CHICAGO– Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) President Dan Montgomery issued this statement today following Chicago’s mayoral election results.
“Brandon Johnson made history today as the first public school teacher and union organizer to run for mayor of the third largest city in the United States. I am so proud of our IFT brother and Cook County commissioner for running an inspiring campaign centered on progressive values and what our students, workers, and communities need to thrive.
“In five weeks, Chicagoans will make history too by electing a teacher and committed labor leader to the city’s highest office. The IFT is excited and proud to support Brandon in the runoff. He is the only candidate who has led multi-racial coalitions to defend neighborhood schools from privatization, reduce high-stakes standardized testing, and expand access to state funding. Brandon understands that every student – regardless of their race, income, or zip code – deserves a fully resourced, high-quality education, from PreK-16.
“Paul Vallas would be a disaster for public education, union workers, and Chicago residents. During Vallas’ tenure at CPS, he oversaw what would become a model for conservative education policy around the nation, which includes increased standardized testing and the privatization of public schools through charters and magnets. As CEO of the Philadelphia and New Orleans school districts, he decimated public education.
“Chicagoans now have a responsibility on April 4 to ensure that our city continues to move forward, not become governed by right-wing extremists. The choice is clear – progress and prosperity under Brandon Johnson or another devastating and divisive Bruce Rauner-like term under Paul Vallas.
“While Brandon Johnson inspires hope, Paul Vallas feeds into Chicagoans' worst fears. Our city cannot afford another Bruce Rauner.
“Congratulations to Brandon Johnson and his team for running this successful campaign. And thank you to our members who worked to help Brandon in this historic race. We know they will redouble their efforts in the runoff to ensure Chicago elects Brandon Johnson, the transformative leader our city needs and deserves.”