Governor-elect Bruce Rauner announced Wednesday his leadership team: Lt. Gov.-elect Evelyn Sanguinetti (chairwoman), political strategist Mike Zolnierowicz (transition director), Judy Baar Topinka aide Nancy Kimme (transition adviser), campaign manager Chip Englander (senior adviser) and Mike Schrimpf (communication director).
Rauner was dogged on the campaign trail about his failure to hire any African Americans in senior executive roles during his 30-year tenure at GTCR.
During the debates, Rauner indicated he cared more than his opponent, outgoing Gov. Pat Quinn, about the African-American community, and he shared examples of his charitable giving and running charter schools in African-American communities.
Rauner hammered Gov. Quinn on his record of taking the African-American community for granted, citing the fact that only 1 percent of all Illinois contracts have been let to African American-owned companies. He promised his leadership would be different, and that he would have diversity in his administration and create jobs for African Americans.
The election is over, and it is clear that Rauner’s winning formula included campaigning heavily in the African-American community, securing support of pastors of some of the largest African-American congregations in the city and reaching out to African-American political/street operatives.
None of those people has been selected for a leadership role on his transition team. How can Rauner affect change for African Americans in the state of Illinois if he continues to shut us out of leadership roles?
The more things change, the more they remain the same.