Late polls show Johnson campaign surging, thanks to rank-and-file member support, grassroots organizing in every corner of the city

Dozens of CTU members in red pose with Brandon Johnson for Mayor signs in the CTU Center’s Jacquelyn Vaughn Hall.

While mayoral front-runner and school privatizer-in-chief Paul Vallas resorts to racist dog whistles and Mayor Lori Lightfoot resorts to lies, Brandon Johnson is keeping his eye on the prize by focusing on the issues that matter to educators and working families across the city.

Out on the campaign trail, Johnson keeps it positive, focusing on the transformative change he will bring to our schools and city. First on many voters’ minds is safety, an issue that hits home for Brandon. 

“My wife and I are raising our three children on the west side, in Austin, one of the most dynamic, beautiful neighborhoods in the city but also one of the most violent,” Brandon said during a recent forum. “So these debates about violence and safety are personal for me. We’ve had to take cover, huddling with our kids as shots ring out on our block. This is my lived experience.”

Vallas, Garcia promise more of the same

Unlike FOP-endorsed candidate Paul Vallas and Chuy Garcia, whose safety platforms boil down to more of the same, Brandon has a comprehensive public safety plan that rejects tired old strategies that have not worked. He notes that at almost $2 billion a year, the police budget is bigger than ever but Chicagoans feel less safe. 

Brandon plans to attack the root causes of violence by investing in people and communities. Top on his list is passing the Treatment Not Trauma ordinance, which Mayor Lightfoot refuses to even call for a vote, reopening mental health clinics, providing youth job hiring and training and redirecting police to focus on solving violent crime rather than addressing mental health crises which don’t require a police response.

As a former teacher and a parent of three CPS students, Brandon also is invested in ensuring that every student — regardless of race, income or zip code — receives a fully resourced, supportive, safe and healthy learning environment. No other candidate, not Lori Lightfoot and certainly not Paul Vallas, will work to expand sustainable community schools from pre-kindergarten to the City Colleges and provide academic, health and social support beyond the school day.

End student based budgeting, SQRP

Brandon’s education platform calls for ending student-based budgeting and the racist SQRP that has been used to destabilize and close schools in Black and Brown communities — and penalize their educators. He will ensure that our schools are sanctuaries for all children, but especially for undocumented and refugee youth, and will provide the resources necessary to support them. And he will pass the Bring Chicago Home ordinance to provide funding to alleviate homelessness, a plan Lightfoot has blocked and Vallas opposes. 

CPS enrolls some 17,000 Students in Temporary Living Situations (STLS) and the funds generated from the ordinance would provide critical support to them and their families. 

Brandon is the only candidate in the campaign who has put forth a comprehensive, transparent budget proposal that shows how the city can make $1 billion in critically needed new investments to build a safer, stronger city — all without raising property taxes. His Better Chicago Agenda calls for making the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share to eliminate the structural deficit and make the new investments.

No city income tax

Contrary to the misinformation being spread by Lightfoot and others in the race, Brandon is NOT calling for a city income tax. The mayor continues to repeat this lie, which only shows how desperate she is with polls showing Brandon is in a dead heat with her and she may not make the runoff.  

“No one should be too poor to live in one of the richest cities in one of the richest countries at one of the richest times on the planet,” Brandon said at a recent campaign stop. “Chicago is not safer than it was four years ago. Chicago is not more just than it was four years ago. But it will be when I’m mayor.”