Saturday, March 7, 2015

Taking on Mayor 1%

Dear MoveOn member, 

Last week in Chicago, a grassroots candidate named Jesús "Chuy" García defied the odds (and millions of Wall Street dollars) by forcing Mayor Rahm Emanuel into the first runoff election in Chicago's history. 

And then the nation took notice. Last week was full of headlines like: 
  • "Rahm Emanuel besieged by the left" 1
  • "Garcia vs. Emanuel could be proxy for fight within national party"2
  • "Progressives Celebrate Rahm Emanuel's Surprise Setback in Chicago"3
Here's how former White House aide Bill Curry put it in Salon:

A Garcia victory would be a historic watershed not just for Chicago or for Democrats but for all progressives. It wouldn't just frighten the Wall Street Dems who now reign over their national party. It would alter the terms of debate even beyond the party and prove, to cynics and to ourselves, that the power of ideas is still greater than the power of money and that grass-roots politics is not dead.4

While many MoveOn members have already contributed time and money to this race, we know that many people are just now learning what's at stake in this election—so, together with our allies at the Working Families Party, we are hosting a national strategy call with Chuy García himself this Monday, March 9, at 8 p.m. ET (7 CT/6 MT/5 PT).

Will you join me on a national call this Monday to hear from progressive champion Chuy García about his exciting campaign to take down "Mayor 1%" Rahm Emanuel? 

MoveOn members in Chicago voted to make García our first endorsement of 2015, and have been working their hearts out for him ever since. Now the latest polls are showing the race to be neck and neck ahead of the runoff election just four weeks from now.5

Emanuel fought against progressive policies for years in Congress (where he pushed through NAFTA)6 and at the White House (where he helped block a public option for health care).And since becoming mayor of Chicago four years ago, he's infuriated Chicagoans by closing 49 public schools in low-income communities, privatizing public resources, and showering his biggest contributors with city contracts.That's why Chicagoans have taken to calling him "Mayor 1%."

Meanwhile, Chuy García has been fighting for progressive values for more than 30 years in Chicago. He got his start in politics working for Chicago's last great progressive mayor, Harold Washington, in 1983. He's since served on the Chicago City Council, as a state senator, and as a Cook County commissioner. Throughout it all he's been a fighter for the middle class, immigrants, and Chicago's diverse neighborhoods.9 

Now major media outlets are calling Chicago ground zero in a battle between the progressive and corporate wings of the Democratic Party.

If we can defeat Mayor Rahm Emanuel on April 7, it will send a message loud and clear to politicians everywhere that if you put corporations before people, you'll lose—it doesn't matter if you're running for mayor, Congress or for president. 

Can you join Chuy García on the call Monday night at 8 p.m. ET (7 CT/6 MT/5 PT)?

On the call Chuy García and I will be joined by leaders of national and local progressive groups supporting his campaign, including the Chicago Teachers Union, United Working Families, and Democracy for America. We'll discuss why this race is so important and how people across the nation can get involved ahead of the April 7 election. 

You can submit questions for Chuy García by tweeting them using #askchuy or when you RSVP. 

Thanks for all you do. 

–Ilya, Robert, Joan, Matt, and the rest of the team


1. "Rahm Emanuel besieged by the left," Politico, February 25, 2015

2. "Garcia vs. Emanuel could be proxy for fight within national party," Chicago Tribune, February 27, 2015

3. "Progressives Celebrate Rahm Emanuel's Surprise Setback in Chicago," Bloomberg, February 25, 2015

4. "Rahm Emanuel's moment of reckoning: How he ended up in a fight for his political life," Salon, March 1, 2015

5. "New poll: Emanuel, Garcia in 'dead heat' in mayoral runoff," Chicago Sun-Times, March 1, 2015

6. "How Will Rahm's Role in NAFTA Play in the Mayor's Race?" Chicago, October 15, 2010

7. "Chief of Staff Draws Fire From Left as Obama Falters," The Wall Street Journal, January 26, 2010

8. "Rahm Emanuel vs. Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia on the issues,", February 21, 2015

9. "Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia's journey from a village in Mexico to the race against Mayor Emanuel," Chicago Reader, January 21, 2015

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