Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Democratic Party of Evanston holds GOTV rally ahead of March primaries

Henry Frieman/The Daily Northwestern
Peaceful demonstrators interrupted the Democratic Party of Evanston’s “get out the vote” rally at the Unitarian Church Sunday.

The Democratic Party of Evanston held a “get out the vote” rally at the Unitarian Church of Evanston Sunday. Mayor Daniel Biss, U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston), Cook County State’s Attorney candidate Clayton Harris III, Clerk of the Circuit Court candidate Mariyana Spyropoulos and several other Democratic leaders were in attendance. 

With the March 19 primaries around the corner, the rally intended to inform Evanston voters about the Democratic candidates endorsed by the party. 

At the beginning of the rally, several dozen demonstrators wearing keffiyehs and holding signs entered the church to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. They began shouting “Ceasefire now” and “Our money is going to kill people,” while the Democratic Party’s speakers attempted to continue with the event. 

“If the Democrats want to continue to get progressive votes…they cannot continue to take us for granted, they cannot continue to be complicit in the dispossession of Palestinians,” said Lesley Williams, former president of the Community Alliance for Better Government and one of the organizers of the protest. 

The protestors departed after several minutes, after which the rally resumed.

Biss moderated the event, introducing each candidate, emphasizing the importance of the primaries and encouraging attendees to vote. 

“We have just under four weeks from now a critical primary election where our progressive values are at stake in several key elections,” Biss said.

Schakowsky, who is running unopposed in the primary, also took to the podium to introduce Harris, who is running for Cook County State Attorney against Eileen O’Neill Burke. 

In his remarks, Harris spoke about safety and justice, emphasizing that they are mutually inclusive missions in his campaign. 

“Safety and justice are not an ‘either-or’ proposition,” Harris said. “Safety and justice are an ‘and’ proposition. We do not have to sacrifice one for the other.” 

He also discussed his experience working in the State’s Attorney’s office, as well as his current job as a public policy professor at the University of Chicago. 

Harris said he wants to tackle the people at the “top of the pyramid” who organize others to commit crimes like retail theft. 

“I ask you, what does an 11-year-old know what to do with a catalytic converter? They are being sent out with these carjackings, so we are going to attack the problem,” he said.

Spyropoulos, who is running against incumbent Clerk of the Circuit Court Iris Martinez, also spoke at the event. 

Currently the Commissioner for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, Sypyropoulos cited her 25 years of attorney experience. She also highlighted examples of previous failings at the Clerk’s office, including when criminal records were accidentally exposed online and the identities of at least 5000 juveniles were made public last month. 

“That’s mismanagement and that’s dysfunction. We cannot afford to have a system that works that way,” Spyropoulos said. 

She added that she plans to bring “ethics and transparency” to the office. 

In closing, Schakowsky said the general election in November is an opportunity to welcome “the most progressive era” the United States has seen in decades. 

“So let’s get this done. Let’s get our candidates elected right here,” Schakowsky said. 

Email: [email protected] 

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