Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten on Brandon Johnson’s Victory in Chicago

For Release:


James Hill

CHICAGO—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement after Brandon Johnson’s win in Chicago’s mayoral runoff:

“This is a transformational moment. Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson started this race being counted out. The impossible became the possible, and tonight, Chicago voted for hope over fear and for aspiration over despair.

“Brandon Johnson is a teacher and a leader who believes deeply in the people of Chicago. The more they saw of him, the more they saw their future in his soul and on his shoulders—and the more they embraced his plan to invest in their city and the community.

“They affirmed what I have seen in him for years: a new leader from a new generation who is ready to solve problems and work with people, not divide them. 

“On education, the contrast was clear: Johnson wants to ensure parents have a say, teachers can teach and students can learn, without the intrusion of those who measure their success by closing schools rather than strengthening them.

“Tonight sends a message that efforts to exploit anxiety will not work in the face of a multiracial, multiethnic, multigenerational working-class movement standing together as one. I am proud of him and of the city for rejecting division and embracing the dream of a better life for all.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.