Where I Come From, Why I'm Here, and How You Can Help

I wanted to take a moment to share my story about why I’m running with you for Vice President of the Chicago Teachers Union and why this campaign means so much to me. If you don’t have time to read on, I hope you’ll consider making a $50 donation to our campaign.

I grew up in Chicago and graduated from the Chicago Public Schools.

My grandfather was a union bailiff and my grandmother an accountant. In their small, rent-controlled apartment, built by the painters union in Woodside, New York, they built an honest, middle class life with those jobs. 

Because of them, I've focused my entire career on issues that support working people, students, and working families instead of the wealthy. As teachers, we fundamentally believe that all people deserve equity and opportunity regardless of their zipcode.

One of my proudest accomplishments was helping lead the contract campaign in 2012 as Karen Lewis’ chief of staff.

I’ve worked in the system as a teacher, union staffer, and teacher again for over 20 years. Throughout my tenure, I have fought to ensure that all of our members and students have the conditions to restore the love and joy to teaching and learning. While the pandemic has challenged our way of life and efforts to organize, we have maintained solidarity against impossible odds.

For far too long, I’ve witnessed the appointed Board of Education treat our schools like chess pieces during budget season, when they should be treated as living, breathing, vibrant communities.

That’s why I’m running: to ensure that our voices are heard from our classrooms through the halls of power. We cannot allow the Mayor or Pedro Martinez cut the budgets of 40% of our schools while they sit on nearly $400 million in federal aid designed to avoid that exact outcome.

But we need your help. Stacy, Maria, Christel, and I need all hands on deck right now. Powerful interests want to make our union stumble so they can continue their rampage of privatization, school closings, and budget cuts. If you’re with me, please donate $50 to CORE's campaign for re-election. I’m counting on rank and file teachers like you to keep our union strong.


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  • Mike Johnson
    You’re a despicable human being. You prioritize lining your own pockets over the education of CPS children. You, Sharkey, Gates, et al should be ashamed of the pain and suffering you’ve cause students in Chicago.