The Evolution of the Political Machine
Time & Location
About the event
Political machine --- a party organization, headed by a single boss or small autocratic group, that commands enough votes to maintain political control of a city, county, or state
Characteristics --- disciplined, hierarchical, and able to elect candidates with mechanical efficiency and predictability
Some experts say there is no longer a well-oiled machine in Illinois. We disagree. We believe that the above mentioned efficiency and predictability were on display in Illinois in March.
On the 55th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech we will discuss the state of democracy in Illinois.
Some of the questions the panel will explore include:
What does the Illinois Say No More (#MeToo, #TimesUp) movement tell us about how the machine has evolved in Illinois?
What does it tell us that union members overwhelmingly chose to nominate for governor a billionaire who obtained his wealth from a family company with a long history of fighting unionization? Is that evidence of the machine at work?
How is it that most black voters chose a candidate who was caught on tape calling prominent black politicians “crass” and “least worst”? Machine, or not?
Are progressive candidate victories definitive evidence of the declining power of the machine?
Most importantly, why is it critical for democracy and equality that we continue to address the machine head on, even in the midst of a contentious election season?
The discussion will be moderated by Rep. Litesa Wallace. During the Q&A, audience members may ask panelists questions directly.
All are welcome. Event is free.