This is not Washington!: An Open Letter to Rahm Emanuel

With the CTU Strike finally at an end after a nearly two week standoff, we’re left to wonder what its lasting legacy will be.

Many proponents of the strike hope that, as Union leader Karen Lewis now-famously asserted, “this Union has proven the Chicago labor movement is neither dormant nor dead.” Of course, it’s impact on a larger labor movement remains to be seen.

But as one Chicago educator’s open letter explains, the strike will at least stand as a lesson to Rahm Emanuel and anyone else that tries to use and abuse workers:

You can try; but be prepared for a fight.

On Revolutionary Black Womanhood

It’s an odd experience when two seemingly unrelated stories subtly and symbolically collide. In one corner, Michelle Obama wowed audiences with her speech at the Democratic National Convention two weeks ago. In the other, Karen Lewis, head of the Chicago Teachers’ Union, led Chicago Public Schools teachers into a fight with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, when they decided to strike for the first time in 25 years after contract negotiations failed to result in agreement. Responses to Lewis’ and Obama’s public performances have ranged from praise to disappointment. And although much of the commentary has died down, an observation about two black women making national headlines is worthy of comment, especially when one of them isn’t named Beyonce–or Oprah.