And the race now enters its final month!... CTU website completes listing of aldermanic candidates supported by the union and offers contact information

Halfway through the warmest weekend since Christmas, the website of the Chicago Teachers Union updated the political endorsements approved by the union's House of Delegates and brought the union's 28,000 members information, via a link, about how to go to work for the candidates in the wards across Chicago. The URL for the link is:

CTU members are urged to help get out the vote for the endorsed candidates.

Jenner Elementary School teacher Tara Stamps is running for Alderman of the 37th ward against incumbent Emma Mitts. Mitts has been opposing unions for a decade, when she became the first alderman to vociferously support the entry of Walmart into Chicago. As recently as 2014, Mitts stood beside Rahm Emanuel in support of the opening of another Noble charter high school "campus" across the street from Prosser Vocational High School. At that time, Mitts told the press that God had sent Rahm Emanuel to Chicago. Substance photo taken at the January 12, 2015 CORE meeting by Bob Simpson. Members have been canvassings and doing other work for the union's endorsed candidates since the earliest endorsements were made during the first week of November, when the union's House of Delegates voted to endorse Jesus "Chuy" Garcia (a Cook County Commissioner) after CTU President Karen Lewis announced she was leaving the mayoral race because of a serious illness.

The unprecedented push into the politics of the municipal election actually began during the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012. During the year prior to the strike, the newly elected mayor, Rahm Emanuel, had appointed a seven-member school board that began its attack on the union at its first meeting. In June 2011, the Board voted to rescind a four percent pay raise that had been promised the union in the five-year contract that was expiring in the 2011 - 2012 school year (the contract expired on June 30, 2012). The mayor's school board appointees voted at their first meeting, in June 2011, that they could not "reasonably expect" to have the money in their fiscal 2012 budget to pay for the four percent raises, which would have cost less than $100 million out of the Board's $5 billion budget.

Although the Board's June 2011 vote was based on a lie (the Board ended that fiscal year with hundreds of millions of dollars left over, and the Board members knew it when they voted), the June 2011 action launched a years-long attack on the city's public schools and teachers union by the Emanuel administration. By September 2011, Emanuel was proclaiming for what he called a "Longer School Day," and the Board administration, under then CEO Jean Claude Brizard, was offering bribes to individual schools that would adopt their version of the "longer school day" before the 2012 - 2013 school year, when it was scheduled to go into effect. (The union eventually won an Unfair Labor Practice complaint against the Board for negotiating outside of the rules with the 11 schools that finally voted to adopt the so-called "Longer School Day").

The confrontation between members of the Chicago Teachers Union and Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his cronies reached its first peak during the seven-day Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012. While several aldermen supported the teachers, including joining the picket lines, several alderman, including 25rh Ward alderman Danny Solis, were outspoken critics of the strikes and the union. Solis had gone from being a progressive community organizer during the 1980s to being the leading Latino aide to the mayor in City Council. Above, striking teachers picketed the 25th Ward office during the strike, including one carrying a sign proclaiming "Teachers will 'evaluate' their alderman @ the next election." One of the ironies of the 2014 - 2015 CTU endorsements is that the union almost missed supporting a candidate against Solis. The CTU waited until January 14 to finally vote at the House of Delegates to support Lindblom High School teacher Ed Hershey against Solis in the 25th Ward. CTU photo. Throughout the 2011 - 2012 school year, the Emanuel administration went into an unprecedented media assault on the public schools and the teachers union. The union responded with research debunking just about every public claim the mayor made in his union busting attacks. During the same period, the animosity between Emanuel and union president Karen Lewis became toxic, after Emanuel said "Fuck you Lewis" to the union president during a heated exchange. The mayor's words were confirmed during a media event featuring U.S.Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at Schurz High School in September 2011.

The final endorsements were voted on by the union's House of Delegates at its January 14, 2015 meeting. The first round of elections in the municipal elections will take place on February 24, 2015, with runoffs for any race (mayor; City Council seats) where no one wins a majority.

Despite getting his signatures and getting on the ballot to oppose Danny Solis in the 25ht Ward, Lindblom High School teacher Ed Hershey (above right) had to wait until the night of January 14, 2015 before the union's House of Delegates voted to support his candidacy during a tumultuous meeting. The final publication of the list of candidates officially supported by CTU was not published in time for the beginning of the work over the long Martin Luther King Day weekend, coming out with only one day to go on Sunday January 18. Some suspected that the delay in the publication of the final list was the result of some internal stalling on the part of a faction of the union staff. Substance photo from the January 12 CORE meeting by Bob Simpson.The massive outpouring of endorsements for seats on the Chicago City Council is the largest in union history, and came to the union's members as a result of the largest series of meetings to screen candidates in Chicago history. The union's support began with members of the City Council Progressive Caucus, who have supported the union throughout the four years since Rahm Emanuel became mayor in 2011 and began his assault on the rights of Chicago teachers, union members, and children in the city's massive public school systems. Emanuel's attacks were lowlighted by the closing of a total of 50 of the city's public schools, most of which now sit vacant across the city (primarily in the city's Black communities), adding to the decrepitude of communities that are already facing many other challenges.

The series of political endorsements by the largest union in Chicago came after the early November vote of the union's 800-member House of Delegates to support Jesus "Chuy" Garcia for mayor. Sue Sadlowski Garza, above, a counselor at Jane Addams Elementary School, is running against John Pope for alderman of the 10th Ward on Chicago's far southeast side. Garza's vigorous campaign notes that Pope has been a staunch ally of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a "Machine" loyalist before that when Richard M. Daley was mayor. Substance photo taken at the January 12, 2015 CORE meeting by Bob Simpson. "The CTU is working to transform our city and bring a new day to City Hall to fight for the city Chicago students deserve," the CTU Website stated at its top when the information was posted on Sunday, January 18, 2015. "The candidates we support represent an incredible opportunity to bring forth new leaders who can end the attacks on schools and public services. They include many CTU members, community allies and 'champions' in our city who will address the racial and economic inequalities that have grown under Rahm Emanuel...

By the time the final endorsements were voted on by the union's House of Delegates a month before the first round of the municipal elections, the Chicago Teachers Union had voted to support an unprecedented 23 candidates for aldermen in various wards, as well as a candidate for mayor. Also, the union had succeeded in getting a referendum in favor of an elected school board on the ballot in 38 of the city's 50 wards.

The listing of candidates finalized by the union as of January 14, 2015 was published on the union's website as follows.

"Mayor of Chicago, Jesus "Chuy" Garcia

CTU Members Running for City Council

Ward, Candidate

10 Sue Sadlowski Garza

25 Ed Hershey

33 Tim Meegan

37 Tara Stamps

40 Dianne Daleiden

Progressive Caucus Members, Ward Candidate

5 Leslie Hairston

6 Roderick Sawyer

16 Toni Foulkes

22 Rick Muoz

32 Scott Waguespack

38 Nick Sposato

45 John Arena

Other Champions, Ward Candidate

11 Maureen F. Sullivan

15 Rafael Yaez

17 David Moore

18 Chuks Onyezia

19 Matthew OShea

23 Michael Zalewski

24 Frank Bass

26 Juanita Irizarry

29 Zerlina Smith

35 Carlos Rosa

46 Denice Davis


January 19, 2015 at 8:54 AM

By: John kugler

12th ward missing?

12th ward candidate Pete DeMay is missing endorsed by CTU HoD and CFL.

January 19, 2015 at 12:09 PM

By: Sue Levins

2nd ward

What about the new 2nd ward?

January 19, 2015 at 1:03 PM

By: George N. Schmidt

'Missing' wards from CTU listing

We have published the entire list that is currently published at the top of Although the 12th Ward candidates was endorsed earlier, he has been knocked off the ballot as a result of challenges (and I would love to publish an article about that). The CTU has not endorsed any candidate in the newly re-gerrymandered 2nd Ward. With four weeks to go until the election February 24, I suspect that this is the final list for the municipal elections of 2015, although anything is possible. If something new arises (for example, a successful court action against a ballot dumping), we will publish it as soon as we can verify its accuracy.

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:

4 + 5 =