This is the beginning of a series of blog post that attempt to put the political situation into context in light of today’s city council votes and Pat Quinn’s selection of Paul Vallas as his candidate for Lieutenant Governor. I am looking at things from the point of view of one Chicago Public School teacher, but a lot of this will probably apply to parents and teachers in Chicago and in other school districts.
Today, we found out who are real friends in the Chicago City Council are. Aldermen Fioretti and Arena attempted to rescue both the TIF Surplus bill and the Elected School Board bill from the rules committee today and though neither measure passed, we learned a lot about who our friends are in the City Council.
Voted Yes on Returning TIF Surplus
Voted Yes on Elected School Board
Are these are only allies? I’d say “no”. Some alderman like O’Shea are glaring in their absence. Some alderman like Foulkes and Pawar who voted for one measure voted against the other. I don’t think that a candidate has to be behind us 100% to be worthy for our support. However, there is a track record and if a candidate is voting against me as often as they’re voting for me, it’s time to replace them. Aldermen aren’t the most powerful public employees around, but aldermanic races are also the easiest ones for a dedicated band of teachers to influence. Whether we’re talking about the district where you live or you teach (if you’re a teacher), you can make a big difference by volunteering.
Next time, I’ll look at the race for Governor.