Is it time for Jesus "Chuy" García to carry on Harold Washington's vision of unity?

Is it time for Jesus "Chuy" García to carry on Harold Washington's vision of unity?

The comparisons are inevitable.

Harold Washington was elected Chicago's first African-American mayor in 1983.

Jesus "Chuy" García  could become Chicago's first Latino mayor more than 30 years later.

If  García keeps on building on this coalition of Latino, progressive, African-American and union voters, especially teachers, he can beat Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Many thought Washington could never win, and García’s strong second place finish in the primary similarly surprised many political watchers.

Emanuel had 45 percent of the vote and García 34 percent while three other candidates split the rest of the vote. Now García and Emanuel head into a runoff April 7.

In García's remarks at Washington's 1987 funeral he said, "Adios querido amigo," or "Goodbye dear friend."

García has described Washington as a mentor and he worked to help elect him and with him in City Hall.

"You came to our community to help build the spirit of unity. The seeds that we then sowed became the fruits that victory bestowed," García said of Washington in the video tribute below.

He added, "Now that you've gone. We the people vow to stay strong. The unity of our coalition is a tribute to the Washington tradition."

If García can promote this message to more voters of all backgrounds in Chicago, he can build enough support to usher in new era of unity in Chicago.

 

Leave a comment