Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Troy is officially running for mayor

Troy LaRaviere on Hitting Left
I'm not endorsing anyone for mayor yet. 2019 is still a ways away and we have no idea what the whole field will look like. First of course, we have to defeat Trump wannabe Rauner in the race for governor. But I was glad to hear yesterday that my friend Troy LaRaviere had filed his papers and officially entered the mayor's race against Rahm Emanuel. 

Some of you may remember that night in 2015 at the Hideout, when CTU Pres. Karen Lewis turned to Troy and said, "Why don't you run?" Lots of light bulbs lit up that room full of lefties and progressives at the time, including one over my head.

Troy was our first guest on Hitting Left back in February of 2017 and we asked him then if he was ready to announce. He wasn't then but was obviously surveying the territory. Now it seems he's put his team together and is ready to officially jump into the fray. Good for him. Good for us.

I've been afraid that the progressives would wait too long before coming up with viable candidates to take on Rahm and his current regime of one-percenters. I still am.

Rahm's people are definitely not waiting til 2019. Despite his lower-than-snakeshit poll numbers and collapse of support among the city's African-American voters, he's raising tons of campaign money, rebranding himself as a progressive, and is still a force to be reckoned with.

But it's also important to remember that Chuy Garcia, now running for congress, forced Rahm into a run-off even after entering the campaign late and with only a tiny fraction of the mayor's campaign funds. Knocking off Rahm in 2019 will be tough. But it's doable.

Troy with Bernie
Troy, the former principal at Blaine Elementary, was fired by the board for "insubordination" after speaking out openly against the mayor's wrongheaded schools policies. Troy has always been a pot-stirrer. After winning his election and becoming president of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, Troy has continued to be a voice for social and educational justice. His recent takedown of Rahm's discriminatory special ed policies was a model of research-based critical inquiry.

He's a Bernie Sanders Democrat and played an important role in pushing for a critical statement on privatization and charter schools in the Democratic Party's platform during the 2016 presidential campaign. Sanders came to town in April, 2016 and called Troy's firing, "Rahm's revenge obsession."

But questions remain about whether a LaRaviere candidacy can capture the imagination and pocketbooks of voters and unite communities citywide, despite a badly divided, often anti-electoral and sectarian left. Can LaRaviere reach out to those with interests beyond the field of public education? I think he can. But it will be an enormous challenge.

For those still unfamiliar with Troy's take on education and politics, check out his blog here.

NEXT UP ON HITTING LEFT... Delia Ramirez, candidate for state rep in the 4th Dist.


  1. I think Troy would have a real shot. He understands Chicago politics, is passionate about education and sets a room on fire when he speaks. If I lived in Chicago I would vote for him in a heartbeat.

  2. This is good timing on his part, as there is so much turmoil at CPS (saw footage of the meeting about the high school closings on the news tonight). Good to start early, Troy.

  3. Troy is one of several good candidates capable of beating Rahm and being a capable mayor. I wish him luck.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.