24 thoughts on “We had an election, here are some maps

  1. The referendums in favor of an elected school board were massively one sided, more than 80/20 in every ward that polled, even some North side ones like 32, 47, 46. Just a tremendous amount of political capital spent on those school closings. Hopefully it was worth it, I’m not sure at this point. Certainly should have been handled better.

    1. If you frame it that way it’s hard to understand. However, those who made their protest votes don’t frame it that way at all. Their argument is that neighborhoods and their people matter. CPS should be investing in school improvement, not withdrawal. The school closures are viewed by many as an indication by the Emanuel administration that he doesn’t care about the 65% or so of the city that is black and Latino, poor or working-class, and struggling to make it. The city might be working well for the other 35%, but Rahm has a tough time convincing the rest that he cares.

      That affects the perception on everything Rahm’s done since the school closures. There’s the anger that fueled the teacher’s strike, reaction to the spike in crime, and criticism around the 1,000 police officers that haven’t been put back on the streets to fight crime. There’s resentment regarding the new downtown headquarters and offices, talk from the administration about tech savviness and attraction, and the sprucing up of many communities.

      1. I didn’t vote for Rahm, not because I think the other candidates are a better option, but because he seems like he’s only interested in his big money donors. I’d like to see what the schools & other city services could do if him and Mike Madigan weren’t throwing around tax breaks & TIF funds like Culter does the football.

        All that said, my vote was against him was to force a runoff. Call it a shot over the bow. I’ll be voting for him in April, because I don’t see any real ideas coming from anyone else on how to fix the mess Chicago is in.

        Also, I’m a CPS parent and I actually agree with the school closings. It was a tough call, but there was a lot of dead weight out there. The charge of not caring about black & latinos could be true, but when CPS’s total student population is only 8% white, any schools he closed would fit that bill. So it was really more of a talking point for his detractors than an actual metric on how to judge what he did.

      2. Vincent was spot on. CPS is 9% white and the rest is mainly African American and Hispanic. Of course they bore the brunt of school closings, they are the vast majority of the student body.

        Chuy scares me, I am not certain he understands the gravity of the City’s financials. Tax increases alone will not cover the outrageous pension benefits. Taxes along with reform is necessary. I don’t think Chuy is up to it.

    2. Probably because you’re not a parent who sends their child to one of these “under utilized schools” and have not problem framing a local good as “failing”

    3. People want reform. But why must reform be to open Charter schools? Public schools need to have fewer students per classroom. Instead of giving tax breaks to corporations, use that money to upgrade schools. Privatizing schools benefits corporate investors more than students.

      1. Why keep open schools with declining enrollment a and poor performance? Wouldn’t it make sense to consolidate these schools, so that you save on building operation cost or even I don’t know rent or sell the buildings to support existing operations?

        The objection to school closing and the race arguments in a district that’s only 8% white don’t make much sense to me.

  2. It’s an embarrassment that Chicago is the only school district in Illinois without an elected school board, and the political position to maintain this status quo has become completely untenable.

    Also: most gerrymandered ward contest?

  3. Two totally underreported things strike me about this election. First, a stronger protest candidate (I hesitate to say progressive) would have won this election. If Toni Preckwinkle or Karen Lewis ran, I believe they would’ve won. Chuy Garcia entered this race late and underfunded, and he still forced a runoff. Second, Garcia’s strength in the largely Latino wards on the northwest and southwest sides indicate to me that Latinos are beginning to maximize their political potential in Chicago. Instead of being a group looking to partner with other groups to form a winning coalition, they now have the votes to drive the agenda on their own.

  4. @ edtitan – well first of all from the parents’ perspective 2 things: 1. CPS already had an open enrollment system, so if you wanted to send your child to a difference school you were already free to do so before they closed schools, so you’re removing choice rather than offering a better alternative. 2. the closed schools were neighborhood schools, which almost by definition are the closest to home and least logistically challenging to get kids to and from every day There were significant concerns about “safe passage” for kids at newly mixed schools that crossed gang lines. And it wasn’t like they wound these down, letting 8th graders graduate and not accepting new Kindergartners, 11,000 students had to switch schools rather than go back to a place they were familiar with (friends, teachers, etc.).

    Then you’ve got 30,000 Chicago Teachers’ Union members who fought this tooth and nail, including a tremendous amount of fear mongering about how this would work logistically. Remember CPS voted to do this only months after the 2012 teachers strike wherein CTU failed to get the “protections” it wanted for teachers at schools that could be closed. Some of their legitimate concerns: are you doing this because of “underutilization” or “underperforming”? Because opening new charter schools exacerbates “underutilization” so you have to defend the argument that they are a better option that “underperforming” schools. You can make the argument, but it’s far less black and white than “we have too many classrooms, we’re closing some to cut costs”.

  5. There were 8 wards where MRE performed better this time than in 2011. Six of those were majority Latino wards (by pop. not by voting status.) What do folks make of that pattern? The wards are: 13, 14, 31, 11 and 10.

  6. I don’t know the Chicago specifics, but those “failing” schools are often seen by neighborhood residents as places of community engagement and (at least relative) peace in chaotic, often violent neighborhoods. They are the neighborhood’s place, then “Mayor 1%” comes and rips them out. I’ve also never seen any evidence that the children who are forcibly transferred do better in their new schools. The transfer itself is disruptive and the students at the receiving schools are necessarily real friendly.

    This isn’t just a Chicago think, however. Every time a school board tries to close schools, especially en masse like this, parents get mad.

  7. I’m surprised that Emanuel did so well in the Lakefront wards; I’d always thought of those places as politically liberal (and thus potential hotbeds of anti-Emanuel votes).

    1. Maybe in the past they were, but as they have continued to gentrify they have attracted more wealthy residents who are fiscally conservative. The only ward that Rauner won in the gubernatorial election was the 42nd wards, which covers the Loop and Streeterville. Also, Rauner almost won the 43rd ward, which covers Lincoln Park. http://www.chicagomag.com/city-life/November-2014/Where-Bruce-Rauner-Won-In-Chicago/

      On another interesting note, the predominantly white “fringes” of the city (O’Hare, Mount Greenwood, etc) seem to have much more anti-Rahm votes (either for Chuy or Fioretti). It’s interesting that neighborhoods which were formerly bastions of support for the Daley machine are now favoring the more “progressive” candidates instead.

    2. They’re very Democratic, but they’re full of the sort of upper-middle-class white voters who make up Emanuel’s base. They’re more fiscally conservative and less likely to be concerned about things like school closures or union issues.

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