RELEASE: DFER-IL Announces First Round Of 2015 Endorsements

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December 22, 2014


December 22, 2014

DFER-IL Announces First Round Of 2015 Endorsements

Democrats for Education Reform -Illinois (DFER-IL) today released its first round of endorsements for the 2015 municipal elections. The candidates were evaluated on their responses to a questionnaire, as well as their public statements and city council votes.

 “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 zipcode or income – has the opportunity to receive a high-quality education,” Rebeca Nieves-Huffman, DFER-IL state director, said. “Our students and our city deserve real progressive leadership from elected officials who will fight to expand pre-k, promote diversity in our best schools and push back against the special interests who want to inject politics into our school board.”

The endorsed candidates are:

Alderman JoAnn Thompson (16th)

Alderman Thompson has been fighting for Englewood in the city council since 2007. She has been a strong supporter of the longer school day in Chicago, more quality options for kids and expanding access to pre-k. She will continue to put her constituents first when it comes to improving education, eradicating gun violence and creating jobs. Her main opponent, Alderman Toni Foulkes, calls herself a progressive but voted against a plan to give thousands of children access to early childhood education. The 16th ward will be well served keeping Thompson in charge.

Alderman Emma Mitts (37th)

Alderman Mitts has been a tireless advocate for her community.  She believes that all students deserve a high-quality education, which is why she championed increasing diversity in Chicago’s best schools and expanding early education options for low-income children. Voters of the 37th ward need her continued leadership in increasing educational opportunities for families on the west side

Michael Diaz, candidate 45th ward

Michael Diaz is a champion for Chicago’s school children and if elected, will bring much needed progressive values to the city council. He supports the full school day and year and believes in promoting high-quality education options for our kids – regardless of background or zip code. Diaz also will fight for increased accountability across the board to ensure that every school is held to a higher standard. His opponent, Alderman John Arena, has given new meaning to the term “political pandering” in his first term in office. The self-proclaimed “progressive” voted against expanding early childhood education and was more interested in standing on a soapbox than he was helping low-income children succeed. Diaz is the new leader that the 45th ward deserves.

Alderman Will Burns (4th)

Will Burns is a true progressive who believes that regardless of life circumstances, nothing should stand in the way of every child’s right to a good education. Like President Obama, he believes in boosting classroom standards and expanding access to early education. He has fought for better jobs, safer streets and led the fight for a higher minimum wage. He is a leader in the Democratic Party in Chicago, and is strongly endorsed for re-election.

Alderman Michelle Harris (8th)  

Alderman Harris believes in increasing high-quality education options for the kids in her ward – more seats at selective enrollment schools for African-Americans, more IB or STEM schools, or even more high-performing public charters. She knows that education at an early age is the key to success. That’s why she voted to increase access to pre-k services for thousands of low-income students in Chicago. If re-elected, Alderman Harris will continue to advocate on behalf of every child.