State Representative Christian Mitchell is a loyal member of the Madigan Machine. You wouldn’t think anyone would confuse him for a Progressive. Community organizer Jay Travis came thisclose to beating him two years ago and she is running again.
Mitchell isn’t stupid. Like other local pols he has seen the growth of a progressive electoral movement in Chicago and has moved to change his image and brand.
He has been reborn as a sponsor of the bill calling for an elected school board.
That’s good. But I’m not stupid either. The Mitchell brand may have changed, but not the substance.
I still believe what CTU president Karen Lewis calls for: A change in the political landscape of this city.
And, boy, do we need that more than ever.
Same up here on the north side where Harish I Patel is running against State Representative Jaime Andrade in the 40th District.
Andrade worked for the Dick Mell Machine for over a decade. Mell is an old-school Machine Democrat who was my alderman until they made his ward white by moving it further north.
Back in the day, working my precinct for Harold Washington, we literally had to stand down Mell thugs just to knock on doors.
Andrade got appointed to the State Representative seat in a classic Machine swap. The seat had been held by Dick’s daughter, Deb. Dick Mell retired, gave his aldermanic seat to his daughter and the Springfield job to his assistant, Andrade.
Andrade’s 40th District sits in middle of the north side Progressive Corridor that has elected progressives to seats in the City Council and the state house.
No surprise that Andrade is now acting like a progressive and backing an elected school board.
Good for him.
But it is still time for landscape-changing.