Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Law in that Small Commonweal- The 19th Ward and Mayoral Blizzard

Election officials said that as of 4:30 p.m., more than 6,100 people had voted — a total only surpassed on the first day of early voting in the 2008 presidential election, when more than 11,700 people voted.

Jim Allen, a spokesman for the city's election board, said the number dwarfs the 831 on the first day of early voting in the last mayoral election four years ago. He said that suggests not only that more people are becoming accustomed to early voting but also that Daley — who typically won by huge margins — is not running. He said the widely anticipated storm might have played a role, because people see they may not be able to get to the polls later this week.

"We'll probably break 7,000," he said.

I voted yesterday. Yep, exercised the public franchise. After delivering an Ad celebrating for 100th Anniversary of the founding of Maria High School from the Men of Leo ( Sveikiname, Maria!)and chatting with my counter-part in the Office of Institutional Advancement at the great girls school in Marquette Park, I drove to 22nd District Police Headquarters to vote, but learned that the early voting was moved to Mount Greenwood Park Field House on 111th Street.

In the parking lot, I found 19th Ward Committeeman Matt O'Shea, candidate for Alderman, greeting voters and all and sundry. Matt O'Shea is model of what I like in government service. There is not a day in the week that I do not see Matt going door-to-door, attending one of the almost daily benefits for suffering families at Bourbon Street, Beverly Woods, or a local parish hall, watching grammar school sports at Beverly, Kennedy, Ridge, Monroe or Mount Greenwood Parks. The young guy is ubiquitous. Matt asked about my kids and Leo High School. It was colder than a well-digger's rump and it was clear that Matt had been out there sometime.

Politicians talk about working families, in the same way that Disney Corporation does - Family means more money for them. Matt O'Shea is a public servant. There is a huge difference. A public servant knows whom he serves. Matt greeted people by their names -"Mrs. Janusias, I saw Albert at Jewel last week! Congratulations Grannie!; Hey, Jimmy vote your heart. Yeah you too, pal and the horse you bet on - Jerk."

Jimmy was one of few people who seem to believe that every unhappiness - his fat shrewish wife, lazy kids, drinking problem and collection calls on his house phone can all be traced to the 19th Ward.

I voted my heart and head. I read the papers and more importantly I talk to my neighbors - Jimmy included: " They are all crooked, lying, thieving, pension robbing, one way bastards. Can you spot me a twenty? I'm going up to Dingers for a few. Thanks, gotta drown my sorrows."

We all snow. I am an accomplished snow-thrower myself and the real deal is fixin' to drop on us around noon. All we can do is shovel and vote. No one else will or can do it for us.

The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less;
The times are winter, watch, a world undone:
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
Or bring more or more blazon man's distress.
And I not help. Nor word now of success:
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—
Work which to see scarce so much as begun
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.

Or what is else? There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal...

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