|Troy LaRaviere on Hitting Left|
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|
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.