Brandon Johnson


We’re down to the wire in Chicago.

The election for city council and mayor is next Tuesday, the last day of February. It’s a large field, and to win a candidate must receive over 50% of the vote, so the most likely result will be a runoff in early April between the top two vote getters. Hold on to your hats!

If you missed Episode # 66 of Under the Tree (I Am Waiting for Democracy with “Girl, I Guess”) check it out. Stephanie Skora, the force behind theGirl, I Guess Progressive Voter Guide, isa self-described “Jewish, queer, trans, nerd” dedicated to helping members of the community navigate confusing ballot races and identify the most progressive candidates. She’s brilliant, relentlessly radical, and hilarious—an unbeatable combination.

Among the top candidates for mayor, two are genuine progressives: Chuy Garcia and Brandon Johnson. Chuy is a long-time organizer and community builder, and part of the Progressive Caucus in the US Congress. Love him, and hope he stays in Congress doing great work. Brandon is an educator, a labor and community organizer, a leader of the progressive caucus in the Chicago Teachers Union, and a member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Love Brandon. 

The nightmare scenario for us would be a runoff between the failed incumbent, Lori Lightfoot, and Paul Vallas, former failed CEO of Chicago schools, and the far-right beneficiary of the police union’s endorsement and big money. 

The political ads tell a story: Vallas never mentions the elephant in the room, the intimate police connection, emphasizing instead that he supports women’s reproductive freedom and LBGQ rights; Lightfoot worked hard to soften and humanize her public image as a difficult narcissist, but when her campaign continued to head downhill she turned negative. Lightfoot apparently saw Chuy as her main threat, and her early attacks were particularly egregious—she depicted him as a marionette, his strings being pulled by a corporation, a corrupt politician, and Sam Bankman-Fried, a Jew. Racist to the core, dishonest, and one of the oldest antisemitic tropes available. And as Brandon continues to surge, Lightfoot’s ads have turned on him, calling him a “radical,” and not as a complement. None of her ads are the least bit honest, and worse, she has dusted off a  despicable playbook—racist, antisemitic, and anti-communist to boot.

A sad sideshow is people who once knew better, posting and reposting the bullshit: “Brandon can’t be trusted to negotiate with teachers because he was a teacher;” “Brandon wants to fund schools and housing for the unhoused  and mental health clinics, so he will make Chicago less safe.”  Some folks seem to have lost their minds.

Brandon Johnson has the energy, the vision, the policies, the skills, and the broad support of young Chicagoans to become a transformative leader for our city. He is thoughtful, measured, and  caring.

Vote for Brandon Johnson.


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