Edwenna Perkins was preparing to leave her impromptu campaign headquarters at T&JJ’s on 5th Avenue when she got a call. The poll results updated online by the Cook County Clerk’s office had her down by 4 percentage points with about 12 precincts reporting. But in a dimly-lit room in the back of Vintage Realty, the headquarters for the All In for Maywood (AIM) ticket, every precinct but two had been tallied by hand, the old-fashioned way. The computer tallies were running slower than Brittany Davis, a young AIM volunteer who’d been assigned the thankless task of tracking the votes of each precinct as they were reported by way of volunteers who would come with printed ballot tapes in their pockets, shivering from the cold.
Perkins was apparently content enough with her campaign that she was prepared to sleep past the anxiety of waiting for the results to come in online. If someone from the AIM campaign had not called to catch her up and invite her over to their headquarters, she might have slept through history. Instead, she was drenched with applause. Outside, in the damp air of 5th Avenue, Jessie Nolen, an AIM volunteer, reflected on the night’s larger significance. “Sometimes it’s not good to get rid of the old.”
When asked what parting remarks she wanted to make before she headed home, Mayor-elect Perkins referenced scripture: “The Lord gave me David and his sling shot and one stone, which represents one vote…[He gave me] a calling…and he gave me Gideon’s army-and that was all the difference.”