We were fortunate enough to talk with Alderman Candidate…Glenda Franklin!!! Ms. Glenda Franklin has a strong and passionate care and concern for young men in the city of Chicago and is fighting to make a change. Ms. Franklin has a vision to see family oriented people in the communities once again, that is one of the reasons why she is running to be the Alderman of the 17th Ward. Lets get to know a Ms. Glenda Franklin…
3 Voices: Please introduce yourself to the world. Let the people know who Glenda Franklin is and what Glenda Franklin does.
Glenda Franklin: My name is Glenda Franklin. I am a resident of the 17th Ward, I’ve lived in the 17th ward all of my life. I have three sons, Samuel, Sean and Steven…27, 25 and 24 years of age. I have a nonprofit organization called W.A.T.C.H (What About The Children Here) that was birthed out of me raising my sons as a single parent. I always promised God that if He helped me raise my sons and get them going that I would come back to my old neighborhood, here in Chicago and help other young men fight for their lives, who don’t have parents or anyone to fight for them. Right now, I work for St. Sabina Resource Center where I am the Director of one of their youth programs called, GOALS. I work with children; we are trying to develop their socially and emotionally learning skills. I’m running for the 17th Ward aldermanic seat.
3 Voices: What made you decide to get into politics?
Glenda Franklin: To be honest, it’s been in my DNA. My mother has always been a community servant…I was born and raised in a home where we were taught that was a part of our life. Being a servant is the way to go, the way to be and to love people. My mother was one of the founders and people that helped develop CAPS. She’s worked with the 17th Ward, she’s worked with the Chief of Staff…always active for our community. So it’s always been in my DNA to be a servant and it’s just a part of my life to serve people and what better way to serve people than politics and have a heart for the people and love them.
3 Voices: You have been working in politics for quite some time now. Can you share with us what that experience has been like?
Glenda Franklin: As I mentioned, I grew up in a home where serving the community was a part of our life but from the time that I’ve grown up, and at the era where I was a young girl, my mother had 10 children. I have 9 siblings and I’m number 9. There’s one under me but I’m the baby girl, so growing up we had to sleep on the porch because we had so many children in our house. Of course our house was the Family Block House, every child came to. We were able to sleep on the porch, we would get up in the morning and everyone would go to each other’s house, kids would come out to play baseball, do all those great things together because it was community oriented, the parents…each one of them could spank us each one of us and get us in line. It was just a family community oriented. Now as time has gone by and my mother has passed on and a lot of our [influencers] has passed on, things are changing and that didn’t have to be! I don’t believe, if the foundation we have and we implemented that…one of the reasons why I’m running is because I’ve seen that change…I believe that we can go back to that, where our community’s can be family oriented, that our community’s can be loving again. We can be neighbors but somebody has to stand up, have a voice and go for that…show the people, lets love each other again and that it is possible. Another thing is, it’s become so normal for us to see all this crime and all these other things…that cannot be normal, we cannot become immune to that, somebody has to fight for this and I believe that God is raising me up to be one of those voices to fight for it which I have been doing predominately all of my life.
3 Voices: You are the founder of W.A.T.C.H as you mentioned beforehand. Can you tell us a little about W.A.T.C.H and how it actually came about?
Glenda Franklin: W.A.T.C.H. was birthed out of me as a single parent. When me and my husband divorced, I moved away to California with my children and I just saw how the system appears to be created to not allow our young African-American men to succeed. I saw that early on when they were little boys so I was always at their schools, always fighting for them…I was one of those mothers that did not play because not only are you not trying to not allow my son to pass to the next grade but you really trying to destroy his purpose and his destiny in life…I’m not gone have that! I’ve always been one of those parents, so I promised God, I said “can you imagine how many young people that do not have a parent that don’t have a voice, didn’t have that servant or person that would fight for the people, that fight for each other in their DNA because they wasn’t brought up like that or they didn’t have nobody to push them or anything like that?” Giving credit to my mom who instilled that in me, and so I told God “If you allow me, help me with my three sons, help me get them going because me and their dad divorced when they were very young, when they were like 3, 5 and 7. If you help me with them, I promise you I will go back to Chicago, to the community to fight for somebody else who doesn’t have anyone to fight for them.” W.A.T.C.H is primarily for young African-American men or young men period that doesn’t have anyone to fight for them. We started in 2005; it has just been some of the stories told by some of the young men. All of my programs gears towards not only teaching them a skill or develop. My goal was to get to their social and emotional like their character, I wanted to do something to build their character, build their self esteem, not only teach them how to work a computer. One of my classes was the Class Without Walls, that was my art class where we take them like to the beach to paint, go to the park and see things that they have never seen. It would amaze you how some of these teenagers who never been Downtown or things like that just showing a young man a different environment, giving them a different experience and that would change their whole outlet on life. We had Money Matters where we had banks come in and teach them how to open a bank account. We’re building model cars while we’re building characters because model cars makes you think and you have to have patience, it has to be strategic, it has to be little and all of that. I just didn’t want to give them something on the outside to do. I wanted it to be working something in the inside as well.
3 Voices: Why did you decide to run for Alderman of the 17th ward? What is your vision for it? What changes would you like to make in the community?
Glenda Franklin: Well of course we have the academic development; we have the school system, trying to get better schools. We have the safety in the communities, we all want to change all of those things, so definitely working on the safety with the gun issues but what I want to do as well with all of those…we will work hard to change and have a voice. I don’t feel like enough people are speaking out about it and we’ve became immune to the crime…NO! We should be outraged. Another thing that I would like to put in place…that I am going to put in place is that we don’t have a system in place if we walked away today, if every leader walked away from their platform today, there will not be any system in place for our young people to keep going, develop and become the next leader. We have to start developing our young people…you guys are our future, you are my tomorrow why wouldn’t I spend most of my time developing you and teaching you how to fight just as well as I’m fighting and putting you in place. That’s one of the things; developing the young people…of course we definitely have to fight against this crime. We have to talk to the young people to see what we can do, what do you want to see and we got to have jobs. We have to bring jobs into the community, we have to bring development into the community but they are not going to come into the community if we’re killing each other, how do we stop them from killing each other? We have to be able to exceed these people, half of them are doing this is because this is survival, they don’t think no one loves them, they don’t think no one cares. We can’t just be a politician just out there for ourselves; it has to be a community effort. People have to see your genuine love for them and know that you really out there to help them change.
3 Voices: How can the people reach out to you and get involved with your projects?
Glenda Franklin: We have a website that’s glendafranklin.com you can actually volunteer on there, you can even sign up to vote. Our campaign number is (773) 309-1031 but definitely go to the website.
And there you have it! You heard it all from Ms. Glenda Franklin herself! Please be sure to visit her website www.glendafranklin.com and get involved with bettering your community TODAY! Much success to you Ms. Franklin and be sure to keep in touch.