By John Kass
April 20, 2022
I’ve repeatedly told Paul Vallas not to run for mayor of Chicago. The corrupt city doesn’t deserve him.
Many of you know that he’s a friend. He’s been squeezed in the past, betrayed by the insiders and some in media. And I figure that the corrupt political/donor class of this broken and ravaged city should just reap what they sow and be forced to watch the city collapse.
The best thing for Vallas and his family to do is to leave town, and let them squirm.
But he’s not listening to me.
“When you’ve asked me this question, I’ve said that if I have the financial support, with the infrastructure in place, I’ll make a run,” Vallas told me on this latest edition of The Chicago Way podcast. “Right now, I’m very optimistic. I’ve been connecting with a number of people, many of whom have not supported me in the past, but who I believe will support me this time…I’ll make a decision around Memorial Day.”
Co-host Jeff Carlin asked: Why put yourself through this?
“Because the city is in trouble and I don’t see anybody else out there who can do the job…The city is on the brink,” Vallas said.
He’s right. He ticked off the disasters every Chicagoan knows all too well, from skyrocketing violent crime to fiscal mismanagement.
“There are problems plaguing the city, like high crime, like the lack of educational choices, like the complete financial mismanagement of the city’s budget. I’ve connected with a whole new group of individuals who’ve never been engaged,” he said.
Whether he runs or not, Vallas has already taken on the powerful Chicago Teachers Union. CTU leadership is militant and hard-left, and they’ve replaced the old Chicago Democratic Machine in terms of dictating the city’s politics.
In a recent guest column here at johnkassnews.com, Vallas promoted real school choice for parents. particularly minority parents–and framed it as a civil rights issue against an institutional racist public school monopoly “shamelessly” supported by urban teachers unions. It is a civil rights issue, no doubt about it.
And it’s a parents’ issue.
“I’m going to tell it like it is,” Vallas said on The Chicago Way. “And education is the civil rights issue for this generation. These teacher union dominated urban districts are institutionally racist, not by design, but by outcome. They deny children and parents educational choice.”
That will enrage the CTU which expects to dictate to mayors, aldermen, governors and taxpayers how Chicago will be governed, always increasing public school budgets while enrollment drops and killing school choice.
Many candidates are expected to get into the race. Already, Ald. Raymond Lopez 15th and businessman Willie Wilson are in. John Catanzara president of the Fraternal Order of Police has talked about running. All have their constituencies, their tribes in this city of political tribes. Many will play the race card to match incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s use of the race card.
As to tribes, a question: What’s Vallas’ tribe?
“My tribe or my constituency is everybody who wants a safe city, that means a safe city for everybody,” Vallas said. “My tribe is anyone who wants parental choice, unabashed. I’m coming for 100 percent choice. Period. My tribe or my constituency is anybody who believes we shouldn’t be the highest fined, the highest taxed city in the nation.”
Defying the CTU at the outset? This should be interesting. Stay tuned.
The race for mayor of Chicago begins. It is the main event in the city of tribes.
The city is collapsing. It needs a manager.
And people vote with their feet.
To listen to The Chicago Way podcast, just click on the link. You can subscribe Free wherever you get your podcasts. And you can get the podcast here, always Free as well, in these morning emails telling subscribers about new content at johnkassnews.com
(Copyright 2022 John Kass)