This is historic: CTU Member Educator in the mayoral runoff

What a night! Not only did our CTU sibling Brandon Johnson convincingly beat incumbent Lori Lightfoot to earn a spot in the April 4 runoff for mayor of Chicago, but the CTU also had a number of victories in aldermanic races across the city. In 11 of the 17 races where the CTU made an endorsement, our candidate either won outright or made it into the April 4 runoff.

So today is a day to celebrate our victories and take stock of how much we have already accomplished together. But we can’t take too much time to celebrate because now we have only five short weeks to win the crucial next phase of this campaign.

This will mean doubling down on the strategies that got us this far: mobilization of members, dialogue with voters, and movement building with our allies across the city.

We need you to volunteer

Like in recent weeks, there will again be canvassing and other outreach efforts after school and on weekends from now until Election Day — and that means there will be plenty of ways that you can get involved in having conversations with other CTU members, their family, friends, and neighbors. Please plan to commit some of your time so we can claim a historic victory on April 4.

We need you to Early Vote

We’ll again be encouraging people to vote early, to make voting plans, and to indicate that they’re all in for Brandon. This will be particularly important because the crucial last weekend before Election Day on Tuesday, April 4, is also the first weekend of spring break for all our members. So if your plans include leaving town, we hope you’ll consider departing after April 4, so you can volunteer and fully participate in what will be a historic weekend of mobilization to put Brandon on the fifth floor of City Hall and make Chicago into the city that residents deserve.

And let’s be clear: there will be a costly price to be paid if Brandon doesn’t win. Paul Vallas has destroyed schools, hopes, dreams, jobs and retirement here in Chicago as well as in Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Bridgeport, Connecticut. He has promised to expand privatized non-union charter schools, and he is funded by the same millionaires and billionaires who backed Rahm Emanuel and Republicans across Illinois. In fact, the right wing—who are making educators and teaching the truth the enemy of the statement—is applauding his victory and are trying to pound our union and our brother Brandon.

Consider these tweets by the defeated Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey and Illinois Young Republican leader Charlie Kirk, a misogynist, right-wing operative who’s backed Donald Trump:

We must defeat him, for our students and their future. And, that will require both talking with voters and contributing money. Please contribute to the CTU’s Political Action Committee.

As Brandon put it during his election-night watch party: “The most radical thing we can do as a city is to love the people of Chicago. Loving people and investing in people — that is the way my father raised me. The finances of this city belong to the people of the city. So, we’re gonna invest in the people of the city.”

Also, keep a lookout for a CTU Teletown Hall meeting this Sunday, March 5, at 6 pm, where CTU rank-and-file members, officers, and staff will provide further assessments about the challenges and opportunities of the coming weeks. You will receive a call on your phone at 6 pm when the meeting starts.

Support our city council candidates

Finally, we would like to congratulate the following aldermanic candidates we endorsed for their victories last night: Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th Ward), Ald. Jeanette B. Taylor (20th Ward), Ald. Byron Sigcho Lopez (25th Ward), Ald. Rossana Rodgríguez (33rd Ward), Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward).

We also endorsed six aldermanic candidates who will be in the April 4 runoff, and we will need to continue campaigning for them — alongside Brandon — in the coming weeks. They are Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st Ward) (who can still potentially avoid a run-off based on ballots left to count), Desmon Yancy (5th Ward), William Hall (6th Ward), Ronnie Mosley (21st Ward), Lori Torres Whitt (36th Ward), and Angela Clay (46th Ward).

The CTU’s PAC committee and elected bodies may also be called to meet to consider additional aldermanic endorsements that the CTU should make in the April 4 runoff, so please stay tuned.

The final leg of this struggle to build a safer, stronger, better Chicago that honors and respects all its citizens is critical, and we can’t succeed unless we do it collectively. Solidarity gets the goods, so let’s do this!