Clean Up in Aisle/Ward Three

DeKalb Citizens for Transparency

AKA The Mop & Bucket Brigade

PRESS RELEASE

What: “Clean-up DeKalb City Hall” Rally and March*

When: Monday, November 23, 2009, 5:15-6 p.m.

Where: Begins at Lincoln Highway and First Street; ends at City Hall

Why: “Attention, attention…we need a clean-up in aisle. . .I mean, Ward Three.”

In the wake of the Wogen–Biernacki downtown construction contract scandal, local city watchers demand reform in how their city operates. Now that our public officials have had weeks to discuss the matter (and multiple citizens have made great suggestions), it is time members of the Council adopted new measures to guarantee that corruption never gains a foothold in our government. Note: This scandal has caught the attention of the Sunlight Foundation, a think tank and investigative organization in Washington , DC .

*Armed with personal vacuums, mops and buckets, spray cleaners and rags – all for symbolic protest, city watchers will rally at the corner with signs and a megaphone (for “speak-outs”) to inform people sitting in their cars at the stoplight about unscrupulous local politics. Then they will chant while marching eastward on Lincoln Highway, turn right at Fourth Street, and proceed to the Municipal Building to rally before the Committee of the Whole meeting.

3 thoughts on “Clean Up in Aisle/Ward Three”

  1. Lynn, anyone who looks at the city hall situation with an objective eye will determine that there have been profound ethical violations and an air of dismissive cover up.

    But somehow, the proportionality of the citizenry who are expressing appropriate outrage is quite small.

    Why is this?

    Protest walks are good for grabbing some copy (at least in the Northern Star!). But what can we do to engage community? To get a significant segment of the population on board?

    I know there to be a backbone of community which supports an ethical and transparent city hall. How do we get them on board to bring appropriate sanctions and reform?

    A community town hall? Bring in some ethical consultants? Some political science faculty from NIU? Invite a staffer from the attorney general’s office? Maybe someone from the Better Government Association?

  2. Hi Anson, I heard from some folks who said they e-mailed city hall about this. Four people who were there at the last protest said they had not participated in anything like that in years. Some new faces may be there this Monday, too.

    We are not going to know how many people contacted City Hall. It may be more than we think. Not everybody has a couple of hours free on Monday nights to show up.

  3. Anson, those are all good ideas and if you have seen any indication of receptivity, let us know and we’ll ask for them. Have any of Council embraced the need for full-on ethics reform? So far we’ve got Mr. Naylor who apparently has no clue about what constitutes conflicts of interest, and/or why he should avoid them; and Mr. Simpson is complacent because he’s from Chicago and it’s all old hat.

    If a congressman hears from 6 people on an issue, s/he knows to pay attention because the 6 people are sure to represent thousands who feel strongly about it. If Council is smart, they understand that the groups e-mailing them, as well as the groups coming out, represent many more.

    Sure it’s a relative few, but the numbers are growing.

    Perhaps they also have absorbed the fact that as of next Monday, there will have been 6 demonstrations against their decisions within 18 months. That’s got to be some kind of record.

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