"I'm from Barrington, and I don't need your vote," State Senator Dan Duffy told folks at a south side barbershop recently, "but I'm here because I vote on legislation that impacts your community. I want you to ask me questions," he said.
Kerry Lester has a great feature on State Senator Dan Duffy in this morning's Daily Herald, in which she chronicles Duffy's efforts to reach beyond the confines of his own constituents in northern Illinois, as have several other legislators who are participating in a program organized by the nonpartisan Young Government organization, which brings in groups of legislators to African-American communities.
Duffy also noted that the Republican party needs to do a better job of reaching out to African-Americans, many of whom, Duffy has learned, think that the Republicans "have just written off" blacks, which obviously impacts the GOP's ability overall to build bridges and a broader base of support statewide.
Is a statewide race in Duffy's future? As Duffy mentioned to Kerry Lester, "If people are going to win statewide offices, then... you need to be receiving votes and building relationships in the African-American communities."
Well, even if Duffy is more concerned about the success of the Illinois GOP in general, rather than any statewide ambtitions of his own, it's great that Republicans like Duffy are really starting to get the idea of reaching out to minorities to learn about their concerns and problems, and figuring out how to give them an option beyond the Democrats.
Did I mention that Duffy is a fellow Augustana grad and fraternity brother? Well, now I have. ;-)
And, yes, I know the photo is from a Libertyville parade, not a south side barbershop, but that's the best photo I had. You can see Duffy's outreach photos on the DH website along with the full article.