Officer Slate Members First (1st) [Union Elections May 20, 2022 ]

Union Elections for Officers and Executive Board will be May 20, 2022

Memebers First is a political party inside of the teachers union.

They are trying to change the leadership of the CTU that has been in power since July 1, 2010.

Officer Slate for May 20 2022 Election

Mary Esposito-Usterbowski, Citywide School Psychologist

Members First CTU President Candidate

Sandi Hoggatt, Kenwood Academy HS

Members First CTU Vice-President Candidate

María Soto, Washington HS

Members First CTU Recording Secretary Candidate

Philip Weiss, Rickover Naval Academy

Members First CTU Financial Secretary Candidate

On May 20, we have the opportunity to vote for change

It’s not easy working in Chicago’s public schools today.

We are the educators who do this work because we care deeply about the children we serve.

The heart-wrenching effects of the pandemic, gun violence and poverty play out in our classrooms each and every day.

Having a union that delivers for us is essential, but that just isn’t what we have today.

The current leadership of the CTU sees work stoppages and strikes as the first step, and not the last one.

They are far more focused on advancing their own political careers than delivering for us.

If you believe we can do so much better – then vote for change.

Members First is that change. We are a diverse group of members that want our union to focus on delivering for members first - to improve our jobs and protect our hard-earned pay and benefits. We promise transparency in everything we do.

Our goal is to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to ensure the best educational outcomes for our students.

Learn more and be part of the change.


February 2, 2022 at 10:34 AM

By: john whitfield

Why is February African American History Month?

During Black History Month, we recognize the contributions and legacy of Black Americans —from the inventors we didn't hear about in history class like Mary Van Brittan Brown to pop-culture defining icons such as Janet Jackson. Black History Month requires us to reach past the chapters we skimmed in school and learn about Black History across intersectionality.

Whether it's by honoring trailblazing Black women, reading inspiring quotes from historic Black figures, or supporting Black-owned businesses, there are endless ways to celebrate far beyond February. So, why is this significant time observed during the shortest (and coldest!) month of the year?

While the end goal of Black History Month is to eventually tell the stories of prominent Black Americans year-round, there are several reasons February calls on us to educate ourselves and others.

It all started with "The Father of Black History"

Historians and the public generally ignored Black history until the 20th century. Carter G. Woodson, also known as “The Father of Black History,” was one of the predominant scholars who encouraged Black Americans to write themselves back into history books. A famed historian, educator, and activist, his dedication is the reason we celebrate Black History Month today.

Woodson, the son of former slaves and second African American to earn a doctorate from Harvard, noticed in his studies that textbooks often misrepresented or entirely left out Black Americans’ contributions. It prompted him to create what is now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) in 1916. The organization researched and promoted achievements by Black Americans, including looking at the African diaspora related to Black history in America.

Through ASALH, Woodson created educational materials like journals, textbooks, speeches, pamphlets, and more for every grade level from college to kindergarten. 10 years later in 1926, these resources helped Woodson start “Negro History Week.” According to Stanford historian Michael Hines, “Negro History Week was a direct challenge to traditional curricula of the time period, which often degraded and dehumanized Black people.”

He hosted the first celebrations in the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of two men significant in helping end slavery—President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

How One Week Became a Month

Celebrations grew and outstripped the bounds of a single week. Black teachers, mainly women, were instrumental in shaping the celebration through their work in the classroom. Communities like churches, sororities and fraternities, and civic organizations advanced the movement by holding local celebrations, establishing history clubs, and hosting lectures.

The growing pride and connection to cultural identity the Black community experienced during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement pushed the need for more opportunities to champion Black history nationwide.

Students and educators at Kent State University were the first groups to expand the celebration through the month in 1970. Finally, in 1976 President Gerald Ford declared February as Black History Month. Twenty-six years after Woodson’s death, President Ford called on the country at the United States Bicentennial to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Congress officially recognized Black History Month in 1986, and every president since Ronald Reagan has issued a Black History Month proclamation.

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