| 7 | Monday October 20, 1986—we take a bus

On Monday morning, when I got to my job, someone handed me a note--an early morning phone call from Manuel: “Read today’s Defender. See you on the bus.”

I bought the Chicago Defender and read the short article about last Thursday’s meeting, with a photo of Ms. Herrera looking scared, while Delia explained things and I stood by. 1 On the bus later that day was the entire committee of 7 plus 8 additional residents. We sang songs as we rode downtown.

Manuel spoke to us from the front of the bus: “The Park District changed its story Friday night. I figure the Mayor’s campaign monitored Friday’s 5PM news, heard Madison call us rabble rousers, while the child is lying there hurt, crying into the camera. They probably called Madison and told him he sounded insensitive. Then Madison called CBS and changed his story. He’s a hard-ass at 5PM, then all thoughtful and conciliatory at 10. You know something had to have happened during that time.”

As the bus rolled into the Park District’s parking lot on McFetridge Drive, south of the Field Museum, across the street from Soldier Field, Manuel concluded his analysis. “The Defender kept your issue alive. The Park District hoped it was over--two TV stories, then forgotten--but now, this paper gets passed around barbershops all week. So they’re defensive. It’s public safety and this is the Mayor’s guy. They were changing their story, on a Friday night, when they should have been off work! This is significant; they’re covering for the Mayor, they’re ripe! So, go in, make demands and win! Remember, total unity!”

Our delegation of 16 entered the building. Two security guards at the front desk called for help, and four more armed guards materialized and surrounded us. Tish Martin, Jesse Madison’s chief assistant, had come down to greet us, with amiable concern on her face. “Hello, everybody. You’re the folks from Logan Square? Mr. Madison had to go to an emergency meeting for the Mayor. But I know he wants to meet with you. Can you come back tomorrow, this time?” We had anticipated this possibility and we followed our plan by agreeing and going right back to the bus. Still, we were a little deflated, because we had been all pumped up and were ready to go.