ALDERMANIC UPDATES: Tara Stamps demands a debate with Emma Mitts in the 37th Ward

Now that Chicago is in the home stretch in the 2015 municipal elections and most media attention will be focused on the mayoral race, it's still important to report the news from the aldermanic runoffs. There are either 18 or 19, depending upon how you interpret the fight still going on in the 33rd Ward, where Deb Mell claimed a narrow majority of three votes after the absentee ballots were finally counted and the numbers seemed to go against her opponent, Roosevelt High School teacher Tim Meegan.

In the 37th Ward, challenger Tara Stamps, who teaches at Jenner elementary school, is demanding a debate with incumbent Emma Mitts, who had long been one of the most outspoken supporters of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. For ten years, Substance has been reporting on Mitt's anti union and pro privatization work. In 2006, Mitts race baited the unions who organized in opposition to the entry of Walmart into Chicago, and the first Chicago Walmart was launched with her support in her ward, while Mitts race bated those who opposed the low wages and other reactionary work of Walmart and the Walton family that owns the place. Since Rahm Emanuel became mayor in 2011, Mitts has slavishly followed the Emanuel agenda, most recently giving her blessings (literally) and backing to a new Noble Street charter school a block south of Prosser Vocational High School (on whose LSC Mitts once served!).

On March 3, Stamps issued the following challenge:

Last week, voters in the 37th Ward and across Chicago asked for six more weeks to debate the future of our ward and our city.

The stakes couldnt be higher. Here in the 37th Ward, over 30% of all families live in poverty and dozens of our young people are killed every year. Last year, Rahm Emanuel's hand-picked school board cut millions of dollars from our neighborhood schools, leaving us with nine schools without a librarian. The 37th Ward is home to six red light cameras, while the downtown loop area has only three. Its time for a real conversation about the direction were headed and the issues at stake.

Im deeply honored and humbled by the opportunity to keep this conversation going. As a classroom teacher and a daughter of the Civil Rights Movement, our right to make informed and educated decisions at the ballot box is deeply important to me.

Thats why we need a debate. For years, weve been represented by a politician who has neglected neighborhood schools and services while accepting thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the same special interests who support Bruce Rauner: low-wage employers, Wall Street hedge fund managers, and out-of-town millionaires.

Just two months ago, the alderman refused to come before the voters to defend her track record. Last week, the people rejected her silence, demanding another six weeks to hear from those who wish to serve them.

Im calling for an open and honest debate of the issues at stake. If you agree, please give $10, $25, or $50 today so that I can keep up the pressure.

Thank you,

Tara Stamps


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