Red Star Strike Update: Day 5

Red Star Strike Update: Day 5

Day five of the strike went down in the Loop, as 30,000 union members and community supporters converged downtown to make themselves known to Mayor Lightfoot as she unveiled her city budget at City Hall to a handful of screened guests. A few protesters made it to a second-floor window, however, and unfurled a banner calling on the mayor to divest from police and developers. The day continued with a sitdown that wrapped around City Hall and a rally outside the Thompson Center.


The CTU is reportedly making progress on several issues. They reached tentative agreements around how teachers are evaluated, including through student testing. They also reportedly made some progress on staffing and class sizes, among other issues, but are still demanding more funding from the school board, whose offer so far they’ve deemed inadequate. It does show that the pressure has mounted effectively on the board, as they’re now willing to negotiate on contract language they’d previously rejected outright.


The two main things you can do to offer physical support, if you can, are to walk the picket line and to volunteer with Bread for Ed. If you’re unable to join us early in the morning, there are other solidarity events taking place throughout the day.

Picket Lines

Picket lines will run from 7am to 10:30am every day the strike continues. Check out to learn more. And make sure to wear red!

The DSA has established pickets, led by Labor Branch strike captains, at these 11 schools:

  • Eugene Field Elementary School (7019 N Ashland Blvd, Rogers Park)

  • Hibbard Elementary School (3244 W Ainslie St, Albany Park)

  • Hyde Park Academy High School (6220 S Stony Island Ave, Hyde Park)

  • John A Walsh Public School (2015 S Peoria St, Pilsen)

  • Jones College Prep (700 S State St, Loop)

  • Linne Elementary School (3221 N Sacramento Ave, Avondale)

  • McClellan Elementary School (3527 S Wallace St, Bridgeport)

  • Ogden International School of Chicago (1250 W Erie St, West Town)

  • Richard Yates Elementary School (1839 N Richmond St, Logan Square)

  • Swift Elementary Specialty School (5900 N Winthrop Ave, Edgewater)

  • Willa Cather Elementary School (2908 W Washington Blvd, East Garfield Park)


Bread for Ed will be making and distributing food at various areas around the city, so if you have time and resources to help with preparation and/or distribution, please email Please consider donating if you can, and if you have time and resources to help with preparation and/or distribution, please email The material needs of students and striking workers will only escalate the longer it continues.

Locations that will be distributing food tomorrow include:

  • DuBois Elementary School: 6:30am-10am (330 E 133rd)

  • Ald. Vasquez’s Office: 11am-3pm (2406 W Bryn Mawr)

  • Ald Rosa’s Office: 11am-3pm (2934 N Milwaukee Ave, Unit C)

  • Centro de Trabajadores Unidos: 1pm-3pm, 4pm-6pm (10638 S Ewing)

  • Bright Elementary School: 8:30am (10740 S Calhoun)

  • Gallistel Elementary School: 8:30am (10347 S Ewing)

  • Marsh Elementary School: 8:30am (9822 S Exchange)


The presence of striking workers outside City Hall as the mayor released the 2020 budget served as a potent juxtaposition of the ongoing conflict over the city’s future. The budget contains a $120 million increase for the city’s police department and a decrease of $100,000 for the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services. The budget does not include plans to reopen mental health clinics shuttered under the Rahm administration, to extend the $15 minimum wage to everyone in the service industry, or to do more than “reduce youth homelessness by 25 percent.” This budget stands in stark contrast to Lightfoot’s campaign promises, and only serves to underscore how vital the CTU and SEIU 73 strike is for raising awareness and demanding change. The Onion provided an exemplary encapsulation of the budget priorities Lightfoot unveiled.

The Red Star Bulletin was conceived by Ramsin Canon and is a project of the Political Education & Policy Committee. This update was drafted by CDSA members. Special contributions were made by Devin Schiff and Nick Hussong. Graphics were contributed by Patrick O’Connell. If you would like to contribute to the Red Star Bulletin or have any feedback, email