African American Voting Rights, and the Chicago Condition

by Joseph L. Simmons Jr.



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 1/23/2023

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 430
ISBN : 9781665579537
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 430
ISBN : 9781665579513
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 430
ISBN : 9781665579520

About the Book

It is a federal and state felony to buy or sell votes, or to offer to buy or sell votes, yet “Just Buy My Vote”: African American Voting Rights, and the Chicago Condition is a unique story that must be told. It is a story where I attempt to summarize without excruciating detail the relevant portions of nearly three centuries. “Just Buy My Vote” is also unique in that it covers race relations, black history and urban history; written from the perspective of the Southside of Chicago. “Just Buy My Vote” is intended to inform the reader about the significance of voting, by explaining voting rights in layman terms, with the use of the voting rights laws, history, philosophy, and sociology. It is an effort to raise the level of political consciousness among Americans, to help readers to realize the history of voting rights and be encouraged to use the power of the vote to further all of our best economic and social interests. Thankfully, in the presidential election of 2020, we got the voting part right! We now have a democracy to save. “Just Buy My Vote” is a tale of two stories. First, it tells a story about how African Americans in this country attained the right to vote, and utilized that power to improve their lives, and the lives of many others, for future generations. And secondly, “Just Buy My Vote” uses Chicago as a case study of how voting rights and voter apathy, helped enable an old school “political villain” and his machine, to maintain a system of public and governmental corruption in Chicago for two decades. In my writing this book, I aimed to inform on history, and have also attempted to describe a journey, within a journey.

About the Author

Joseph L. Simmons, Jr. is uniquely qualified to write “Just Buy My Vote”: African American Voting Rights, and the Chicago Condition because he grew up on the Southside of Chicago, and was an active participant in Chicago politics by organizing and fighting against the corrupt Daley Machine for several years. In addition to actively participating in many local elections, Joseph ran as a reform candidate for the Chicago City Council in 1995 and 1999. While Joseph was active in Chicago politics, he watched the beginning years of President Barack Obama’s political career in Chicago. In 1996, Joseph was appointed Treasurer of the Chicago Board of Education (a/k/a Chicago Public Schools), the first African American to have ever held that position. Joseph, while discovering years of financial mismanagement at the Board, was subsequently forced to sue the Board of Education for both political and racial discrimination for his removal from the Treasurer position. Joseph was also a plaintiff, and testified in a voting rights lawsuit against the City of Chicago (Barnett v. City of Chicago, 1997) a/k/a the “Chicago Ward Remap Case.” This lawsuit was successful in causing the re-drawing of city ward boundaries to increase the number of African American majority wards on the Southside of Chicago. And while living in Chicago, Joseph was a Board Member of the Citizens Information Services of Illinois (CIS), which among other things helped provide voter education services to the public, and in schools. Joseph’s opinions are informed not just from growing up and operating politically on the Southside of Chicago, which is the best education you can’t pay for, but also having received his B.A. in Psychology from Northern Illinois University, and a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy (MUPP) from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Joseph moved from Chicago to Las Vegas in 2002, and since moving to Nevada has worked as a Realtor, transacting buying and selling real estate in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Valley.