Yesterday, we made history in a once-in-a-generation election.
Despite the formidable forces who lined up against us, we came together to elect Brandon Johnson as Mayor and the most progressive City Council in history — including Desmon Yancy in the 5th Ward and Angela Clay in the 46th!
When we launched JCUA Votes, we sought to mobilize our Jewish community to play an active and decisive role in local electoral politics. The results yesterday show that we are succeeding. Over the course of this election, our members knocked thousands of doors, made thousands of phone calls, had hundreds of conversations with voters, and brought our wider Jewish community into the fold.
Because of all our organizing, we can now welcome in a new era of Chicago politics!
Chicago has a new mayor! Despite entering the race unknown by most voters and being outspent nearly 2-1 by his opponent, Brandon Johnson secured a historic victory over Paul Vallas in the runoff. We can attribute Brandon’s victory to his bold vision for Chicago and the massive coalition who took action during the campaign. JCUA Votes was proud to mobilize #JewsForJohnson alongside a multiracial, multicultural coalition of community organizations, unions, faith-based groups, IPOs, and working people from across the city.
Desmon Yancy was elected as the new alderperson of the 5th Ward to represent Hyde Park, South Shore, Greater Grand Crossing, and Woodlawn. Our members have worked with Desmon for years as part of GAPA & ECPS, and we were thrilled to throw down for him in his campaign. JCUA Votes held weekly canvasses and phone-banks, hosted house parties, and contacted hundreds of local residents. With a narrow margin, JCUA V0tes organizing played a decisive role in Desmon’s victory.
Angela Clay was elected as the new alderperson of the 46th Ward to represent Uptown, Lakeview, and Buena Park. Despite hundreds of thousands spent against her by corporations, real-estate industry entities, and special interest groups, Angela’s people-powered campaign was victorious! JCUA Votes held weekly canvasses and phone-banking alongside many of our movement partners, and we contacted hundreds of residents in support of Angela.
Lori Torres Whitt fell short in her campaign for 36th Ward Alderperson. As a longtime Humboldt Park resident and CPS teacher, Lori ran an exciting, people-powered campaign that centered public education, violence prevention, and fair and affordable housing. We look forward to working with Lori to make the 36th Ward and all of Chicago a safer and stronger place.
These runoffs follow a first-round in which all nine of JCUA Votes’s endorsed District Council candidates (Maurilio Garcia, Jenny Schaffer, Sam Schoenburg, Darrell Dacres, Anna Rubin, Dierdre O’Connor, EdVetté Jones, Marilyn Pagán-Banks, Veronica Arreola). What a showing for our first election!
Now that the election has passed, it is crucial that we take forward our momentum to win the campaigns for Bring Chicago Home, Treatment Not Trauma, and more. Let’s hold our new elected officials accountable and address the issues of homelessness, public safety, immigration justice, and more.
As we prepare to welcome Passover with family and friends, it is worth reflecting on what this moment represents. This year marks 40 years since the groundbreaking election of Harold Washington, who like Brandon, built a multiracial, multicultural, interfaith movement that centered working and marginalized people in Chicago.
Just as our ancestors wandered for 40 years through the desert, our communities have persevered for four decades in pursuit of a more just and equitable city. Over decades, thousands of people in Chicago have come together to build a powerful and connected progressive movement that can win elections at all levels of city government. With Brandon on the fifth floor supported by a progressive City Council, it is now our turn to govern.
On behalf of JCUA Votes, we wish you all a meaningful, joyous, and restful Passover. May our organizing continue to bring about transformational change in Chicago and beyond.