Your own choices Jeff, belie that you don't really want politicians that are responsive to the citizens, see Tisdahl's lack of proactiveness or listening to the 7th ward businesses that I posted.
As for the CSNA Board's evaluation for Jane Grover, which I believe was written by you. I'm sure the Board voted for Grover, Jeff, however it's curious that the only endorsement mentioned was Steve Engleman's out of Jane's endorsements. A little disclosure Jeff, might be helpful to  all members of CSNA, that Engelman was your law partner and that you now work on perhaps some projects together. For the unintiated, Steve Engelman was the 7th ward alderman prior to Ald. Tisdahl being appointed by Mayor Morton in 2003. Contrary to some people, I think it's always important to see who is connected to who, it's a relevant issue when one is trying to find out who is truly independent. In the interest of full disclosure, that fact has bothered me since the evaluations were released, however I have not had time to fully comment on them. Politics is so incestuous, don't you agree?
What do you think CSNA members, is Evanston really ready for reform?  Real reform? Let's hope so! Vote tomorrow!
Kevin O'Connor

Since Tisdahl, as alderperson, has not bee able to solve the water and bench problems at Howell Park, I'm not sure she can deal with the city.  This will be more of the same.
Let's try a something new...Dinges.
Susan Kennedy