Suburban Lawmakers Tour, Chat At Barbershops In African-American Community

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Hyde Park Hair Salon

Now-President Barack Obama’s barber, Zariff (L), gives a haircut to Reverend William Townsend at the Hyde Park Hair Salon in Chicago as a television displays a news report about Obama on November 25, 2008. (Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Some barbershops in Chicago’s African-American communities are getting some unlikely visitors.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, they are part of tours being organized to put people in touch with elected officials, or vice versa.

The Daily Herald reports the politicians are getting off their own turf. They are going on tours organized by the nonpartisan Young Government organization, based in Chicago, and run by Jeffrey Coleman, son of 34th Ward Republican Committeeman Percy Coleman.

The goal, Coleman tells the Daily Herald, is to help both Republicans and Democrats recognize newly energized and better-educated groups of young voters.

The Daily Herald reports state Sen. Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington) went on one such tour, and made a stop at the Blades Barber Shop, 12725 S. Halsted St.

He told the customers in his visit this past fall, “I’m from Barrington, and I don’t need your vote,” but he wanted them to ask him questions because he votes on legislation that impacts their community too, the Daily Herald reports.

U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-ill.) and former Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes have also taken part in Young Government tours, the Daily Herald reports.

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