Thursday, October 15, 2015

Lewis Runs Again

Karen Lewis is Running Again for President of CTU
And Who Else?
By Jim Vail

CTU President Karen Lewis is running again.

Karen Lewis, the president of the Chicago Teachers Union, has announced her candidacy for re-election to the public recently.

I was watching a news show in which several journalists on TV were discussing Lewis's decision to run again. They were all in favor of the idea because she is a passionate fighter for public education.

And certainly somebody interesting to write about.

However, Lewis did not inform the CTU House of Delegates at our monthly meeting (I am a delegate for Hammond Elementary School) last week that she is indeed running again in May.

Lewis did this before when she announced to the media that she was endorsing Chuy Garcia for mayor before informing her delegates.

This took some of the delegates by surprise since we are used to going through a formal process of endorsement.

Lewis said she was personally endorsing Garcia for mayor, and then the delegates later voted for an official CTU endorsement.

It was a bit awkward during last week's delegates meeting when one trustee made his campaign speech to get elected to the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund and mentioned that he wanted to congratulate Lewis for deciding to run for re-election.

There was a smattering of applause, but nothing of passion which Lewis usually garners being a highly respected and energetic leader.

The next question is who else will be on the ticket.

Some insiders have said it is not certain if Jesse Sharkey will run on the ticket again to be vice president, or if Kristine Mayle, the financial secretary, will run again.

Second City Teachers sent an email inquiry to Sharkey if he will run again. 

Sharkey was actually a second choice for VP when CORE first won. The CTU's staff coordinator Jackson Potter, who founded CORE, was originally on the ticket as VP, but the opposing party successfully challenged his candidacy and he had to drop out. 

Lewis, Sharkey, Mayle and Michael Brunson were elected in 2010 in an upset win over the United Progressive Caucus or UPC, and Marilyn Stewart.

Stewart helped break up the UPC when she had her VP Ted Dallas removed, thus generating an unprecedented five different candidates running for the union president. The split allowed CORE and UPC to be in a runoff, with CORE winning the endorsement of the other caucuses including PACT and Debbie Lynch, who came in third in the voting.

However, there is no talk so far about any opposition to Lewis for the union presidency.

No comments:

Post a Comment