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Welcome to your new job, Mr. Johnson
Sometimes, readers, things work out as they should.
Our mayoral election in Chicago happens to be one of those times.
As a matter of fact, thousands of folks have been working towards this for years—activists, parents, citizens. And by “this” I mean: A city in which we do not have to assume that our schools will be targeted and destroyed.
Because now we have a teacher for a mayor.
We CPS parents who have been ranting, raving, marching, complaining, and demanding that promises and laws be fulfilled (the nerve!) now have an advocate right at the top. Someone who knows what the schools need, what students need, what teachers need, what communities need.
Of course our work is not over! There’s so much! Restoring our schools won’t be easy. After all, this current iteration of public school destruction took 25 or 30 years to reach this point. It can’t be fixed overnight.
So our work is just beginning. But we no longer have to confront a wall of hostility and antipathy in that work. I’m predicting that the days of an unresponsive unqualified unelected school board, of school libraries being closed or mowed over, of mass school closures, of illegal special ed cuts being made and then covered up, of parents having to go on a hunger strike merely to access the mayor—I’m predicting we just might catch a break from these things.
So thanks, sensible fellow citizens, for turning down the fear-laden, big-money-tainted, anti-public-school offer made by that other guy. And welcome to your new job, Mr. Johnson. We’ve been waiting, hoping, and preparing for a guy like you for so long.