As progressive activists who have worked for social change for decades, advancing women's and civil rights, early education, economic and workforce development, environmental quality and many other issues, we have firsthand experience addressing the enormous challenges facing our city and its residents today.
We strongly support Toni Preckwinkle for mayor and urge you to do so, too.
We know firsthand that Toni has had a deep commitment to progressive values for her entire adult life. And she has devoted her career to translating that commitment into concrete actions that benefit ordinary people.
We know that she has a long and substantial track record of accomplishments aimed at improving the lives of Chicagoans, especially those who are struggling economically.
We believe that Toni is, by far, the most progressive candidate for mayor and that she is best equipped to bring progressive change to our city.
Toni expanded access to healthcare to 350,000 residents though County Care.
She pushed for and won passage of an ordinance to enable thousands of low-income and undocumented residents to see doctors at County Hospital.
As alderman, Toni oversaw the construction or rehab of 1500 affordable housing in her ward. She has proven she knows how to tackle the complicated challenge of providing affordable housing to everyone in Chicago.
Toni has championed living wage ordinances and a higher minimum wage throughout her careerand is helping to lead the fight for a $15 minimum wage today.
Toni led the County Board to adopt an earned sick time ordinance, extending this vital benefit to tens of thousands of individuals.
Toni has given her wholehearted support to the movement for police accountabilityand helped to release the autopsy report that showed that Laquan McDonald was killed by 16 bulletsnine in the back.
Toni attacked the problem of mass incarceration by reducing unnecessary detentions. Since she became County Board President, the population of Cook County Jail has dropped by 30 percent.
Toni led reforms that have resulted in a 45-percent reduction in the juvenile detainee population.
Toni has demonstrated strong executive leadership, effectively engaging other elected officials whose cooperation she needed to improve the overall performance of County government. She is the only candidate who has demonstrated hands-on success in managing a complex bureaucracy that affects the lives of millions of people.
Toni made the tough decisionsand took the heatto close the $2.1-billion budget gap she inherited at the county. She cut unnecessary expenditures and took steps that improved the bond rating. Throughout this difficult process, she prioritized the preservation of services, especially for those most in need.
The 2019 county budget is balanced, and has no new taxes or fines and no reductions in services.
None of us probably agrees with every decision Toni has made, but we know from our relationships with her and her long record of service that she made them in good faith and from a base of strong values that we all share.
Many of us have worked for decades to enable talented progressive women to achieve positions of power. Toni Preckwinkle has fought the old boys club at every step of her career. Now it's time for someone with the experience, commitment and progressive values of Toni Preckwinkle to sit at the head of that table and bring real progressive change to Chicago.
We hope every Chicagoan will vote in this critically important election. We believe strongly that the best person to bring us together to tackle Chicago's problems, the person who has demonstrated her ability to lead us on a progressive path forward, is Toni Preckwinkle.
Jan Schakowsky, congresswoman
Karen Fishman, community activist
Heather Steans, state senator
Melody Heaps, justice reform advocate
Bridget Gainer, Cook County commissioner
Katy Hogan, community activist
Anne Ladky, former executive director of Women Employed
Michael Cabonargi, 9th Congressional District committeeman
Jen Walling, environmental activist
Larry Suffredin, Cook County commissioner
Mary Ann Smith, former alderman
Hedy Ratner, women's business advocate
Mimi Harris, community activist
Julie Hamos, former state representative
Debra Shore, MWRD commissioner
Mary Driscoll, healthcare activist
Josina Morita, MWRD commissioner
Christine George, urban issue activist
Nancy Shier, children's activist
Helen Shiller, former alderman
Carol Ronen, former state senator
Robyn Gabel, state representative
Judy Erwin, former state representative
Ann Kalayil, community organizer
Rick Garcia, LGBT activist
Rebecca Janowitz, justice reform
Leo Smith, violence-prevention activist
Mary Luria, environmental activist