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Across Black America Week of April 13, 2017.

Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 4/13/2017, midnight

Illinois

Young Chicago-area people have started a campaign to inspire Chance the Rapper to run for mayor of the Windy City in 2019, reports Billboard. The irony is that campaigners are looking for Chance to knock out incumbent Rahm Emanuel … Chance’s dad, Ken Bennett is Emanuel’s chief of staff. The Chano4Mayor2k19 drive seeks to have the Coloring Book rapper take on incumbent Emanuel in 2019, aiming to deny the former Obama administration official a third term. On the chano4mayor.com site, fans write, “Hey Chance, We think you’d be a great mayor. We love your music—we’ve been following your career from the first 10 days. We also love the work you’ve done to give back to the city that raised you. You represent Chicago on the world stage and you do us proud ... We think if you ran, you would win. And if you won, you would do a good ass job ... You’d send a message that Chicago is ready for a new generation of leadership. The address for the site, launched on Apr. 2 by a group of fans, is inspired by Chance’s “Somewhere in Paradise song.” The organizers cite a number of reasons that Chance should get a chance to run the city, including the following cited facts about Emanuel’s tenure: 50 public schools closed, the shutdown of six of Chicago’s 12 mental health clinics and the Department of Justice finding a pattern of civil rights violations by the Chicago Police Department, including the murder of Laquan McDonald. As evidence of Chance’s qualifications, the group notes that he has supplied coats to the homeless, has a long-running open-mike series for local teens and his recent $1 million donation to Chicago Public Schools.


On April 4, Mound City made history by electing Allison Madison, the first woman selected for the position of mayor for the small town as well as the first African American. ‘It’s history,” Madison told local television station KFVS of her win. “Now that part, that’s amazing, that’s just awesome to me and I guess I’m happy about that! I was just happy and I thought ‘okay I’m now the mayor of Mound City, but work is going to begin’,” she said of the moment that she realized she would be the next mayor. Madison added that she wasn’t always sure of her choice to enter politics: “I just thought ‘okay, I’ll just try this to see what can I do’. To see if I can make a difference in the town.” But she pressed forward, submitted her name and then put signs in yards until her campaign started to truly gain traction. She ultimately ended up winning and making history. Now, Madison hopes that she can be an inspiration to other young people as to what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it."You can do this,” she said.

Kansas

Topeka’s city council plans to consider naming a bridge on S.E. 10th Street after Nick Chiles, the founder and editor of an African-American newspaper called the Topeka Plaindealer. Published from 1899 through 1958, the Plaindealer became the longest running Black newspaper in the United States, according to the Kansas State Historical Society. The newspaper had the largest circulation of any African-American newspaper west of the Mississippi River, said a letter the city received supporting the move from native Topekan Deborah Dandridge, field archivist/curator of African American Experience Collections for the University of Kansas Libraries. Topeka’s city government on Thursday made public the preliminary agenda for its April 18 meeting, where members plan to discuss but not act on a proposal to make Chiles the namesake of the bridge over the Shunganunga Creek, just west of S.E. Branner Trafficway. The city is currently finishing up a project to replace the bridge. Preliminary plans call for the governing body to consider approving the name change May 2, according to a document in the agenda packet.