BISHOP LARRY D. TROTTER, pastor of the Sweet Holy Spirit Church, other clergy and supporters, Wednesday, February 8, 2023,
endorsed mayoral hopeful Dr. Willie Wilson for mayor saying he’s been helping the community for 40 years and did so without asking for any money. Wilson said he will not take a pension and will donate his mayoral paycheck to various churches. “The only one
I will be accountable to is God,” he said. (Photos by Chinta Strausberg)
The Black church will pull mayoral hopeful Dr. Willie Wilson across the finish line, Bishop Larry D. Trotter said this week during a press conference held at the Sweet Holy Spirit Church, 8621 S. South Chicago Ave., where he was flanked by scores of supporters and clergy who endorsed Dr. Wilson for mayor.
“I believe the Black church will pull Dr. Wilson across the mayoral finish line,” Bishop Trotter told the Chicago Crusader after he held a press conference announcing several ministers who head African-American churches agreed to support Dr. Wilson for mayor.
“Those (candidates) who came through the church, like those from down South will win. “I think the same thing holds true when we see a good and Christian candidate, one who has a belief in God. We’re going to push him over,” Bishop Trotter said.
He went on to say, “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know when God is using a man or a woman. It is very clear to us why we are here. This is our time.”
“Four years ago, I was the first African-American pastor to endorse the present mayor, Lori Lightfoot, and so here we are four years later. It’s time for a change,” he said with supporters echoing his chant.
“I began to ask if there is anyone up there who is equal to the candidate that we are now endorsing…good people, but ego driven. None of the candidates has done much for our community more than Dr. Willie Wilson.”
Referring to Dr. Wilson, Bishop Trotter said, “We celebrated [him] for what he did with our young men who didn’t have bail. We celebrated him for food, celebrated him for the gas, I also want to celebrate him because he has a plan for the city to get crime off the streets.”
In endorsing Dr. Wilson, Bishop Trotter said, “We don’t need no more carjackings. We don’t need no more shootings and no more drive-bys. We have a man who God has sent to us that we are going to support to be the next mayor of the city.”
In accepting the endorsements, Dr. Wilson thanked them for their support saying, “We will win this time. I’m running for all citizens. to make sure that we all benefit fairly and equally, and no one is left out of the whole scenario. That means contracts, jobs, the whole nine yards.
“It also means the number one priority is crime. We are going to stop it with the help of the Lord,” Dr. Wilson said. “Crime has no color. The carjacking must and will stop. These particular people who go around hurting people, killing people…it will be completely ended very shortly.
“We have got to get behind our police officers,” Dr. Wilson said. “I can’t take the handcuffs off the police officer[s] and put them on the people who are actually doing the crime.” Dr. Wilson said Mayor Lightfoot “seems to care more about the crooks than the people who are the victims. “Something is wrong with that scenario.”
Referring to the controversial statement he made during one of the mayoral forums where he said police should have the right to “hunt people down like a rabbit,” Dr. Wilson said, “These people get by (committing crime) today and tomorrow. They commit a crime next week…and nobody gets caught. We lose daughters, sons, mothers, fathers. It’s ridiculous.”
Dr. Wilson said using the word rabbit was not a racist term. “It means down South wherever that rabbit goes, we hunt him down. Whenever somebody commits a crime on any of us, we will, we must track them down.
“I understand the plight of police and people in the street. We understand about good and bad, but we have to talk and work it out. Everybody’s got to win.” Dr. Wilson said he supports the police and vowed to ensure the police are integrated when policing the city.
“I am pro-policeman, and you already know I am pro-community,” he said. “The same police officer is part of our community.
“I am not accountable to no one, except Jesus Christ. I am not taking a paycheck. I will not take $50,000 or $100,000 or $1 million to come between myself and the people.
“We must lower these real estate taxes to keep these seniors in their homes.” Dr. Wilson said he will make sure seniors get three meals a day and a fourth, if need be, free of charge.
“We will make sure there are urgent care clinics in the neighborhoods, including one put in senior homes, so they won’t have to go out south” to get medical care.
“You won’t have to worry about walking to the store and somebody carjack you or sitting in the yard and somebody come by shooting. We will hold them accountable,” Dr. Wilson said. “If you hurt one of our people, so help me God, we’re going to get you,” he told a cheering crowd of seniors.
In endorsing Dr. Wilson, Pastor Robert Patterson said, “Dr. Wilson is my friend….” He referred to Dr. Wilson being born into poverty in Gibson, Louisiana and how he ran off a work camp that Dr. Wilson likened to slavery with dogs biting at his heels. Pastor Patterson said Dr. Wilson “is not running because he needs a job. He is running to do a job.”
Agreeing was Dr. Andrew Gibson, pastor of Vernon Baptist Church, who said, “There are a lot of people who come into our community we have not seen all year long, and they come into our community asking us if we will vote for them. We don’t see them once they get into community.”
Referring to Dr. Wilson, Pastor Gibson said, “For the last 40 years, there has been a man in our community who has not asked for a vote, but he has been helping our community for over 40 years. I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to cast my vote for a man who has been doing the work…I’m voting for Dr. Willie Wilson.”
Flanked by a number of supporters, Dr. Wilson promised not to take a pension if elected mayor. He has already said he would take the mayoral paycheck and donate it to churches of different faiths.
Elder Elaine Gardner, who gave the closing prayer, said Dr. Wilson “has the heart of the people.”