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The Brilliance of Phil Ponce

The last debate for mayor of Chicago was held March 31, 2015 by WTTW, hosted by Phil Ponce an award winning television journalist. From the start of the debate Phil had total control. Before the debate started Phil gave the guidelines which included the participants couldn't interrupt each other.

The format of the debate seemed to have knocked Chuy Garcia off track seeing he couldn't interrupt the mayor as the mayor made key points on pressing issues and concerns. Chuy Garcia has been quick to point out Emanuel's shortcomings but slow to produce his plan of action relative to what he'll do differently if elected mayor.

Chuy continues to say he'll consult the community on just about every pressing issue facing Chicago. Newsflash, the community should of been consulted. You should already have the agenda the community wants you to adhere to.

At times Chuy seemed out of his league relative to how he'd handle the City's 3 budgets and the pension deficit. Then Phil asked him about his son's gang ties. "With respect, a lot of voters might wonder, commissioner, if you can't keep your son out of a gang, how can you steer the City away from gangs and violence?" - Phil Ponce

A great question, although the audience booed the question. As someone who grew up between Little Village and Pilsen yet was a Vice Lord from K-town, I always thought those in gangs were poor, at-risk, and fatherless such as me and my fellow comrades were. I didn't see successful Black men in my neighborhood. Not at least those who had jobs. The only time I saw a successful looking Black man was at church.

The notion Chuy's son would join a gang is woefully fascinating to me. Like dude, your dad has always had a good job as an Alderman and Cook County Commissioner and you wanna gang bang!? Absolutely stupid! Most of the gang bangers in the gritty streets of Chicago come from single parent homes, in poverty, live in the ghetto.

The question Phil asked changes the dynamics of how we address gang violence. Maybe not all gang members need an at-risk youth program or a job for that matter. Maybe some only need the love and time of their fathers'? The question Phil asked wasn't to sleight but rather to make us think?

Jim Allen