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As Chicago Moves Left, NYC Can Do It Too
Brandon Johnson is a former public school teacher and union organizer. On Monday he was sworn in as mayor of Chicago, the nation’s third largest city, with the Chicago Teachers Union and allied social movements providing the wind in his sails. It will be a rare opportunity for a multi-racial working-class movement to govern and turn its bold, visionary ideas into reality. You get a sense of the excitement in this video.
Meanwhile, here in the nation’s largest city, former police captain-turned-mayor Eric Adams has been making excuses for white vigilante killings in the subway while showering the NYPD with huge pay raises and defunding libraries, schools, parks, public housing and just about anything else that makes life better for ordinary New Yorkers.
So how does New York get to where Chicago is? For starters, NYC’s electoral left has won a number of high-profile victories in recent years that give it a strong bench. In our May print edition, Indy Editor-in-Chief John Tarleton writes about seven potential challengers in 2025 — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jamaal Bowman, Jumaane Williams, Brad Lander, Jessica Ramos, Ron Kim and Jabari Brisport — and assessed their strengths and weaknesses and the likelihood they would want the job.
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For progressives, one big difference between Chicago and New York can be found in the strength and political orientation of their respective teachers’ unions. In NYC, the teachers union remains frozen in time — hobbled by a pervasive, Cold War-era hostility to the left, but rank-and-file organizing within the union to overhaul its leadership is gaining strength.
A Tale of Two Teachers Unions
By Norm Scott
While the next mayoral election is two years away, progressives and socialists on the New York City Council can become much more effective if they learn from their past mistakes, Brandon West writes. West is a former City Council budget analyst and DSA-endorsed City Council candidate who offers his insider’s knowledge of how things really get done at city hall.
How to Make New York City Council Work for Working People
By Brandon West
Highlights of our coverage of the rise of the NYC electoral left since 2018:
June 2018 — AOC
August 2018 — Julia Salazar
June 2019 — Tiffany Cabán
March 2020 — Bloomberg Files
June 2020 — NY Primaries
March 2021 — The fall of Cuomo
June 2021 — Election guide
November 2022 — NY Dems midterm blunders