Voters in Chicago re-elected Mayor Rahm Emanuel Tuesday, giving him more votes than his runoff challenger, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Mr Garcia is a county commissioner who would have become the city’s first Latino mayor. He received strong support from teachers, including Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, in an effort to put Mr Emanuel out of office.
Most of the negative sentiment toward Mr Emanuel began after he closed nearly 50 neighborhood schools. It was the largest mass closure of public schools in the nation’s history.
“We didn’t lose today, we tried today,” the paper quoted Mr Garcia as saying. “We fought hard for what we believe in.”
We congratulate Mr Emanuel and encourage him not to close neighborhood schools in the future. We extend our thanks to Mr Garcia for a good campaign that brought important issues into the light.
Education historian and Network for Public Education President Diane Ravitch wrote, “Chuy Garcia is a real reformer. His reforms will restore democracy in education; will restore true education—not test scores—as the center of school life; and prioritize the needs of children, not data.”
Despite losing the election, his message was real, and we hope it resonates with the people of Chicago, even with Mr Emanuel in office.