The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

This Is What Patronage Looks Like

By Kevin Robinson in News on Nov 2, 2006 2:00PM

Chicagoist has been talking about the race for Cook County Board President a lot lately. It's an important race for us, for a whole lot of reasons. Yesterday, a new report came out that made this race that much more important to us.

The Sun-Times reported yesterday on the squalid and horrifying condidtions that minor children are living in at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. Washing their underwear in the toilets, sleeping without pillows on ripped up mattresses. Not getting enough to eat. This follows years of reports of abuse at the facility, including a consent decree between the county and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Does that make you mad? We remember being young and stupid too. Lucky for us we had a responsible adult in our life to kick us in the ass to make sure we didn't fuck things up too badly. We can only imagine being 12 or 13, and living in a place run by indifferent high school drop-outs that owe their jobs to a political favor. Crowded, chaotic, dirty, being screamed at by fed up adults, and bullied around by the older kids that have been in the system for a while.

Chicagoist realizes that this is a controversial topic. We know that this will arouse passionate opinions both for and against each candidate. And we definitely expect that shill for the Stroger campaign to show up and try to accuse Tony Peraica of being buddies with whatever right-wing flavor of the day he can come up with. But nobody from the Stroger camp can give us a comprehensive plan for ending what is happening at the CCJDC. Can someone from the Stroger campaign tell us what he is going to do about this? Everytime he gets asked about it in the press, he says he has to reveiw things and look into it. Enough. This has been going on for years. So here's our challenge to Todd Stroger: commit, publicly, to ending all patronage, at least in the CCJDC. In writing. Before the election. You can email us here. If we actually get anything we can verify, we'll publish it here.