Teachers Union Calls for Resignation of Chicago Mayor

The union said its House of Delegates "voted overwhelmingly" last week to support efforts aimed at getting Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez to resign.

by Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune / January 8, 2016 0
Relations between the Chicago Mayor and Teachers Union have been tense and surmounted to a strike in 2012. Flickr/Alejandro Quinones

The Chicago Teachers Union has officially added its voice to those calling for Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez to step down in light of the city's ongoing controversies over police tactics and accountability.

The union said its House of Delegates "voted overwhelmingly" last week to support efforts aimed at getting Emanuel and Alvarez to resign. CTU President Karen Lewis will talk about the issue at the union's annual Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Breakfast on Jan. 15, the union said.

The resolution passed by the delegates has no legal bearing and is simply a political statement from the union, which is in stalemated negotiations with the mayor's school board over a contract to replace one that expired last June.

The resolution also comes as little surprise. The CTU's opposition to Emanuel began practically with his election in 2011. Lewis, who led a seven-day teachers strike in September 2012, had been expected to challenge Emanuel's re-election last year but was stricken with cancer before she could announce her candidacy. The union instead supported Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia's unsuccessful bid to unseat Emanuel.

In the wake of the release a dash-cam video showing the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, the CTU helped coordinate a downtown protest, and union leaders have continued criticize the mayor's response to the situation.

The resolution approved by CTU delegates last Wednesday includes a series of allegations against Emanuel and Alvarez. Among them are that the two officials "delayed the release of (the police shooting) videos for their own political gains in order to secure victory in their 2015 re-election bids."

The union also endorsed pending legislation that would allow voters to recall Chicago's mayor.

Emanuel spokesman Adam Collins said in a statement that "the CTU organized against the mayor's campaigns in 2011 and 2015, and this is nothing more than a continuation of their long-standing political position."

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