In 1983 when Senator Washington went to be Congressman Washington , I was on the Greyhound Bus with some of his supporters including his Court Reporter & Secretary Patricia Dunagan, Mini Riperton mother, my mother and Congressman Washington’s brother Roy.
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Roy then demanded that if I don’t have a Resume with me that I write one then because he wanted to introduce me to his brother Harold to work on his team. I really was not interested but my mom and Roy insisted, so I wrote a brief one. Our Bus almost ran off the road and we had to wait for Greyhound to send another bus from Chicago.
By the time we reached Washington D.C. it was time for the new Congressman Washington Office reception but it was delayed for 15 to 20 minutes while Congressman Washington interviewed me in his office. He seemed impressed however , he said his staff was full and he was satisfied with his entire staff , so his brother Roy was wrong their were no available jobs. Congressman Harold Washington went on to say that he was being run for Mayor and he believed he would win. He further stated that when he won , he wanted me to take over his job in Congress. He stated that I had a Dynamic Resume and that he had his eye on the economic Leadership and Support for economic development I brought to the community as the 1st Black Female and Youngest President of a Chamber of Commerce he had ever known and that I seemed to stay in the background giving everyone else the credits when I was heavily involved with the first major development of a Shopping Center in a primarily newly Black Communities on 71st & Jeffrey anchored by a 20yr lease for both Walgreens and Dominick Food Store.
In addition he boasted that I did the right things holding a series of meetings with a Diversity of People in the South Shore Chamber of Commerce Conference rooms to make sure the Country Club became the South Shore Cultural Center as part of the Chicago Park Districts so all could enjoy it’s luxuries, (Conferences], Golf & the Beach).
At a Reception the South Shore Chamber of Commerce had to honor some Business, Civic, Community & Government Leaders including Jim Compton of the Chicago Urban League, and others including the IL Dept of Commerce held at McCormick Place with an confirmed attendance of 35 although 75 were invited, over 500 people showed up including President John Stroger, US Senator Carol Mosely Braun all the major TV Stations, some Major Radio & Newspapers too. Besides the Awards a spear named Donald Pekkus was trying to convince Chamber members and the future Mayor of Supporting the World’s Fair to come to Chicago.
While that did not happen, and Congressman Washington did not attend to receive his Award, the Awardee from the IL. The Dept. of Commerce said he was taking off his hat and no longer representing who he worked for but as a Community Leader outside his work, told people about me & asked all to join him in drafting Babette Peyton to replace Harold Washington in Congress when became Mayor blowing me away. Immediately, the President of the Cook County Board Jumped onto the Stage and said he Seconded that.
President Stroger said I was more than qualified and said I grew up with his Kids. Senator Carol Mosley Brown, waved her hand and then the President of the Black McDonald’s Association said they would support me. Next the Manager of the Black Burger King Owners said they would support me and Steve Braxton who was the President of InnerCity Foods and a Black Burger Kung Franchaiee himself agreed to be my 1st Campaign Manager, Nigerian Entrepreneur Akande said his family would provide a Limo with a Driver and would have an airplane to take me where we could go by car and lastly one of the Lady Entrepreneurs that had a Clothes Boutique offered to dress me providing I let everyone know that I got my clothes from her.
Earlier that evening Al Raby came up to the Penthouse where the McCormick Place Staff put me to wait while they expanded the 35 people space to over 500 spaces. We hadn’t invited all those people but when they heard over the news Congressman Harold Washington, the next potential Mayor of Chicago was coming to get an Award they just showed up. There were many elected officials there too.
Al Raby told me he knew that Congressman Harold Washington had picked me as his replacement but that he was going to run too along with Lou Palmer, Marian Humes and others. I hadn’t sought to run but said we can be civil with each other and whoever won could help the other one. Well I did not not end up on the ballot because, I dropped out of the race, Supported Charles Hayes who was head of Labor. He was Supposed to stay in 6 yrs, retire from Congress and Support me for 6yrs.