President's Report
President's Report

President's Report — Summer 2019

Chicagoans made their voices heard loud and clear during this year’s municipal elections by sending Lori Lightfoot to the mayor’s office by an overwhelming margin and electing 12 new members to the Chicago City Council. A new mayor and city council brings new opportunities and new challenges for the labor movement, and the Chicago Federation of Labor is ready to step up to the plate. Over the course of the campaign, I met with many City Council candidates and several of the mayoral contenders, including Lightfoot. I found my conversations with Mayor Lightfoot to be productive and forward-thinking, and I was encouraged to see her take a strong stand in support of pro-worker initiatives like the Fair Workweek Ordinance, a clean, safe, and effective infrastructure, protecting public service retirement plans, the statewide Fair Tax, and increasing the minimum wage. These issues are critical to unions and having the incoming mayor on the record in support of them provides us with a strong starting point to begin our work with the Lightfoot Administration.

There may be, of course, instances where the labor community and the incoming mayor do not see eye to eye. That is the case with every elected official at every level of government. I believe what’s most important when maintaining relationships with elected officials is respect – both respect from labor for the politician, but also respect for working people from their elected officials. We will strive for a respectful relationship with Mayor Lightfoot while never compromising on our core values – and never giving up the fight for the working men and women of Chicago and Cook County.

We will also continue to work with our friend and ally Toni Preckwinkle in her role as President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. President Preckwinkle has been a supporter of working people while never backing down from political battles, and we applaud her for a hard-fought campaign.

The beginning of a new mayoral administration and city council is an exciting and historic time for our city. We are ready to engage the new administration on the issues that matter to working people, and we are eager to continue the fight for sustainable infrastructure, fair workplaces, higher wages, affordable healthcare, and strong communities.

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