The upcoming March primary election provides a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the importance of our right to vote and the struggles of people everywhere to secure that right.
Please join 9th judicial subcircuit judge candidate Megan Goldish and me this Saturday, March 15th, 12 noon, for acomplimentary lunch at the Ethiopian Diamond II Restaurant, 7537 N. Clark St. We’ll view some incredible artwork and hear the inspiring story of Rogers Park residentSoraya Sheppard (right), a South African human rights activist who risked her freedom in the fight against the brutal apartheid regime.
Sonya will be joined by fellow South African native, Thabo Mzilikazi–known by his artist name Jabu. Together they fought against seemingly impossible odds to help win the right to vote for non-White South Africans. Both used art to protest apartheid, and are working hard to bring this long-suppressed artwork to larger audiences.
For nearly 50 years, the South African government imposed a brutal, violent system of oppression and racial segregation known as Apartheid, in which 30 million non-white South Africans were denied basic civil liberties, including the right to vote. The fight against apartheid defined the progressive movement worldwide in the 1980s and early 90’s. The Chicago City Council became one of the first city councils in the nation to officially condemn apartheid and impose sanctions and divestment against the South African Regime.
These efforts eventually succeeded and Nelson Mandela was elected President of South Africa in 1994–the first time all South Africans were given the right to vote.
As we prepare for our own election on March 18th, I wanted to introduce you to Soraya and Jabu, warriors for justice who understand in a unique and fundamental way, the importance of voting in every election. Soraya’s incredible story was told recently in this Chicago Sun-Times profile:
Soraya will showcase some of the rare apartheid-era artwork by South African artists, hidden away for years and only recently discovered.
Megan and I are honored to host Soraya and Jabu for this event. We want as many people as possible to hear their story, see some inspiring artwork, and sample some of the excellent African dishes prepared by the Ethiopian Diamond.
Following the luncheon, we hope you will be inspired by their story to vote early at the 49th Ward early voting site at Pottawattomie Park, 7340 N. Rogers, located just three blocks steps from the restaurant.
Regardless of which candidates you support, please exercise your own right to vote. Primary Election Day is Tuesday, March 18th (Polls open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.). Early voting is available now through Saturday, March 15th (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day) at Pottawattomie Park, 7340 N. Rogers Avenue in Chicago.
More information on early voting and Election Day polling place locations can be found athttp://www.chicagoelections.com/.
I look forward to seeing you on Saturday!