I don’t live in the 2nd Illinois Senate District. But barely.
Walk one block west or three blocks south from my front door and there you are.
For decades progressives have represented the 2nd District: First by Miguel del Valle and now Willie Delgado.
Senator Delgado is retiring after this term.
I like to tell the story how when Senator Delgado first ran for State Rep in 1998, I was at one of the first meetings of just a couple of progressive activists in a basement over on Avers to help plan his successful run.
His focus in the Senate has always been on quality neighborhood public schools. His voice will be missed.
Senator Delgado’s voice will be particularly missed if it is replaced by a Rauner Democrat.
Despite modest beginnings, (Angelica) Alfaro is getting heavy backing from some of the richest people in town for her first campaign.
Alfaro has received maximum individual contributions of $5,400 each from billionaire James Crown, wife Paula Crown, former Exelon Corp. CEO John Rowe and insurance firm chairman John Butler.
The Crowns have been major supporters of privately run, publicly funded charter schools, and Rowe and Butler are board members of the Noble Network of Charter Schools.
In 1999, Alfaro was in the first class at Noble, now one of the city’s biggest charter networks. And she has worked for Noble since graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2007.
Alfaro says she’s not running merely to promote charter schools. She says she supports an elected school board, in line with the charter advocates’ bitter enemies in the teachers union.
But the national pro-charter group Stand for Children is spending tens of thousands of dollars to run Alfaro’s campaign, records show.
Before he became the state’s Republican governor, a wealthy businessman named Bruce Rauner welcomed Stand for Children to open up shop in Illinois.
(Omar) Aquino — who supports a halt on the approval of new charter schools — says Alfaro is a “Rauner Democrat.”
Omar Aquino is endorsed by Delgado.
Senator Delgado’s seat in the Senate deserves better than Alfaro.