Today: Viola Mims (above), candidate for clerk for the All In for Maywood (AIM) ticket, at the party’s election headquarters, which is also the site of her realty company, Vintage Realtors & Associates. When I arrived, she was the only person in the office. Volunteers were out canvassing the neighborhood and getting the word out. The office was eerily quiet and Mims surprisingly calm. She said her party is confident. “Our chances are great and we’re very positive. People are ready for a change because they want to see something different coming to Maywood.” She said that whether or not that change happens is up to the citizens. “They have to make the choice.”
Saturday: Virgil Crawford (above), a key volunteer and organizer with Cheryl Ealey-Cross’s campaign for trustee announces an event to be held the following day. An incipient grassroots organization, Maywood Organized Voters Emerged and Engaged (MOVEE), will hold a citizens’ forum to discuss Tax Increment Financing and the proposed McDonald’s development on 5th and Roosevelt. “Come out to make sure that people in this community are getting job opportunities from McDonald’s.” His voice blares from the speakers attached to the roof of his car.
As Crawford and I were out in front of his home, where he’d stopped to reload on supplies and water, sitting trustee Melvin Lightford, who’s up for reelection this year, rides by while doing some field-work of his own. Crawford approaches him as he slowed at the stop sign on the end of the street. Crawford informs Lightford about MOVEE and the upcoming TIF/McDonald’s meeting. Lightford listens attentively before voicing his own passion: Fishing. “I”m tired of seeing small caskets.” His biggest priority is trying to foster relationships between local youth and police officers while on fishing expeditions. Apparently, by taking the sport seriously, youth can capture much more than fish. Lightford says that there are scholarships available from fishing as well. The Trustee encourages Crawford to share his ideas with the Village Board. “You’ll have all of my support.”
Not long after talking with Lightford, Crawford experiences car trouble. The loud-speaker system attached to the roof is apparently experiencing an electrical short. Crawford and Curtis Smith (another Ealey-Cross campaign volunteer who was pictured in the first part of this series ) fix the problem in about fifteen minutes by replacing the wiring before heading out to do a final leg of campaigning.
More sights and sounds from the field tomorrow.