Doug alerted me to a great lil’ gem over at Pub Def: 17th ward Alderman Joe Roddy won Pub Def’s Dick of the Day Award for ignoring one of his constituents by purposefully, almost theatrically reading a paper while she gave testimony about her fears over losing her house to eminent domain.
Gotta say, Joe’s behavior in the Pub Def video is pretty much in keeping with my direct and indirect interactions with him back when I lived in the 17th ward, and it’s also in keeping with a lot of the stories I heard from neighbors there. There were the ignored requests for help with a problem property on the block that suddenly got a response from Roddy right before it was election time (And the response didn’t even deal with the complaint, which was that a chronically unboarded building owned by the Wash U Med School was not getting boarded and was the ongoing center of the crime on the block. His message said that Wash U owned the building and “You’re really gonna like the way your block looks in 12-18 months,” and that was it!). And there was the time I saw him warmly joking with a large-scale problem property owner, as if they were old friends, at a Forest Park Southeast Community Development Corporation meeting. And there was the time that I tried to visit Alderman Roddy in his office and the second I walked in, he started yelling at and insulting me in a very intimidating manner (yes, really; no, I’m not exaggerating, unfortunately.).
And I’m not even getting into the stuff I heard from neighbors. Suffice it to say, one could almost call this a lifetime achievement award.