Despite Quinn's participation in the march, none of the ministers would say Monday morning who they supported in the upcoming election. The endorsement question posed an awkward moment as clearly the governor has not convinced one of the most important democratic voting blocks that he's their man:
The governor marched with African-American ministers--including the reverends Jesse Jackson and State Senator James Meeks--to highlight what was called a state of emergency in the black community. The group headed to 115th and Perry where late last month 13-year-old Robert Freeman was shot over a dozen times in broad daylight in an apparent execution style murder.
Later the governor signed a bill to set up a violence prevention hotline for Chicago Public Schools students to provide anonymous tips on committed crimes and those about to occur.
"I pray that this can be a preventive measure for our children and the lives of our children," said Rep. Monique Davis, (D) Chicago.
"We don't want people to take a vow of silence. We want to stop the violence and stop the silence about the violence," said Quinn.
As the governor held a private meeting before the bill signing, on the internet, the Illinois republican party revived an effort to erode support for Quinn in the heavily democratic black community. The party's website is replaying video produced for the governor's unsuccessful primary opponent State Comptroller Dan Hynes, including the controversial ad featuring the late Mayor Harold Washington questioning Quinn's competence.
At the morning news conference, the reverend Meeks-- who said earlier this summer he was still considering an endorsement of Republican Bill Brady-- was asked if today's event was a signal he had decided to back Quinn.
"I like Governor Quinn, worked well with him over the past...but this is not an endorsement session, this is about the state of emergency," said Rev. Sen. James Meeks, (D) Chicago
"This is not a political initiative. This is a people's initiative coming from the hearts of the people of Illinois," said Quinn.