House of Delegates Votes to Endorse Chuy!
By Jim Vail
The Chicago Teachers Union delegates voted to endorse Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia for Mayor.
According to delegates present who spoke to Second City Teachers after the meeting Wednesday, Nov. 5, the debate was spirited, with many questioning the process.
The question for several was - who is "Chuy" Garcia, and why was this process being rushed?
Delegate and pension trustee Jay Rehak proposed a counter resolution to postpone an endorsement until all the petitions were collected and the candidates were on the ballot, a high school delegate told Second City.
This resolution was voted down, he said.
The CTU political director Stacy Gates made the argument that Garcia can win the general election against current mayor Rahm Emanuel, who's negative rating is quite high after infuriating the black community by closing a record 50 schools a year ago, the delegates said.
Union officials also evoked the image of Garcia as a progressive friend of the CTU who worked to help elect Harold Washington as mayor of the city many years ago.
The fact of the matter is, Garcia is the floor leader for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, a liberal wing of the democratic machine.
The CTU pulled its punches tonight to show the Chicago machine they can bring home the bacon and get the teachers to endorse a liberal, though mostly unknown, Cook County machine candidate.
The union was able to get a majority of delegates in about a 2 to 1 margin to vote in favor of the Garcia endorsement, delegates told Second City News.
There were several Core activists who spoke in favor of Garcia, while no convincing argument was made to support Alderman Bob Fioretti, who has been a declared mayoral candidate and staunch teachers union supporter for many years, the delegate said.
One delegate estimated about 3 delegates spoke in favor of Garcia, for every one that called to postpone the endorsement.
Second City Teachers called it.
Chuy Garcia is endorsed by the delegates, a done deal before it even happened? That's certainly what we think when it comes to living in a managed democracy where the choices are vetted before anyone has a chance to understand what they are really voting for.