CUSP Magazine: Winter Issue 2014

Cusp2013

CUSP Magazine is a Chicago based publication focused on helping up and coming creatives gain exposure for their brand and products. Our company is a collective of highly motivated individuals who work together to bring a new voice to the creative community.

POLITICS//DR. AMARA ENYIA

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Young people across the city were titillated

by the candidacy of Dr. Amara Enyia, which only

ended last week. Amara, the 31-year-old daughter

of Nigerian immigrants, had the qualities necessary

to motivate young people to come out and vote.

It remains to be seen who will take her place now,

but she had some recommendations for those who

might like to try. “It’s about service. Everything that

we have is supposed to be used to advance the cause

of humanity,” she responded when asked about why

she was running.

Recent polls show that Chicago Mayor Rahm

Emanuel could be in trouble. Half of the city doesn’t

approve of his performance and some early forecasts

have shown him barely pulling in a third of the vote

both before and after potential run-off elections. The

mayor has received most of his criticism from the

Left and members of his own party. He has come

under criticism for his education policies and

CUSP MAGAZINE WINTER ’14 ISSUE

attitude toward the city budget, as well as a general

perception of him being too conservative. Amara

sees things a little differently. If her strengths are

that she understands what life is like for most

Chicagoans, Rahm’s weakness is that very lack of

understanding and his lack of “curiosity” about

what most Chicagoans go through on a day-today

basis. “I just don’t think he gets it,” she said.

Amara stood out among the other challengers

to the mayor in that she is younger than most of

the current candidates by more than a decade,

African-American, and a woman. In an era in

which the financial and political connections that

often disadvantage young candidates, especially

those from underrepresented communities can

dictate who wins public office, Amara might seem

like an underdog, but she has a lot of historical

examples to look up to in this city. “I went to the

funeral of Jane Byrne last week, the first and

only woman to be mayor of the city. I ran into

many individuals [there] who worked on Harold

Washington’s campaign, the first of two African

American mayors. I think that in 2015 we are ready

for a different kind of leadership—I mean that in

terms of policies, ideas, and experiences. There

are those who are quick to discredit me because I

am black, because I am young, because I live on

the West Side, because I am a woman, but we’ve

not had enough people like me. If we’re not talking

to people like me, then who are we talking to? We

should be embracing characteristics of people

like me.” Amara’s vision for Chicago begins with

the reestablishment of a commitment to public

goods in the face of the increasing privatization

of public assets. While some of this privatization

has happened on Mayor Emanuel’s watch, other

privatization efforts occurred in the past. During

former Mayor Richard Daley’s tenure, parking was

privatized in Chicago and now the city is known

for its scant and ridiculously priced parking.

Amara is passionate about reversing the

wave of privatization. Although her ideas, such as

her call for a public bank might seem radical to

some, she sees such measures as vital if the city is

to keep struggling neighborhoods afloat.

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