40th Ward Alderman Pat O’Connor is facing a tough re-election battle from progressive challenger Andre Vasquez.
O’Connor has been Rahm Emanuel’s floor leader in the Council.
But before that he was a loyal member of the Vrdolyak 29, the racist City Council opposition to Harold Washington.
Now O’Connor wants to rewrite history to save his sorry butt.
Not on my watch.
On the eve, eve of Election Day this year, I am reminded about why I started running for Alderman in the first place and some of those who have helped me along the way.
Especially mentors like Mayor Harold Washington, and everyone’s misrepresentation about Mr. Washington’s relationship with me and my family.
While my opponent and some of his avid supporters, many of whom were just starting elementary school or not even born yet, have been mischaracterizing, slandering me, and falsely calling me a racist. I would like to set the record straight:
Mayor Washington was a friend, an ally and a mentor. Outside City Council, he would come to the house and have dinner with our family. In City Council, I voted with him 86% of the time, including every single one of his budgets and appointments. We worked across the aisle to move the city forward like the time we helped end a devastating teacher strike. As a freshman alderman, I quickly earned his respect and trust, as seen by him appointing me Chairman of the Education Committee. When Mayor Washington needed a trusted ally to help talk trade between China and Chicago, he sent me. Factually speaking, in 1987 I received both the Harold Washington Party endorsement for my re-election and his own personal endorsement.
I was proud to work with a Mayor who had the utmost respect and decency, in a time where you could agree to disagree, but still work together to get things done and still be friends. Just as I would be proud to work with Lori Lightfoot or Toni Preckwinkle to continue our efforts towards a better Chicago and more importantly a thriving, vibrant #40thward.