Substance urges readers to back Miguel Del Valle for Mayor of Chicago

For the second time in 30 years, the monthly newspaper Substance has endorsed a candidate for Mayor of Chicago. In an editorial in the February 2011 print edition of Substance that went to press on February 10, 2011, the Substance staff issued the following editorial. The endorsement came after a survey of all active and inactive staff members of Substance. As the tallies show (at the end of the editorial below), the endorsement was overwhelming.

Chicago City Clerk (and former Illinois Senator) Miguel Del Valle (above, during the December 16, 2010 Chicago Teachers Union candidates' forum) received the endorsement of Substance newspaper and on February 10, 2011. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.The last time Substance made an endorsement for mayor was in 1983, when Harold Washington ran for the first time, and many erstwhile "Democrats" split from the party's candidate and supported Republican Bernard Epton for mayor under one slogan that stated: "Epton. Before It's Too Late." In 1983, Substance staff members campaigned for Harold Washington and in several cases suffered violence and threats in some Chicago communities as a result of their support for Washington. Within a year after his election, despite the hysteria generated by the Epton campaign (and the disgraceful "Council Wars" that provided the world with so much theater that The Wall Street Journal called Chicago "Beirut on the Lake"), Washington had won over the majority of voters, and his re-election went much more easily.

A number of Substance staff members went to work for Harold Washington during his brief time in office, but Substance broke with Washington when the mayor, who had been supported by the majority of the city's teachers, forced the Chicago Teachers Union into the 19-day strike which closed schools in September 1987.

Substance's February 2011 print editorial, published on February 10, 2011, follows:

Miguel Del Valle is the only candidate who can point to a quarter century of standing strong for public schools, teachers, and our union. The profile in the Sun-Times in January was mostly about personal stuff (as usual, the Sun-Times ignores the politics and does “personal narrative”), which was strong enough, but the man’s record is even stronger.

Compare Del Valle’s life story with Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago Wannabe nonsense and the reality is as stark as the difference between 773 and the more affluent parts of 847 (where Rahm did high school at New Trier).

Rahm was raised safely and amid privilege in the suburbs, then he carpetbags here safely with Richard M. Daley, then Barack Obama, as his sponsors. What a guy. A real mensch. And then, while the rest of us suckers were working for a living, Rahm left “public service” for three years, worked his fingers to the bone with more intensity than a bricklayer in cold weather or someone shoveling snow on stairs, and could only “earn” $18.5 million as an “investment banker.”

Gery Chico’s record is the Vallas and Daley record. Every single thing Paul Vallas did as “CEO” Gery Chico voted in favor of as President of the “Chicago School Reform Board of Trustees.” On the simple question of the Chico record and “transparency,” Chico is more than a hypocrite today. It was Gery Chico who began the process, still being followed, whereby the Board of Education votes every six months (required by law) to keep secret every word they spoke in every closed session meeting. So the Chico record is as secret as the combination to the locks at Fort Knox — thanks to Gery Chico (1995 - 2001) and those who followed him in that office (Michael Scott; Rufus Williams; Mary Richardson Lowry to be precise).

Miguel Del Valle can actually say, as he did to the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates on January 5, that he voted against the Amendatory Act while a Senator, against charter schools, and for the teachers, our pensions, and our unions. No other candidate can say that because all of them have records of teacher bashing (Chico) or union bashing and busting (Emanuel). And since Carol Moseley Braun was out of public life for more than a decade, how can anyone know what she would have done in the face of the challenges we’ve faced since the beginning of the 21st Century? Sorry, it’s not that simple.

“Viable” is what we create through hard work. Miguel DelValle can point to a lifetime of hard work on behalf of the people of Chicago, public education, and the union people whose work makes the City That Works actually work.

A Substance staff poll in early February 2011 revealed that the overwhelming majority of the Substance staff supports Del Valle, and we are recommending him. The results were 16 for Del Valle; two for Carol Moseley Braun; and one for Rahm Emanuel.

The February 2011 issue of Substance is being mailed to print subscribers on February 11, 2011, and will be sold at various events during the coming weeks. The balloting will take place on February 22. Early voting is taking place at this time. 


February 10, 2011 at 5:12 PM

By: The Retired Principal (RP)

I Voted for Miguel!

I voted for Miguel and he is the most honest candidate!

February 10, 2011 at 8:07 PM

By: Me Too

God bless DR too

Closing schools destroys social capital.

The Chicago model (Ren 10) does not work.

Charters mean to get rid of the low performing students.

TFA is not a solution to improving the profession.

We need master teachers and a balanced curriculum.

Basing education on sanctions will fail.

The corporate model does not work.

It is time for the push back by parents and teachers.

Parents are the sleeping giant in this debate.

February 11, 2011 at 9:01 AM

By: Rich Roberts

CTU endorsement for mayor

Glad to see someone on the teachers' side has endorsed DelValle. But where is our new union's endorsement and wouldn't that have been nice to have about a month ago? Are they sticking they're collective heads in the sand while we get Rahmrodded? I would think our 30,000 or so votes would carry some weight in this election.

February 11, 2011 at 1:32 PM

By: Perfecto

Miguel Del Valle

Del Valle has always been a beliver in the public school system as well as a product of this same system. Let me say good work to the teachers of the Chicago Public School system for producing such a dedicated public servant.

February 11, 2011 at 3:11 PM

By: Dave


Heading into this campaign, I liked what del Valle had to say. It's become perfectly clear though that the status quo'ers, who have sat by like petulant children collecting paychecks as another generation of Chicago students dropped out of school, have found their candidate. Instead of fighting Emanuel's campaign with substance, you all would rather use ad hominems and relegate yourself to the role of the martyr. Good luck with that.

February 11, 2011 at 3:52 PM

By: Jen Johnson

CTU endorsement

The CTU PAC and Legislative Committees have been working countless hours, pouring over candidate questionnaires and holding individual interviews with the candidates to determine a recommendation for an endorsement. They could not decide between Braun and del Valle, so the final choice between those two finalists was to be brought to the February House of Delegates meeting (which was postponed until Monday, February 14th because of the blizzard which made the February 2nd meeting impossible to hold). Hopefully, next week, after the HoD meeting, the CTU will then have a final endorsement of Braun, del Valle, both or none from the House of Delegates, the body that represents the entirety of the membership. I think CTU has really done its due dilligence to make sure the endorsement was democratically and transparently determined. There was no attempt to "stick heads in the sand."

February 11, 2011 at 7:47 PM

By: Lew Rosenbaum

Del Valle Endorsement

This is a very principled and important endorsement. Thanks to Substance for continuing this political battle!

February 11, 2011 at 8:01 PM

By: Theresa D. Daniels

Congrats for the Del Valle endorsement

Congratulations for the Del Valle endorsement. This is an endorsement for a sincere, stable, and committed candidate who is on the side of the public schools and the many of us affected by them.

February 11, 2011 at 10:37 PM

By: Jim Vail


One teacher noted at his high school that both Rahm and Del Valle polled almost equal among the teachers. We need to make sure no teachers vote against their interests.

Rahm is hell bent on destroying public education because he is the corporate candidate bought and paid for by the millionaires and billionaires.

Rahm boasts he will do more turnarounds in poor black neighborhoods despite widespread community opposition that will destroy thousands of more school jobs. He told the Sun Times he made his quick $18.5 million through such mergers as Execelon that axed 3500 jobs.

Then again - with Rahm, it will be like Bush - we know who we got, so we got to unit and fight him hard.

February 12, 2011 at 1:28 AM

By: kugler


A group calling itself the "Alliance of Workers Against Rahm Emanuel" has launched a website called "F***" (expletive omitted here, but it's in the URL) to host its anti-Rahm sentiments.

February 12, 2011 at 9:27 AM

By: Margaret Wilson

Somewhat off topic

Does anyone know anything about Charles Payne?

February 12, 2011 at 11:14 AM

By: Payne was a member of the "Group of 88"

Payne was a member of the "Group of 88"

faculty in light of 2006 Duke University lacrosse case, who signed a letter thanking protesters "making a collective noise" about "what happened to this young woman." The letter has been widely criticized as a prejudgment since no sexual assault occurred.Payne inappropriately authorized use of university funds to pay for the Group of 88 ad.

February 12, 2011 at 12:05 PM

By: Isn't he the one who supports turnaround king?

Putting students out of HS

Who is the UC prof who wants to pay high school students to NOT got to school?

Who is the UC prof who has supported Fryand's destruction of high schools by lowereing the enrollment?

February 12, 2011 at 3:21 PM

By: CS

CTU/ del Valle

Ok, so you say that the CTU has been working hard deciding who to endorse. I think many believe that the endorsement will come too late. The election campaigns began back in the fall, and we will only hear who the Union endorses a few days before early voting closes. That is unacceptable.

February 12, 2011 at 3:43 PM

By: Promise and Peril read like

"How to Misdirect with Magician Patter"

In this cute little position paper, Charles Payne makes 'scaling up' theUniversity of Chicago Charter Schools seem like a great ambitious enterprise.

What could be ambitious or complicated about UC quietly pawning off 12 percent of the low-performing/ disruptive students to neighborhood schools and then comparing test results? Dig below the surface of any successful charter school and you find the same equation: lottery in the children of parents who care enough to apply, and quietly remove those who can't keep up.

The only 'scaling-up' problem Payne has is how to keep the secret quiet.

If Payne is still seeking further solutions on how to the keep the secret undercover, let me suggest Magic Inc. on North Lincoln Avenue, where all magic tricks come with a set of detailed instructions.

To his credit, Payne boldly makes reference to the work of Rivkin, Hanushek, & Kain, who conclude that 'credentials and years of service are not reliable measures of teacher quality.' Payne might have been looking directly into his own mirror when he decided to reference this work. Hopefully, it was a rear-view mirror.

February 13, 2011 at 12:26 AM

By: J.S. Whtifeld

The Honest One

I hear you retired principal, honesty is

the best virtue.

On "Honest Abes" day, lets endorse honest

Miguel, "rank n' file" CTU members.

Like what was done around Harold, "Brown,

red, black and white, all the workers must


February 13, 2011 at 2:15 PM

By: Nick

No Moseley Braun

I really hope the CTU endorses De Valle tomorrow night. He certainly seems like the best candidate for the public schools. I think a Braun endorsement would make us look bad since she seems incapable of running a city. Unfortunately, De Valle is a long shot to make it to a runoff with Rahm. Would the CTU throw all of its support to Chico in a runoff?

February 14, 2011 at 12:53 PM

By: Can someone confim this?

Dr. Payne?

Supports money given to low performing teens to stay out of school?

February 14, 2011 at 5:23 PM

By: The Retired Principal (RP)

Two South Shore students shot!

Two South Shore High School students were shot after school today on 75th & Constance Ave. The shooting was gang related!

February 14, 2011 at 9:47 PM

By: There are Chicago Charter students who

live outside of the Chicago

I take the train from Oak Park every day, at about 7am, I see kids in khakis going to Chicago charters from outside of Chicago.

February 15, 2011 at 8:43 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Charter cheaters began early...

The first charter residency cheaters began more than five years ago, when Arne Duncan turned the old Good Counsel High School over to Chicago International Charter School ("Northtown Campus") and CICS allowed the Good Counsel girls from the suburbs to remain at the school until graduation. The result was that some of them got three years of a "free" public education at the same school (and with the same staff) their families had been paying.

That same year, CICS "Northtown" was reported, in a study by the Gates Foundation (Rethinking High School: Five profiles of innovative models for student success) as a "model" urban high school — even though it didn't have any record as an urban public high school (it was literally in its first year as CICS "Northtown" when the Gates study came out).

It became clear that part of freeing Chicago charters from oppressive regulations was the freedom from most accountability, including the ubiquitous Inspector General reports on "residency" violations by Chicago Public Schools students. The IG, which persecutes Chicago teachers who bring their kids to their schools from the suburbs, has never inspected a charter school for anything.


Your observations are probably accurate. Those Oak Park kids on the train are probably going to one of the highly praised (and generally hyped and fraudulent) Chicago charter high schools. Ironically, this month, that same high school (the "Noble Network" — "Be noble" and all that), which recently appeared as a celebrity in New York at the TFA gala, is dumping its "bad" kids back into the real public schools. We'll be getting reports (again) from some of the general public high schools into which the Noble rejects are dumped over the next month, just as we have for the past eight years (since Michael Milkie left Wells High School and began the scam of getting rid of his risky kids and sending them back to his former colleagues, all the while drumming up the corporate hype that now has corporate Chicago — and Rahm Emanuel — citing Milkie's bunch as a "miracle" and proof of charter superiority).

The deregulation that is praised about charter schools is like the land with laws but where police aren't allowed to enforce those laws against certain criminals. Some might compare Charterland (which we are now living in) with those places around the Mediterranean Sea and Persian Gulf where the cops know not to mess with the Big Guys and all law enforcement is against the violations by the serfs and proles).

But here is how it works today in Chicago, with the CPS Law Department and the Inspector General playing the cops. Ruthless, they are, against teachers and PSRPs who violate their rules, laws, and regulations (or who are accused of the violations). But with the Charter Cheats, they just look the other way.

Maybe a parable will help. Let's say, the cops were forbidden to issue citations or tickets to red cars. So everyone but those in red cars got tickets for violations, but a person in a red car could do anything. It's just another form of phonyism and crony capitalism (most of the big name Chicago charters are capitalized by the same billionaires and 847 types who are attacking the unions and our pensions now).

But until people report those violations here at Substance (we're about the only ones who will check on them and report them), we'll have that miracle on and on.

Can you imagine?

People driving red cars never break the law!

February 15, 2011 at 9:05 AM

By: Rich Roberts

mayoral endorsement

So here it is Feb. 15 and the election is a week away. The union was supposed to have met yesterday to select a mayoral candidate to endorse. Did they? I don't know but I did just check the union web site and they still have no endorsement for mayor. If they're not sticking their heads in the sand the result of whatever they are doing will be the same - Rahm gets elected and we have done nothing to stop it. Too little, too late, in my opinion. Good luck on the 2012 contract. The union - Rest In Peace.

February 15, 2011 at 6:28 PM

By: Bob

Old Hat

This is nothing new

Way back in the 70’s and 80’s there were many suburban kids who went to Simeon.

Many lost the family CHA apartment and had to move . Many of us knew it ,but nobody cared.

February 16, 2011 at 6:36 PM

By: Jim Vail

Del Valle and Charters

Let's be realistic here about what we're dealing with.

Yes, there are good reasons to support Del Valle and I do too.

But in an interview in the Trib. with Del Valle, he boasts about setting up more charter schools - Aspira was his gig.

He also played a political game with the Whittier parents (see Joravsky's story in The Reader).

The bottom line is - the political scence is bought and paid for by the corporate interests.

The power of the union is to empower its members to fight against the plans of the rich to totally destroy public education.

We's got ta fight!

February 23, 2011 at 8:57 AM

By: The Retired Principal (RP)


George, here is a new nickname you can use for Rahm Emanuel, RAHMFINGER!

Add your own comment (all fields are necessary)

Substance readers:

You must give your first name and last name under "Name" when you post a comment at We are not operating a blog and do not allow anonymous or pseudonymous comments. Our readers deserve to know who is commenting, just as they deserve to know the source of our news reports and analysis.

Please respect this, and also provide us with an accurate e-mail address.

Thank you,

The Editors of Substance

Your Name

Your Email

What's your comment about?

Your Comment

Please answer this to prove you're not a robot:

1 + 5 =