The city of Chicago needs the Chicago Teachers Union, City Hall and every resident to work together to bring about authentic equity, thorough justice and coveted resources in all 77 neighborhoods. Join us May 22 at the Thompson Center as we continue that work.
CHICAGO, May 2, 2019—The Chicago Teachers Union issued the following statement today regarding the inauguration of Mayor Lori Lightfoot:
The Chicago Teachers Union congratulates Lori Lightfoot on her inauguration as mayor of our great city. She stands on the shoulders of former CTU presidents Karen Lewis and Jackie Vaughn, as well as Ida B. Wells, Willie Barrow and countless other Black women who fought tirelessly for equity and against the vestiges of institutional racism.
We are proud of the coalitions, community partners and Union allies who have laid the foundation for the election of an openly gay Black woman as mayor of Chicago—a city with a tragic history of racial strife and segregation. Chicago citizens demanded a new direction for their collective future, and elected Mayor Lightfoot out of a desire for bold and progressive ideas, and a commitment to building a more fair, just and equitable city.
We are also proud of newly and re-elected Chicago City Council members who share in this vision: Daniel La Spata (1st Ward), Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th), Jeanette B. Taylor (20th), Michael D. Rodriguez (22nd), Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th), Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez (33rd), Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), Andre Vasquez (40th), Matt Martin (47th) and Maria Hadden (49th). There is a significant amount of hope for city government—with checks and balances—that represents the will of this movement, which is committed to taxing the rich and funding our schools. These leaders will hold the mayor accountable to her campaign promises.
We welcome Mayor Lightfoot to join the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools at the negotiating table to bargain for the common good. When Chicagoans voted for change on April 2, they also voted for a change in our union’s relationship with City Hall. The mayor was elected, in part, because of her plan for transforming and funding our schools, and on a platform that mirrors our own—one that our union has championed for the past decade. When she vows to “support our great teachers, counselors, librarians, nurses and other support personnel,” we expect that support in the form of the necessary staffing, class sizes and resources that our members and their students deserve.
Our school communities need $2 billion and the wealthy must pay their fair share of the bill. School communities need justice and equity; fully resourced school communities; Black, Latinx and veteran teachers in classrooms; and full restoration of our collective bargaining rights.
We need the immediate passage of the elected, representative school board bill—the same bill that has long had the overwhelming support of the citizens of Chicago, and is anchored in the work and collaboration of the grassroots education movement and our union.
School communities need a nurse and librarian in every building; counselor and social worker staffing levels that meet recommended ratios; special education classroom assistants, teaching assistants and restorative justice coordinators; clean and safe buildings that place our students’ interests above the profits of outside contractors; and 75 sustainable community schools. Our union and allies will continue to beat this drum, as well as demand adequate special education services and sanctuary for immigrant students.