Make that a three-person race

Opinion: Columns

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By Ade Onayemi.

I was surprised when I read an opinion piece in this paper that said the race for Cook County commissioner is "in effect, a two-person race" [It's down to two — let's make the right choice, Viewpoints, Feb. 5]. 

I am supporting Blake Sercye and let me tell you why.

I first met Blake in 2010. Blake's supporters asked him to submit his credentials to fill a vacancy in the Illinois General Assembly's 78th House District. During his presentation, I learned that Blake was raised by a strong single mother in Chicago's Austin neighborhood, went to high school at Fenwick, college at Princeton University, and was completing his law degree at the University of Chicago. Though he was young, I was impressed by his passion for public service and his volunteer work with inner-city children in our district.

I have watched Blake grow into the man he is today and I am proud of his continued commitment to public service. 

Blake is now an attorney at Jenner & Block LLP, and he leads the legal assistance committee of the Chicago West Side NAACP. He also serves on the board or junior boards of several nonprofits, including Bethel New Life, a community development organization serving Austin and Garfield Park, and the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, an advocate for laws and policies that improve the lives of people living in poverty. 

In 2012, he was appointed by Gov. Pat Quinn to the Illinois Medical District Commission (IMDC), a body charged with developing the largest urban medical district in the country. Blake now serves as treasurer for the IMDC.

More than anything, his understanding of the issues is what made me decide to support him. Blake is passionate about reducing the population at Cook County Jail, helping people get access to health care, and using land banking as a tool to create affordable housing and support business development. He will represent the interests of our entire district — both city and suburban. The early support Blake has garnered from me, as well as others throughout the district, and the money he has raised makes the strength of his candidacy clear.

Of course, you must decide who to support for yourself. I encourage you to learn about each of the candidates in this race — all five of them. Once you do, I am confident you will realize as I have that Blake Sercye deserves your vote on March 18.

Ade Onayemi currently serves as an Oak Park Township trustee. He ran for 1st District Cook County commissioner in 2010 and won Oak Park Township. 

Reader Comments

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James Nagle from Oak Park  

Posted: February 17th, 2014 9:21 AM

@Bruce--I read the comments referred to in your comment here. In sum, you and Mr. Lawless had a falling out with the Democratic Party because you couldn't run the show, became a Green, couldn't win as a Green, then Mr. Lawless tossed his principles and ran as a Democrat anyway, but is still an "independent". Sounds kind of dishonest. So i'll definitely take a pass on him now. Thanks for clarifying the decision for me.

Give it a rest Bruce  

Posted: February 14th, 2014 10:30 AM

Wouldn't it be nice if a library trustee actually knew where the dictionary and grammar books were located in the public library and utilized those resources? Embarrassing.

Bruce Samuels from Oak Park  

Posted: February 14th, 2014 3:22 AM

Mr.Nagle: Please see the first two comments in the previous article "It's down to two - let's make the right choice" Thanks.

Bruce Samuels from Oak Park  

Posted: February 13th, 2014 7:42 PM

Mr.Nagle: Good point about my representations. I shouldn't have assumed that everyone read the first letter by Pope in this two-part series. More to follow.

Bruce Samuels from Oak Park  

Posted: February 13th, 2014 7:28 PM

Give it...Are you an actual person? I thought you were a computer generated virus. Why don't you man-up to your real name? Maybe your just an opposiotion candidate.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park  

Posted: February 13th, 2014 2:36 PM

Mimi - Great Initiative - The village has needed an event like this for decades. Will attend and willing to help in any way I can. I definitely will not be there as a candidate!

Mimi Jordan from Oak Park  

Posted: February 13th, 2014 1:49 PM

We can judge the candidates for ourselves at the candidate forum Tuesday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m. at the Oak Park main library.

Give it a rest Bruce  

Posted: February 13th, 2014 11:12 AM

Mr. Bruce, figures you would actually seek to throw out an actual tax paying citizen. I am sure you will only be happy if Mr. Lawless is as successful in creating legislation that drives out all the employers in the 7th Dist. as you have been in turning the library into a bird killing, magnet for the homeless.

James Nagle from Oak Park  

Posted: February 12th, 2014 4:02 PM

@Bruce--so Mr. Lawless's two qualifications are 1) he's your guy, and 2) he lives in OP? That's it? I'll pass. Carothers? no way. Searcye--could be interesting, young, energetic, sort of an anti-venom from the Collins years. Ade lays out a good case. Boykin--also interesting. Not sure how he will help OP, what he is for or against. DAvid Pope's op-ed does him no favors, but I'd like to hear more.

Bruce Samuels from Oak Park  

Posted: February 12th, 2014 12:55 PM

Dear Give it...I didn't know that you come to the library...but you know that they won't let me throw you out.

Give it a rest Bruce  

Posted: February 12th, 2014 11:43 AM

No one cares about your carrying on about your reform efforts or Ron Lawless. How about doing your job as library trustee and figure out a way to get the bums out of the library doorway.

Bruce Samuels from Oak Park  

Posted: February 12th, 2014 8:26 AM

Make that "Ron Lawless is independent, like most Oak Parkers".

Bruce Samuels from Oak Park  

Posted: February 12th, 2014 8:16 AM

Ron Lawless is the only candidate who lives in Oak Park and is independent. This article is written by a candidate who has ties to the anti-people mayor of Chicago, a man who is sitting on 1.7 billion dollars of TIF money while poor folks are thrown out of their schools. Ron Lawless and I, and several others, tried to reform the Democratic Party of Oak Park at the turn of the millennium but were shut out of meetings. Ron is dependent, like most OP's.

Blake Sercye  

Posted: February 12th, 2014 12:38 AM

Two notes here. First a correction, this article was written by our supporter Ade Onayemi, not me. The article's byline is incorrect as of early Wednesday morning. Second, the title to Ade's article as submitted was "You Decide." Ade's point was to empower voters, not limit their choices.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 10:40 PM

Is this piece "by Blake Sercye" or Ade Onayemi?

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