Karen Lewis endorses Chuy Garcia.
I leave Chicago for a couple of days and things sure get interesting.
Yesterday CTU President-on-leave Karen Lewis endorsed Chuy Garcia for mayor.
And at a CTU dinner, Garcia endorsed an elected school board and criticized Rahm for his school closing policies.
Garcia has not to my knowledge expressed support for an elected school board before now. But the race to be the progressive standard bearer has caused all kinds of shifts and rethinking.
That has been the error in thinking that too many candidates helps Rahm.
If the strategy to beat Rahm is to increase turnout, focus on Rahm’s tale of two cities disastrous policies and no circular firing squads among progressives, then this has been a good couple of days.
The other leading progressive candidate is Alderman Bob Fioretti. Bob is already on record for an elected school board and has been vocal in opposition to the the Mayor’s school closings.
Maybe I should stay away longer.
Speaking publicly for the first time since she underwent brain surgery, Karen Lewis appeared in a video Friday thanking Chicago for its “support, love and … best wishes,” promising to “remain encouraged and focused in the days ahead” — and endorsing mayoral challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.
The fiery Chicago Teachers Union president, who had all but announced her campaign to challenge Rahm Emanuel, bowed out from the race after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.
That apparently hasn’t put a stop to her battle against Emanuel.
Speaking calmly and clearly in short sentences and wearing a headscarf, Lewis said, “I am convinced the city is going in the wrong direction” and that it needs “real leadership that is both accountable and accessible.”
“Chicago needs a mayor who has the moral courage to do what’s right for all of the city,” she said. “That is why I am throwing my full support behind Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia.”
“Chuy is a committed and faithful public servant and has been for the last 30 years,” she said in which she addresses the camera straight on and in profile.
“Chuy is a consensus-builder and a man of the people. If he is elected as mayor, I know he will work for all of our citizens, not just the corporate elite and the special interests who seek to privatize our public assets. Chuy is the right leader for the right time to move our city forward. South Side, West Side, North Side, everybody — let’s support the bigger man.”
In a separate video, played to a crowd of 600 at the CTU’s Legislators and Educators Appreciation Dinner Friday at Plumbers Hall in the West Loop, Lewis repeated the endorsement for Garcia and added praise for Gov. Pat Quinn.
“We cannot forget that Pat Quinn is the best choice for governor of Illinois,” Lewis said.
Garcia, a Cook County commissioner, was the keynote speaker at the dinner, where Quinn also made an appearance.
When Garcia spoke, he said that he had visited with Lewis that afternoon and described her as “one of the best warriors that Chicago has experienced in over a generation.”
Garcia called for an elected school board and said “instead of closing schools we believe we ought to build new schools.”