A Taylor-Made Election

by  Assistant Editor

Residents from Robert Taylor A who relocated into the Quincy and Langston Homes were upset when they found out they could only vote for the B side of the development.

“I lived on the Robert Taylor A side for 33 and a half years,” David Wilson, a relocated resident from 4410 S. Federal said.

“I don’t think that that is right that I have to vote for whoever is down on the south end of the development when I have lived most of my life down on the north end.” Wilson said. “I know the people running there, why should I have to vote for an area that I didn’t live in?”

Mildred Dennis, the LAC president of Robert Taylor B, ran for president unopposed. Meanwhile, on the A side, there was a hot race between the incumbent president Mattie McCoy and community activist Shahshak Ben Levi for president.

None of the relocated residents from Robert Taylor A received a letter, a note, or a message in a bottle that stated that they would only be able to vote for the candidates on the Robert Taylor B side.

Shahshak Ben Levi, newly elected LAC president of Robert Taylor (A). Photo by Mary C. Johns

I brought these concerns to the LAC President of Robert Taylor A, Mattie McCoy to see what her response would be.

“Whatever CHA wants to do it is all right with me,” McCoy said angrily in her office at 4429 S. Federal. “The CHA is going to do what they want to do.”

“And besides, none of the relocated residents have the right to vote anyway. That’s what CHA said,” McCoy said.

“Then why are our names down at the polling place on side B?” Wilson asked, referring to his name and mine.

“Residents of public housing don’t know how to live in the private market anyway,” McCoy said.

“That is why a lot of the residents feel that their best interest is not represented by certain LAC presidents,” Wilson responded with rising frustration at McCoy’s remark.

McCoy then threatened to call CHA, started thrusting her hand in the air at us and said “Bye! Bye!” In order to not create more confusion, this reporter and Wilson left the office.

“It is time for a change. We need somebody in office who will honestly represent the residents in Robert Taylor,” Clarence Davis, a long time resident of Robert Taylor said.

Later in the day, I returned to 4429 S. Federal to check the results and interview the challenger for president, Shahshak Levi. I learned that McCoy was thrown out of the polling place four times by election judges during the course of the day. I?later learned that Shahshak won the election.

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