“Pastors unite to raise awareness for the upcoming elections.”
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“Pastors unite to raise awareness for the upcoming elections.”

On the 25th of January 2024, spiritual leaders from diverse faiths, religions, and denominations convened at Pearl’s Place Restaurant, located at 3901 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL, to discuss the significance of voting in the upcoming elections scheduled for March 19, 2024. 

The event was spearheaded by Pastor Leslie Sanders, Bishop Shirley Coleman, and Pastor Ira Acree, who also provided a complimentary meal to all attendees. 

The purpose of the gathering was to introduce prospective candidates affiliated with the Democratic Party and remind religious leaders of the importance of encouraging their congregations to vote. The event aimed to increase civic participation and promote awareness regarding the electoral process. 

Pastor Sanders said, “By uniting, we can encourage our communities to exercise their right to vote and make a difference in our country’s future. Let’s work together to make sure our voices are heard and our values are represented.”

The collaborative efforts of the pastors showcased their commitment to promoting civic engagement and their dedication to making a positive impact on society. The gathering served as a platform for spiritual leaders to unite for a common cause and emphasized the significance of voting in shaping the future of the community.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said, “We need to establish a strong democratic foundation. We have to show that we are a strong country and a strong democratic state. She reminded everyone that the Democratic National Convention has only been hosted in Chicago twice. I am grateful for all of you here today. I am grateful for the work that you are doing, will do, and have done.” 

Rep Danny K. Davis informed the audience that democracy as we know it is on the line and encouraged leaders in the room to get out and vote.

Bishop Shirley Coleman said that Toni Preckwinckle was “Velvet Steel.” She has been proud to have followed her when she was an alderman. And that she is an incredible leader of the Democratic Party in Illinois. 

“You can tell our character when we respect God when people aren’t watching you! And so the character of Toni Preckwinkle has been the same since I met her in the city council. There’s not an event, funeral, and/or wedding that she won’t support. Thank you for the character of being a woman of God. And I call her “Velvet Steel,” because she rules with such love and passion. I am proud of the work and the mentorship you have brought to the entire Democratic Party.”

Justice Joy Virginia Cunningham running for Illinois supreme court expressed that the Democratic Party has done a marvelous job picking a wonderful slate of candidates. Every one of the candidates needs your support. They were carefully vetted by the party for the people, from the people, and by the people.

“To God be the glory we can assemble here with our spiritual and business leaders to help elect the righteous individual that I believe God will touch their hearts. The 2024 elections are very important especially when we see the tyrant of the Republican party trying to take the country backward,” said Wallace Gaylord Bradley, aka – the urban translator.

Kari K. Steele, president of the Board of Commissioners at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District said, “I’m a chemist and environmentalist licensed through the state and need everyone to get out and vote on March 19th.”

“We represent 125 other municipalities more if you count partials. We met yesterday with all the mayors that are out there within our district. The most important issue was flooding. Climate change is a real issue that is facing us. If somebody is living paycheck to paycheck, one flood would be devastating economically. I try to attend any community meeting where folks will have me talk so that we can work on these issues,” Commissioner Daniel “Pogo” Pogorzelski said. 

The event drew to a close with a speech from Jesse Jackson, in which he emphasized the significance of voting in the primary election. Pastor Sanders then delivered closing remarks, expressing gratitude to all the political and spiritual leaders in attendance. 

Pastor Sanders gave a shout-out to 3:16 Magazine for their coverage of the event. Lastly, he reminded the audience to exercise their right to vote on March 19, 2024. The event appears to have been successful in fostering a sense of civic duty and community engagement.