Sixth District Race Makes History

by  Assistant Editor

For perhaps the first time in this country’s history, an ex-offender, who was recently pardoned after 17 years on death row, is challenging the powers that be and running for a state political office.

Aaron Patterson is the challenger against state Rep. Patricia Bailey (D-6), who is also a probation officer. Many people are wondering who will lock down the 6th District seat.

To many of the people, this is an historic event.

Despite repeated requests, state Rep. Bailey was unavailable for comment. But here are Patterson’s comments.

Aaron Patterson
RJ: Could you tell our readers a little bit about you?

AP: I’m 39 years old. I spent 17 years on death row; I was exonerated on January 10, 2003. My clemency was base on actual innocence; I was pardoned by former Governor George Ryan.

I’m also currently a candidate for Illinois state Representative for the 6th District which incorporates Englewood, Mid South, Back of the Yards, Canaryville [and the] Bridgeport area from 66th to 25th Street and west of the Dan Ryan.

RJ: How do you think that you are going to do in the Bridgeport area?

AP: I’m going to do real good in the Bridgeport area. A lot of the whites, and the Latino people that live in Bridgeport, I went to school (De LaSalle Institute) with most of them. I have contacts over there.

RJ: Did being incarcerated make you bitter to society?

AP: Of course it did. I can’t really explain it in details; it’s just a human emotion that if you are locked up for something that you didn’t do, you’re supposed to have a chip on your shoulder.

IL Sixth District Candidate for state Representative Aaron Patterson

One of the main reasons I have a chip on my shoulder is because none of the people involved who conspired to execute me have admitted their wrong-doing; including the Mayor–Mayor Richard M. Daley–Gangster Daley–and Dickey Devine, current State’s Attorney. Neither one of them have admitted that they made a mistake, or that they were over-zealous in their prosecution. They made no attempt to open my case to review it.

Upon my release, I have heard a lot of negative response from Dick Devine.

That’s why I’m pushing hard for Tommy Brewer to become the next States Attorney for Cook County.

RJ: If you are elected as state representative, what would be your first official act?

AP: I would submit the African American Anti Terrorist Bill to the General Assembly to vote, because I feel that Black people, people of color are being terrorized in our own city and state. That would be my first step to correct the injustices that have been done to the Blacks in this country, this state and especially this city!

RJ: What is your platform?AP: My platform will consist of several issues, such as public education.

We want some new creative ways for our children in the public schools to learn or to be educated; we want the resources that have been held out against most of our schools, especially in Englewood.

We want jobs, we don’t want excuses… point blank!

Any businesses that are coming into our areas, construction sites or others, we want them to employ people in and from our community.

RJ: What do you think should be done to bring awareness to the ex-offender’s plight?

AP: For those who are in power, they should take time out to employ the ex-offenders as consultants in order to get a clearer vision on what the ex-offenders need. They should work closely with the P.O.C.C.– Prisoners Of Conscience Committee Chairman Fred Hampton Jr.’s organization, use him in some type of office, because he’s familiar with the ex-offenders, and he will make sure that the funds will not be misappropriated.

RJ: So why did you chose to run for office?

AP: Well, by me being a victim of the system for so many years, and the laws that held me hostage came from the General Assembly of Illinois; as a strategy, it would be best for me to go down there and change those very laws so that innocent people presently locked up as well as those in the future can get out sooner than later.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized