The Chicago Teachers Union recently announced its endorsement of State Sen. Kwame Raoul in his bid for Illinois Attorney General.
“Our members know how critical it is to support candidates who are principled, trustworthy and committed to the greater public good – not just by the words they speak but by the record of public service they bring to the table,” said CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey. “We can count on Kwame to put the people’s business and the people’s needs front and center as Attorney General, something we simply could not expect from some of the other candidates vying for this office. We know he’ll support fair taxes, adequately and fairly funded schools, the health and safety of Illinois residents, and honest, open, accountable government. We’re proud to support him.”
With another major endorsement from the Cook County Democrats, Raoul is considered a heavy favorite in the Democratic Primary March 20.
CTU said Raoul has been a strong champion of teachers during his 13-year legislative career, and believes that protecting and investing in public education is a critical element in mitigating the violence that plagues Chicago’s streets.
“A quality education is a civil right that must be afforded to all the children of Illinois,” Raoul said. “Unfortunately, we live in a state with a separate and unequal public education system that teeters on the brink of educational apartheid – one for the students of affluent districts and parents, and another for low-income students in districts like Chicago. I’m proud to stand with the CTU in its efforts to ensure that public education is governed and funded with equity, here in Chicago and across the state. I appreciate the CTU’s endorsement immensely, and I look forward to serving the best interests of public school students from across the state as Illinois Attorney General.”
In the legislature, the CTU said Raoul has voted to increase education funding, fought for more equity in the State’s school funding formula, and is sponsoring legislation to bring an elected school board to Chicago.
“Kwame has consistently demonstrated his belief in democracy and voting rights,” said high school teacher Ben Coyle, who chairs the union’s legislative committee. “He is committed to protecting both the families who depend on public education and the union educators, clinicians, and paraprofessionals who are the backbone of our school communities, and after a vigorous review of all the candidates for AG, we are proud to endorse him.
CTU President Karen Lewis sent a statement declaring her support for Raoul.
“Kwame believes in fairness – for our children, our families, our public workers and all of Illinois’ residents,” she wrote. “He cares deeply about the rights and needs of Black students across the city, and as the child of immigrant parents, he’s also committed to the needs of immigrant students and families. As Illinois’ highest ranking legal advocate, he’ll protect the rights and dignity of our schools’ children and their parents, and he’ll advocate for fair treatment for the city’s Black educators, who have seen their numbers decimated by school closures and so-called ‘turnarounds’. He’s the candidate we need in the age of Trump and Rauner’s attacks on moderate-income and poor families, and for all of our state’s schoolchildren.”