I am the secretary for the South Chapter of IVI-IPO. In the case of the special election to fill the vacancy caused by Jesse Jackson, Jr's(*) resignation, the South Chapter is currently organizing both and endorsement session (January 20th, Regent's Club, 51st & East End) and a candidate forum before January 20th.
The South Chapter is closely aligned with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's Fourth Ward Democratic organization.
One of the things that is frustrating about the instructions I'm getting is the emphasis that the forums and endorsement session are supposed to appear objective.
It's an insult to the intelligence of everyone to pretend that this endorsement is going to be objectively decided.
Ivory Mitchell, the chair of the South Chapter, will make sure that the endorsement session is filled with Preckwinkle loyalists. And these loyalists with endorse the candidate preferred by Preckwinkle.
There are two scenarios where this doesn't happen. 1. If Preckwinkle stays truly neutral. I would be astounded if this happens. 2. If Clerk of the Courts Dorothy Brown decides she wants to order her employees who are members of IVI-IPO to show up and vote for one of the other candidates.
The problem is that IVI-IPO is weak and has willing allowed itself to be taken over by ward organizations.
IVI-IPO needs to get its act together. It needs to accomplish two major things.
1. IVI-IPO needs to have a system of recruiting members beyond relying on politicians to get their employees and loyalists to buy membership dues.
2. IVI-IPO needs to take seriously the organization's credibility problems in the larger Chicago progressive community. (Outside Chicago, few know what IVI-IPO is.)
* When IVI-IPO voted to endorse Jackson in 2012, I was the only person in the room who did not vote to endorsed Jackson.