CHICAGO, Jan. 22, 2018—The Chicago Teachers Union endorsed Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul today in his campaign to serve as Illinois’ next attorney general, in a gathering that included current and retired teachers and allies.
“Senator Raoul has been a rock-solid advocate of an elected representative school board for the City of Chicago and for collective bargaining rights for workers, and he has consistently raised concerns about school closings as an attack on the viability of disenfranchised neighborhoods and the basic rights of students and parents,” said CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey. “We can count on Kwame to put the people’s business and the people’s needs front and center as attorney general, something we simply could not expect from some of the other candidates vying for this office. We’re proud to support him.”
Raoul has served as state senator of Chicago’s 13th District on the city’s South Side for the last 13 years, where he’s been a champion of issues that include criminal justice reform, pre-school and early childhood education, and garnering the right of Chicagoans to elect their own school board members, just as every other school district in the state does—a right that continues to be denied to Chicago voters.
“Kwame has consistently demonstrated his belief in workers’ rights and voting rights,” said Hubbard High School teacher Ben Coyle, who chairs the Union’s legislative committee. “He is committed to protecting both the families who depend on public education and the union educators, clinicians and paraprofessionals who are the backbone of our school communities.”
“After a vigorous review of all the candidates for A.G., we are proud to endorse him,” Coyle added.
CTU President Karen Lewis also expressed her unequivocal support for Raoul in a statement:
“Kwame believes in fairness—for our children, our families, our public workers and all of Illinois’ residents. He cares deeply about the rights and needs of Black students across the city, and as the child of immigrant parents, he’s also committed to the needs of immigrant students and families. As Illinois’ highest ranking legal advocate, he’ll advocate for fair treatment for the city’s Black educators, who have seen their numbers decimated by school closures and so-called ‘turnarounds.’ He’ll put the needs of public schoolchildren front and center in his agenda. He’s the candidate we need in the age of Trump and Rauner’s attacks on moderate-income and poor families, and for all of our state’s schoolchildren.”