The Chicago Federation of Labor released its endorsement list in the Chicago municipal elections. No candidate for mayor, including Mayor Daley, was endorsed. Same goes for city treasurer. Daley’s hand-picked candidate for city clerk, Miguel del Valle, did receive the CFL’s nod.
Dennis Gannon, who heads the Chicago Federation of Labor, had this to say in this morning’s Tribune, which was published before the CFL made its decision.
Some labor leaders believe Daley shifted against them decisively when corporations chipped in heavily for the construction of Millennium Park. From his desk in the Prudential Building, Gannon pointed at the park below.
“All you’ve got to do is look out the window here,” he said. “We in the labor community can’t compete with building a park for half a billion dollars.”
The CFL also didn’t endorse anyone in Daley’s 11th Ward.
Non-incumbents endorsed by the CFL include Sandi Jackson (7), Carina Sanchez (12), Toni L. Foulkes (15), Joann Thompson (16), Paul Stewart (18), Leroy J. Jones, Jr. (21), Brendan Reilly (42), Michele Smith (43) and Greg Brewer (50). The CFL didn’t endorse any candidate in several races, including 2, 5, 11, 20, 25, 29, 34, 37 and 44.
Also from the Tribune story, black incumbents and their friends have thrown down the gauntlet.
In black wards, incumbents already are trying to counter the unions by alleging that labor discriminates against African-Americans, particularly in the high-paying building trades.
“They can’t influence voters,” said former 7th Ward Ald. William Beavers, whose daughter and successor faces Sandi Jackson, the congressman’s wife, at the polls next month. “How can you tell blacks how to vote when you are freezing them out of unions?”
Unions should push for more construction jobs for blacks, said Illinois Senate President Emil Jones (D-Chicago). “I told the unions, `Don’t come messing with me and my aldermen, but then you’re silent about breaking down the walls of discrimination’” in the trades, Jones said.
While we’re at it, the Sun-Times’ Stella Foster reports today that the other non-incumbent in the 50th Ward race, Naisy Dolar, will have some big names in for her upcoming fundraiser.
U.S. Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, coming to town Jan. 25 to attend the fund-raiser for Naisy Dolar, a former city employee and one of the candidates looking to unseat Ald. Bernard Stone (50th). The event will be held at the Singha Thai restaurant on Clark. Also lending support will be Tammy Duckworth, an Iraqi war vet recently appointed the state Veterans Affairs director.
If Dolar wins, she would be the first Asian American on the Chicago City Council.
*** UPDATE *** From the Sun-Times:
The 3rd, 12th, 16th, 25th, 42nd and 50th are viewed as â€œTier Oneâ€ challenges where the Chicago Federation of Labor will devote its heaviest resources. […]
Natarus predicted that labor opposition would have â€œzeroâ€ impact on the 42nd Ward race.
â€œThey have a lot of nerve because I provide more construction jobs and labor jobs than any other area of the city. All they have to do is ask their brothers and sisters in the Carpenters Union. They ought to be ashamed of themselves with all the jobs that I provide and all of the high-rise construction,â€ Natarus said.