CHICAGO FIRE: United Working Families and Our Candidates Need Your Help to Fight Rahm Emanuel Corporate Democrats
A week from Tuesday, on the same day Chicago voters decide whether Rahm Emanuel gets another term or they replace him with Chuy Garcia, there are several crucial aldermanic races pitting progressives against Rahmish thugs. Following is a guest post from Graeme Zielinski from Chicago-based United Working Families.
CHICAGO -- How bad is it for Rahm Emanuel? So bad that the corporate bully has taken to wearing sweaters. SWEATERS.
But seriously, our group, United Working Families, has Rahm sweating after February 24th, when we defended incumbent progressive candidates across the city whom the mayor and his part-Republican corporate PAC were trying to take down; advanced or elected some great new progressives; AND helped force the first mayoral runoff in Chicago history, making Rahm go head-to-head with progressive champion Jesus "Chuy" Garcia in the April 7th runoff election.
Chuy is a lifelong organizer has been there for United Working Families, present at our formation this summer, and we've been there for him, at the table when he started his run.
United Working Families is a new independent political organization in Illinois meant to build progressive power for the long-run. We’re backed by SEIU Healthcare, the Chicago Teachers Union, Action Now, and Grassroots Illinois Action, and take inspiration from our allies at the Working Families Party in New York.
We need help as we close out the race, hence this post. Here is a brief update on our great candidates and just what they're up against.
We're helping all of them with field, data, mail, GOTV and communications help, and some of them we've recruited and trained. You can donate to United Working Families through OUR Act Blue page here.
Susan Sadlowski Garza
WARD 10: FIGHTING THE KOCH BROTHERS
Susan Sadlowski Garza is the daughter of reform Steelworkers legend "Oil Can" Ed Sadlowski but has an activist record all her own. She has organized her South Chicago community around everything from domestic violence and environmental racism to raising the minimum wage and preserving youth programming. But she came into her own during the Chicago teachers' strike and was a vocal opponent of Rahm's citywide school closings. Coming out of the strike, Susan became Area Vice President of the Chicago Teachers Union.
Given that her corrupt opponent, entrenched incumbent Ald. John Pope (who voted with Rahm Emanuel 100% of the time), is TAKING MONEY FROM THE KOCH BROTHERS, you know what side Sue's on, and she's even gaining national attention, as Bernie Sanders is coming to endorse her at her blue-collar ward today.
Sue's Act Blue page is here.
WARD 15: STANDING UP TO PRIVATE PRISONS
Rafael Yañez is an anti-violence specialist from a Mexican immigrant background who started a nonprofit after a terrible neighborhood killing in the Back of the Yards neighborhood he now seeks to represent. His U.N.I.O.N. Impact group has trained hundreds of kids. He comes from an old-line social justice background.
His opponent? Not so much.
Raymond Lopez is a product of the machine and names like “Burke” and “Berrios” and “Daley” that represent the institutional corruption of Chicago politics.
One example of how tone-deaf the Rahm Emanuel-backing Lopez is: He courted a private prison deal in the ward from the notorious Geo Group. Yañez supports jobs and development for his neighborhood,-Lopez is trying to turn it into a for-profit prison warehouse for those denied opportunity.
Rafael’s ActBlue page is here.
WARD 16: SAYING “NO” TO SLUMLORDS
The 16th Ward represents a large part of Chicago’s historic Englewood neighborhood, where vacant houses represent the fruits of institutional racism-and the corporate housing banksters who’ve bled it dry.
Toni Foulkes, whose ward was gerrymandered in retaliation for standing up to Rahm, is a founding member of Action Now, a veteran activist organization. Toni has long been a vocal opponent of corporate interests seeking profit off the misery of the ward.
Compare that to her opponent, Stephanie Coleman, whose vacant home co-owned by her and her father was in such bad condition that the city has ordered for its demolition.
WARD 37: ANTI-EQUALITY SLURS FROM A RAHM RUBBER-STAMP
Tara Stamps is a retired schoolteacher who comes from a long line of activists and reformers. Her mother was noted Cabrini-Green activist Marion Stamps, and Tara is living up to her mother’s legacy. Tara has placed a huge emphasis on schools and equality of all forms in the city-and opposition to the Rahm agenda.
Meanwhile her opponent, Emma Mitts, a Rahm rubber stamp, was caught on camera making hateful anti-gay remarks.
Tara’s ActBlue page is here.
WARD 45: CRASHING THE TEA PARTY
John Arena has been a strong progressive voice in a first term in which he frequently has gone head-to-head with Rahm on issues that matter to real Chicagoans. Red-light cameras. Education cuts. Sweetheart corporate deals.
His opponent, however, is another story. John Garrido, under investigation by the Chicago Board of Elections, is a full-throated Tea Partier.
John’s ActBlue page is here.