7th District Candidates Face-off For First Time

Monday, February 5, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: Danny K. Davis and Anthony Clark in Melrose Park. | VFP 

Congressman Danny K. Davis (7th) and Anthony Clark, his challenger in the Democratic Primary, faced each other during a formal campaign event for the first time on Feb. 3.

The short exchange was a study in contrasts, as Davis presented himself as the experienced statesman while Clark presented himself as the face of change.

During the opening salvos of the roughly 15-minute exchange, which was sponsored by the Proviso Township Democratic Organization and hosted in Melrose Park, Clark echoed a critique of Davis that he first lodged earlier that week after Davis announced that he was boycotting President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address on Jan. 30.

“The issues we face are systemic,” said Clark, 35, who explained last week that he would have attended the address as a show of strength.

“So many people are anti-Trump, but if you’re not anti-system that has led to Trump, you’re not doing anything,” Clark said. “We have to change things systemically.”

Davis, who has served in Congress since 1997, touted his experience in office while pointing out the Republican Party’s stronghold at the federal level.

“Our country is facing one of the most difficult and challenging periods that any of us have ever known,” Davis said.

“We’ve never experienced a time where one political party had control of the entire apparatus of federal government,” he added.

“In order to challenge and block some of the draconian notions and ideas they have, you really n need people who are serious and who understand the process.”

Clark, a first-time candidate who teaches at Oak Park and River Forest High School and is the founder of the nonprofit Suburban Unity Alliance, said that, if elected, he would extend the grassroots nature of his campaign to his governing style.

“It’s extremely important to send the message to constituents about the importance of empowering ourselves,” Clark said.

“It’s going to take 100 percent grassroots effort and boots on the ground to build bridges that haven’t existed throughout the 7th District between communities,” he added. “We need to do for ourselves. Nothing changes systemically on a national level until it changes on a local level.”

Davis, after pointing out the pieces of legislation that he introduced, said that he is more equipped to work with a GOP-dominated Congress to pass policies that might benefit his constituents.

“If you read [the Almanac of American Politics], it says I’m able to convince colleagues across the aisle, because of my consistent efforts to deal with the needs of the poor,” Davis said.

Clark, after thanking Davis for his service, said that “what we’ve learned today is that [Davis] would do the same thing.

“Isn’t the same thing what got us to this point?” Clark said, before pointing out that school closures and gun violence in the district have increased while “current political leaders [are still trying] to address symptoms instead of treating root causes. I’m not the same thing.”

Davis, who spoke last, shot back, “Marcus Garvey says that any group that does not know anything about its history is like a tree with no roots.

“I ain’t had nothing to do with people being impoverished except try to change it,” Davis said. “I ain’t had nothing to do with what 300 years of slavery and disadvantages have done, so to talk about Danny Davis as part of these problems is kind of ludicrous. It’s also an indication that one obviously does not know much about their history.” VFP 

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11 thoughts on “7th District Candidates Face-off For First Time”

  1. I wasn’t at this event, but Danny Davis has got to go. As Clark stated, what has he done for his district lately? Davis’ “past experience” being reason enough to vote for him again? BS. Thanks, Anthony, for standing up to the old blowhard. I’ll vote for Clark any day over Davis. Davis’ past experience comment reminds me of Henderson Yarbrough’s last run for Mayor platform that said something like “Experience Count”. And he lost by a significant percentage. What even grates me more, is that Davis can’t even use the correct grammar (at least according to his words reported in this article). Examples: I ain’t had nothing to do with people being impoverished except try to change it,” Davis said. “I ain’t had nothing to do with what 300 years of slavery…” Why can we not drop the race or slavery card? We live in the 21st century and we have a shit-load of problems in our country and around the world, RIGHT NOW. Do I need to mention Trump and what he is doing to our democracy and the rights as guaranteed by the Constitution? Let’s think about how to go forward, and not to look back.

    1. THE MAYWOOD WATCHER: I agree with you on this 100%! As Anthony V. Clark once stated about some of the politicians that are apart of the “Democratic Political Machine,” they’re treating symptoms, but not really truly treating the root causes of it.

      I’m glad that you mentioned Henderson Yarbrough, Sr. when he was trying to run for Mayor last year. Danny K. Davis endorsed him and the Maywood United Party to run for the positions for the village of Maywood.

      And, Richard Boykin is another prime example that is an associate of Danny K. Davis, that wants his position as U.S. Congressman when he retires, that hasn’t done anything as a Cook County Commissioner. Whenever he speaks, he don’t make any sense, and he turns his words upside down that will give a person a headache.

  2. The same people who host this event, is supporting Mr. Davis. Once you read these campaign signs Mr. Davis and Boykins is on the signs. People need not get caught up in the sauce and vote for one of the same team members, because you receive the same results. The trying to come up with bills, that has no chance of passing. The above two are standing on other people plate forms trying to steal support of others ideals, this political game has become sick. People we are hurting in our communities, vote for a person who is trying to improve our current situation.

    1. MOMA LOVE: Well the Proviso Democratic Township Committee, was hosted by Karen A. Yarbrough, who is running for Cook County Recorder of Deeds; she is the wife of trustee/former Maywood mayor, Henderson Yarbrough, Sr.

      You’re right that the political game has become sick, and very dysfunctional. But, the 7th Congressional district needs to take a stand and say enough is enough, and use their voice with a ballot to vote the candidates out. When ordinary people, working people, and low-income people don’t participate in the local political election, the community will be doomed. That’s why people need to participate, learn, educate yourself on the candidates that your selecting, and ask the hard questions.

  3. Ask Davis , what has been doing ,on his term,why he was supporting the bad politics machine and district 209 fight ,we defeted himand his cronies ,let elect Antony Clark and give a opportunity to a new face ,and progress sive official,in the same way we elected 209 school board ,and see how wonderful has been ,we just kick out ,people like ,boycon and David .

  4. After reading this article…I will admit that Anthony V. Clark won this debate at the Proviso Democratic Township Committee meeting. Danny K. Davis is an old school Democratic political machine that is self-serving, and haven’t done anything for the 7th Congressional District.

    Here is what Davis stated: “I ain’t had nothing to do with people being impoverished except try to change it.” “I ain’t had nothing to do with what 300 years of slavery and disadvantages have done, so to talk about Danny Davis as part of these problems is kind of ludicrous. It’s also an indication that one obviously does not know much about their history.”

    Now, if you visit some neighborhoods on the South Side and West Side of Chicago, or the suburbs of Maywood, Bellwood (it looks like a third word country; years and decades of economic disinvestment; mental health facilities being shut down; public education schools are being closed down, and etc.) Here is a Congressman that endorsed the Proviso First Party, three former incumbent members of Proviso District 209 that brought the high schools of Proviso East and Proviso West down, and PMSA even suffered. (even though PMSA was ranked Top 10 in Cook County)

    Also, Davis and his co-worker, former Illinois State Senator, Ricky Hendon used bullying tactics on Anthony V. Clark to challenge the signature petitions. Here is a video that I posted about the secret meeting that Davis, Hendon, late Michael Scott (Chicago Public Schools President), and former U.S. Secretary of Education, Arnie Duncan. I will post this again to wake people up!



    It is time for a major change in the 7th Congressional District. Like I said, I thank Danny K. Davis for his service, but Anthony V. Clark is going to bring major progressive changes.

  5. Anthony will do very well I think Davis needs to give it up saying oh people are in and they are doing the same thing if one says no the other says no they are are following Danny Davis in the wrong direction nothing has changed in years come on Clark you can do this

    1. STEPHANIE: You’re so correct! Anthony V. Clark is 100% true grassroot and a progressive candidate, that is having boots to the ground to talk to the resident of the 7th Congressional District. His idea and passion of community activism is amazing. He needs a lot of support. Please knock on your neighbor’s door, tell your friend, and family member…and help spread the word out for Anthony V. Clark, and Cook County Commissioner candidate, Brandon Johnson. Let’s beat the “old Democratic machine” out for good!

  6. I don’t like Anthony Clark’s statement on IL pensions. He calls them unaffordable giveaways, suggests looking into 401(k)s. From Reddit:

    “AVC18Illinois – 7 candidate • 1d
    Sadly, people and businesses are already being driven away. Illinois led the country last year in regards to residents leaving the state. I recognize that the state’s pension crisis threatens to burden taxpayers with massive, ever-escalating taxes to bail out a system that is simply not sustainable. One issue that must be addressed is the unaffordable pension benefits politicians have given away to government employees and unions over the years. This action has created a burden that the people of Illinois should not and cannot carry. There is no quick fix as this issue will take years for us to dig ourselves out of, but I believe that we must investigate moving away from our current plans and looking into 401(k) style plans for government workers as well as the impact of the age individuals are receiving their pensions considering life expectancy etc. No answer is popular, but we truly have to look at accountability and how we can all help the state. I am a union employee, and we have to be able to bring union employees to the table to discuss these issues. We cannot demonize government employees, but must identify commonalities and work together to address this ever growing issue.”

    Big fail.

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