The CTU House of Delegates passed the following resolution at its February 5, 2020 monthly meeting.
Support the Mother Jones Statue Campaign
WHEREAS, Chicago has few if any outdoor statues of real women to honor women’s contributions to history;
WHEREAS, the Mother Jones Foundation has a project to create and erect a statue of Mother Jones, an important woman in history and a major labor leader;
WHEREAS, Mary Harris “Mother” Jones (1837-1930) was an Irish immigrant who became a teacher, married an iron worker, lost her husband and all four children to yellow fever, and then opened a dress shop which was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. She became a fearless organizer for the Knights of Labor and the United Mine Workers Union and was noted for organizing the wives and children of striking workers and leading a children’s crusade against child labor;
WHEREAS, a district attorney said at her trial for ignoring an injunction banning meetings by striking miners in 1902, “There sits the most dangerous woman in America. She comes into a state where peace and prosperity reign…crooks her finger [and] twenty thousand contented men lay down their tools and walk out;”
WHEREAS, attorney and ACLU leader Clarence Darrow wrote, “In all her career, Mother Jones never quailed or ran away. Her deep convictions and fearless soul always drew her to seek the spot where the fight was hottest and the danger greatest;”
WHEREAS, by remembering Mother Jones and placing her in the public sphere, we draw attention to the vibrant history of labor and immigrants in both in Illinois and nationally. The Mother Jones Foundation is seeking placement of the statue near Michigan and Wacker where, in the coming years, millions of people from all over the world will encounter the lifelike sculpture. The sculptor, Kathleen Farrell, has produced award-winning work for labor focused projects;
WHEREAS, the Chicago Federation of Labor and other organizations have endorsed the Mother Jones Statue Campaign and an estimated $200,000 is needed to complete this project and a $36,000 grant from the Government of Ireland has been received to start this project;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Chicago Teachers Union endorses the Mother Jones Statue campaign and will make a donation to support this work and to raise awareness of Mother Jones’ vital contributions to labor history; and be it also
RESOLVED, that CTU will encourage members to show their support for this statue by donating to the Mother Jones Statue Fund and participating in activities to help bring it to fruition. Donations to the Mother Jones Statue Fund may be made online at http://www.motherjonesmuseum.org/statue/. Checks made out to the Mother Jones Statue Fund should be mailed to the Mother Jones Statue Fund, 630 Joanne Lane, DeKalb, IL 60115.