December 31, 2014

Special Interests make 2015 Aldermanic Endorsements

By Mark Wachtler

December 31, 2014. Chicago. (ONN) There’s nothing like scheduling an Election on the coldest day of the year to keep citizens from exercising their right to vote. Only one in five Chicagoans typically vote in the February local municipal Elections, even less in the April run-offs. This time around, there are a number hotly contested Aldermanic races. And some of the city’s most politically active special interest groups are already making their endorsements. Here is just a sampling of those announced so far.

Green Party candidate for 15th Ward Alderman Alberto Bocanegra shows one of the reasons he’s running for the Chicago City Council. Image courtesy of Alberto Bocanegra.

The Chicago Board of Elections hasn’t even finalized the February 24th ballot and is still showing dozens of Aldermanic candidates as having their ballot access petitions “challenged”. The BOE’s website doesn’t say when the final list of candidates will be released. Regardless, various political organizations aren’t waiting and have announced their endorsements. Some of the groups include; the Green Party of Chicago, Democrats for Education Reform, Chicago Teachers Union, Reclaim Chicago, and even the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

Green Party of Chicago

Our friends from the Green Party of Chicago show why they’re the most active opposition political party in the Windy City. They’ve released a list of initial Aldermanic endorsements, including one who is a Green Party member and candidate. ‘The Green Party of Chicago is very pleased to announce its first endorsements in the 2015 Chicago Municipal Elections,’ the Chicago Green Party announced this week, ‘The following aldermanic candidates have been endorsed.

  • 12th Ward – Pete DeMay
  • 15th Ward – Alberto Bocanegra*
  • 25th Ward – Jorge Mujica
  • 29th Ward – Zerlina Smith
  • 33rd Ward – Tim Meegan

*Alberto Bocanegra is recognized as a Green Party candidate in his race. This is Alberto’s third run for Alderman, and first in the newly redrawn 15th Ward, which is an open seat and an excellent opportunity to put the first Green on the City Council.’

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Democrats for Education Reform

The political action organization Democrats for Education Reform is pro-charter school, pro-voucher, anti-teacher’s union. As detailed by the Illinois Observer one week ago, the group has announced its first batch of 2015 Aldermanic endorsements.

“The candidates we’re supporting in this Election are champions of our public school children and they are fighting for higher standards in the classroom, accountability across the board and the assurance that every student – regardless of zip code or income – has the opportunity to receive a high-quality education,” DFER Illinois Director Rebeca Nieves-Huffman said when releasing the organization’s endorsements. They include:

-Alderman JoAnn Thompson (16th)

-Alderman Emma Mitts (37th)

-Michael Diaz, candidate (45th)

-Alderman Will Burns (4th)

-Alderman Michelle Harris (8th)

Chicago Teachers Union

Standing in total opposition to the above PAC, the Chicago Teachers Union has also begun making endorsements in the 2015 Chicago Aldermanic election. Compliments of the Chicago Sun Times, the first three include:

  • Sue Sadlowski Garza (10th Ward)
  • Tim Meegan (33rd Ward)
  • Tara Stamps (37th Ward)

Reclaim Chicago

The political action organization Reclaim Chicago is made up of progressive activists and one of the largest industry trade organizations for nurses. The group describes itself saying, ‘Reclaim Chicago is a people-led movement devoted to reclaiming our city and its government from the grip of corporate interests and the very wealthy.’ Their list of endorsed Chicago Aldermanic candidates includes:

  • Roderick T. Sawyer (6th Ward)
  • Lashonda Curry (7th Ward)
  • Tara Baldridge (8th Ward)
  • Michael LaFargue (9th Ward)
  • Maureen Sullivan (11th Ward)
  • Ricardo Munoz (22nd Ward)
  • Byron Sigcho (25th Ward)
  • Juanita Irizarry (26th Ward)
  • Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward)

  • Tim Meegan (33rd Ward)
  • Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward)
  • Nicholas Sposato (38th Ward)
  • Dianne Daleiden (40th Ward)
  • John Arena (45th Ward)

Party for Socialism and Liberation

Last but not least is the Chicago affiliate of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Before readers dismiss the candidacy of an opposition socialist for Chicago City Council, they’d be wise to look at last year’s Seattle City Council election in which an official socialist party member won her election. In Chicago, PSL’s candidate in the 2015 Aldermanic Election is:

  • John Beacham (49th Ward)

Fresh off the demonstration front lines in Ferguson, Missouri, Beacham’s campaign website touts, “Close prisons, not schools.”

We’ll keep our eye out for more 2015 Chicago Aldermanic endorsements. The election is February 24, 2015. Vote early, vote often, and vote independent!



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