<strong>Paul Vallas Will Privatize Chicago</strong>

Paul Vallas Will Privatize Chicago

The runoff election April 4 is a pivotal time for workers in Chicago to choose the direction of the city. The Chicago chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America urges voters to reject Paul Vallas, a former Republican whose political record is one of destroying public assets and promoting corporate profit, not serving the people.

Paul Vallas has a long history of turning public goods into private profits for friends and donors, at people of color’s expense. His tenure running school districts is one of privatization, charter schools, and union-busting. He wrote the playbook for school privatization in Chicago, replacing neighborhood schools with those run privately for profit. In Philadelphia, he carried out a Republican agenda, marrying his privatization efforts with efforts to favor churches over other groups in seeking community partnerships, encouraging after-school prayer groups. In New Orleans, he took advantage of Hurricane Katrina to implement a for-profit education model with equally disastrous outcomes: New Orleans public schools have an average math proficiency of 17%, and an average reading proficiency of 30%. In Bridgeport, Connecticut, he continued his stock standard project of privatization until a judge removed him from the job for his lack of legal qualification for the job.

His actions as a politician, both during this mayoral campaign and before, is no departure from his pro-capitalist, anti-working family career as a school district destroyer. For instance:

Vallas’s campaign, and the administration he hopes to run, would see the unholy marriage of the capitalist class that supported Bruce Rauner and Rahm Emanuel with the white reactionary Chicago machine structures that kept both Daleys in power for so long. They are unified in their goal to shift money away from public goods like schools, health care, and transportation, and into greater incarceration and privatization.

Vallas will spend the next five weeks trying to reassure working class Chicagoans that he’s the common sense, safe choice, and that his record is being mischaracterized. We, as a working-class organization, will hold him accountable for the harm he has caused working people, especially people of color. Chicago DSA urges our members and all working class people to talk to friends, families, and coworkers about the dangers of Paul Vallas. As we canvass for our endorsees in the runoffs, we will also be talking to our neighbors about the unique threat Vallas poses to the working class. We also urge our members, coalition partners, and every left, progressive, and working-class-based organization in the City of Chicago to escalate tactics against Vallas and his allies, including bird-dogging as many campaign events as possible before April 4th and making Paul Vallas and his allies answer for their political record.