Historic labor and community movement propels educator, organizer, and CTU member Brandon Johnson into April runoff for mayor Chicagoans in every corner of the city vote for Johnson’s bold platform to make Chicago better, safer and stronger for ALL city residents
CHICAGO—Thanks to an unprecedented, historic multi-generational, multi-ethnic working-class coalition demanding transformative change in Chicago, educator, CTU member, and public school parent Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson will advance to the April 4 runoff, continuing to spread his bold vision for a Better Chicago and grow his people-powered winning coalition.
Vote totals from the Chicago Board of Elections on Tuesday evening showed Johnson besting Mayor Lori Lightfoot and U.S. Representative Chuy Garcia for a spot in the runoff against perennial losing candidate Paul Vallas.
“Today, we are on the verge of creating a new Chicago,” CTU President Stacy Davis Gates said. “It’s a Chicago for the many, not the few — a city where the unhoused can access affordable and sustainable housing, where our public schools are fully funded and provide the support students need, and where our young people can play in safe, welcoming and thriving communities.”
For more than a decade, educators, students, parents, and community members have been laser-focused on ensuring that Chicago works for every resident, no matter their zip code, color, or immigration status, and tonight’s results clearly show our efforts are moving Chicago forward.
“With CTU President Emerita Karen Lewis as a north star, the working families movement in this city has been organizing our neighbors, mobilizing our activists and educating our educational community about a new Chicago,” said Davis Gates.
Brandon Johnson and his campaign are an outgrowth of that work. Since his time as a classroom educator, Johnson has stood on the side of those that work for a living, and tonight’s results speak to his commitment as a leader, parent of students in Chicago Public Schools and organizer committed to making this city better.
In October, the CTU’s House of Delegates, the union’s democratically elected governing body, voted nearly unanimously to endorse and support Johnson’s mayoral campaign in an effort to unseat Mayor Lori Lightfoot, whose failed policies and broken promises have hurt educators, their students and the schools they serve.
At the time, Johnson was relatively unknown beyond the First District he represented on the Cook County board and the labor and organizing circles where he has been a steadfast presence. But with a bold, comprehensive progressive platform, grounded in his years as an educator and organizer, Johnson’s campaign took off in every corner of the city, surging in popularity and heading to the top of most polls by Election Day. The April contest between Johnson and Vallas will present Chicagoans with the clearest choice of vision and purpose of any mayoral campaign since the election of Harold Washington 40 years ago.
Like Washington, Johnson has ignited a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-generational working class movement — a new Rainbow Coalition — that speaks to the hopes and desires of Black and Brown communities that have been ignored and faced disinvestment for decades.
“Chicago is ready to break with the politics of the past that ignore the needs of our students, their families and school communities,” Davis Gates said. “With Brandon on the 5th floor of City Hall, we will finally have a mayor who envisions — and fights for — the city all Chicagoans deserve.”
Throughout the campaign, hundreds of CTU members fanned out across the city talking with voters about Brandon and his comprehensive plan to invest in our communities. By the end of this weekend, the CTU had organized hundreds of volunteers to make more than 45,000 phone calls, send more than 60,000 texts, and knock on some 10,000 doors in the run-up to Tuesday’s election. This program was critical to Johnson’s success and organizers are already working on expanding and building on it to push him to victory in April.