Derrick Smith, 10th District State Rep, no show at BCO meeting but is "going door-to-door"


Derrick Smith pictured in middle of screen from a Fox 32 news story*

Though Derrick Smith, 10th District Illinois State Rep., confirmed his attendance for the Bucktown Community Organization's (BCO) candidates forum event on Tues., Jan. 21, to Steve Jensen, BCO President, Smith was a no show. 

In a call to his office the next day, Smith's Office Manager indicated that the campaign staff would have to answer questions about his schedule. A campaign field worker called and said Smith had a conflict and that they didn't know who needed to be contacted about his not attending. 

According to his website, "I am committed to fiscal responsibility and stabilizing the Illinois pension systems. Maintaining an open line of communication with constituents is my top priority as a legislator." 

As a constituent, I stated that I haven't seen him since he was elected. She said that he will be at an NAACP event on the west side the first of February. Listed for a 10 a.m. NAACP meeting in the United for Better Living C.C, 4540 W. Washington is a Candidates for 10th District Illinois State Representative event. 

When asked if the campaign expects all constituents from the east side of the district to go way west to hear Representative Smith, she said that he would be at other events. However, they don't have them on the calendar as yet. The primary is Mar. 18.

She also said that he is out walking the district every day. So, if I haven't seen him, he should be knocking on my door soon. 

Smith's aversion to being in the spotlight in the community as well as in the media, relates to charges about a $7,000 bribe relative to a daycare center. Though ousted by a 100 to 6 vote in the Illinois House of Representatives he was elected back into the position.

He began fundraising earlier in the year but even those efforts shunned the media, as Fox 32's Dane Placko found out near Division and Elston.

He has repeatedly stated that when he is able to tell his side of the story, people will see that he is not guilty. Yet in mid-December, his attorney filed a motion to dismiss the charges based on "vagueness."

Not only has no one reported seeing him in the east side of his district, but it is not clear that he is doing much in Springfield. 

His website states that his areas of focus are: Jobs and Economic Development, Education, Seniors, Youth and Young Adults and Public Safety.  According to the Illinois General Assembly's Legislative Information System, Smith was the chief sponsor on 16 Illinois House bills and one Senate bill.

Of the 16 House bills, between March and November in 2013, 10 were of a memorial or congratulatory resolution type.  The House Bills are HB 1572, 2752, 2827, 2828, 3138, 3139, and the Senate bill is SB-1775. You can read about them on the State site. 

Smith, a life-long Chicagoan, has been political campaigner for nearly 30 years, according to his website. Professionally he has been a city employee in Streets and Sanitation, with the Forest Preserve District and in the office of the Medical Examiner.

*Photo courtesy of Fox 32 report by Dane Placko



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