Tuesday, November 4, 2014

HOD Votes on Chuy

House of Delegates to Vote on Endorsing Jesus "Chuy" Garcia
By Jim Vail

Jesus "Chuy" Garcia for mayor.
The Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates will vote on Wednesday, Nov. 5, whether or not to endorse Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia who declared his candidacy for mayor of Chicago.

According to sources, the CTU's Executive Board debated vigorously over whether or not to endorse a candidate that many teachers are unfamiliar with. About two-thirds of the board then voted in favor of endorsing the Mexican American candidate, sources said. 

CTU President Karen Lewis made, what she believes, was a personal, and not a CTU endorsement. Currently Lewis is on sick leave and her vice president Jesse Sharkey is acting CTU president.

However, the fact is Lewis still represents the CTU, and when she said she endorses Garcia, it looked like the CTU has already endorsed this candidate.

There are many delegates who believe Alderman Bob Fioretti would be a better candidate to support. He supported the teachers during the 2012 teachers strike, has supported numerous CTU initiatives such as returning TIF tax monies to the public schools and challenged the mayor to not cut school budgets or close public schools.

Meanwhile, Garcia has been a non-entity in the public school fight.

Rudy Lozano, who was endorsed by the CTU and ran for state representative but lost, supports Garcia for mayor. Along with Alderman Rick Munoz, they represent the Latino progressive caucus.

Garcia serves as a commissioner on the Cook County board where president Toni Preckwinkle has imposed similar draconian cuts on services and pensions, to Rahm Emanuel's corporate reform in the city.

The fact that Lewis was backing Preckwinkle showed that the CTU is still very much tied to the Chicago machine. In fact, one could argue that by bypassing Fioretti, a strong supporter of the teachers union, Lewis could be trying to show the powers that be that the CTU can be counted on to be supportive of the Chicago democratic machine.

Garcia is a progressive. But what does a progressive mean these days, when several so-called progressives sit on the city council and support Emanuel.

The delegates will hear arguments for and against endorsing Garcia.

They will then vote on the endorsement.

The CTU leadership will push for the endorsement, and many delegates in love with the Lewis presidency will vote in favor of the endorsement.

Second City Teachers predicts that the CTU delegates will officially endorse Garcia for Chicago Mayor.

Will this abrupt endorsement rankle an otherwise united teachers union?

Stay tuned.    

No comments:

Post a Comment