CTU wants to elect 'freedom fighter' Jay Travis to the Illinois General Assembly

On February 24th, of 2009, I camped out in front of the Chicago Board of Education to protest school closings. The temperature was below zero, bitterly cold and there were few people willing to brave the elements at that time in our fight against school closings. That sleepless night was not just inhospitable but down-right miserable. However, there were a number of freedom fighters, not least among them Jay Travis, then Executive Director of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, who were willing risk life and limb for the cause.

Jay Travis campaign poster.Jay Travis is now running to become the state representative for the 26th District. Just last week, the Chicago Teachers Union�s House of Delegates voted to give Jay an early endorsement. She was the only candidate in a contested primary to receive that honor, so far. The early CTU support for Jay is well deserved.

Long before the union was sounding the alarm or raising questions about the harmful impact of school closings, Travis was camping out to fight them. On that cold day in February, Jay camped-out overnight to ensure that she could speak out at the Board of Education meeting the following day about the destructive consequences of Renaissance 2010. Without allies like Jay, the CTU could not have developed a city-wide resistance to school destabilization, budget cuts and charter proliferation. Her leadership at KOCO, helped to create a model for community labor partnerships that is now being emulated across the country. Stay tuned and plan to volunteer for this exciting and historic campaign. We rarely get a chance to elect true champions from our movement. Now is the time!