* Chicago DSA…
Three aldermanic candidates endorsed and supported by Chicago Democratic Socialists of America won seats on city council last night in the Chicago municipal runoff elections. In the 20th Ward, Jeanette Taylor won with 59.64% of the vote and will be taking the seat formerly held by indicted Willie Cochran. Similarly in the 25th ward, Byron Sigcho-Lopez, who won with 54.31% of the vote, will be succeeding Danny Solis, formerly the powerful chair of the Zoning committee. In the 40th ward, Andre Vasquez defeated the nine-term incumbent Pat O’Connor with 53.93% of the vote.
A fourth CDSA endorsed candidate, Rossana Rodríguez-Sanchez, is in a tight race with Deb Mell in the 33rd Ward. After bringing Mell to the first runoff in the ward since the 1930s, Rodríguez-Sanchez was up by 64 votes with all precincts reporting. The winner of that race will be determined after absentee ballots are accounted for and a recount is completed.
The new aldermen will join Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, a democratic socialist incumbent in the 35th Ward, and newcomer 1st Ward alderman Daniel La Spata, another CDSA member. Both Ramirez-Rosa and La Spata won their races outright during the first round of voting on February 26. That means that, in a 50 seat city council, at least 10% will be members of Chicago Democratic Socialists of America.
“As democratic socialists, we’re ready to build a Chicago for all of us, not just a wealthy few,” said Lucie Macías, one of two Chicago DSA co-chairs. “Our Chicago for All platform is based on three main planks: Housing for all, Sanctuary for all and Education for all. We’re excited to build a socialist caucus in city hall to carry out this agenda and fight for Chicago’s working class.”
Over the last six months, CDSA endorsed the four aforementioned candidates and supported them with canvasses and other volunteer work. CDSA’s Chicago For All platform represented issues the chapter organized around before the elections, like lifting the ban on rent control in Illinois, stopping the construction of a new $95 million cop academy, and creating a democratically elected school board for Chicago.
These victories are part of a nationwide wave of electoral wins by Democratic Socialists of America members over the last year, the most prominent being current Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York. DSA recently endorsed Bernie Sanders for President, who carried the 1st, 25th, 33rd, 35th, and 40th wards back in the 2016 Democratic Primary in Chicago.
They scored some impressive wins. Now they have to govern.