By Mark Weyermuller -
Going to a parade with me was an exhausting experience on July 4, 2014, Independence Day. This year I attended four parades along with a celebration in Wilmette on July 3. As a student of public policy, this is an important day for me. It is a chance to see and meet plenty of politicians and learn much about public opinion. It is also is a day of selfies, interaction, reflection and yes, fun - even with Democrats!
Wilmette does their festival and fireworks on July 3 every year. There I can see my local politicians, school board, park board, village board members, etc - all who seem to attend to promote their great works in government.
This year our park district had a big display tent promoting the "Lakefront Master Plan." Basically, it's a 15 million dollar bond issue on the ballot in November. You guessed it, I oppose it. After giving my thoughts to the elected officials I headed over to see the Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and his Tumblers. The night ended with fireworks at Gilson Park.
I got up early to head to the Niles parade to hang out with Bruce Rauner and his parade unit. It was here I met Susanne Antanus for first time. Ms. Antanus won the Republican primary in the 9th Congressional District to challenge Democrat Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (photo below). Ms. Atanus beat fellow Republican David Earl Williams, who was also marching with the Niles Township Republican Organization. (More on the Antanus meeting in another story.) I will say she was marching all alone with a little red wagon. She was pleasant to me and asked me for my support.
I met up with the Bruce Rauner group and marched with them for a while. Rauner's wife, Diane was greeting people and i would say she may be his secret weapon when the campaign heats up. She appears to be a great campaigner. I heard Bruce Rauner was heading out to Arlington Heights next but I skipped that parade.
For Niles, I left early to get downtown to the Chicago History Museum for their annual event. I have attended this for the past twenty five years. They do patriotic music, read the Declaration of Independence, and have a kids parade which I march in. It is led by Uncle Sam on stilts.
I caught some grief from my conservative and republican friends for all the selfies with democrats. In the news business, I need to see everybody. As a biased journalist (like most if not all), I can say I hope lots of these democrats are unemployed come this November. I'm looking forward to next year's July 4 parades along with Election Day falling on Tuesday, November 4, 2014.
Congenial Democrats Cook County Commissioner Toni Preckwinkle, State Senator Mike Frerichs, Dan Biss and State Rep Laura Fine