Chicago voters made history Tuesday night — in more ways than one. While national headlines have understandably pointed to the election of Lori Lightfoot as the first black female mayor in Chicago history, the runoff elections saw another development that will transform the city’s political landscape: the victory of a bloc of democratic socialist city council members.
At least three open democratic socialists, Byron Sigcho-Lopez, Jeanette Taylor and Andre Vazquez, won their elections. Another, Rossana Rodríguez-Sánchez, is in first place in her race, though votes are still being counted. All of these candidates were endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and are set to join two other democratic socialists — Carlos Ramirez-Rosa and Daniel La Spata — elected to the city council during the first round of voting in February. This is no small feat.
With socialism rising in popularity across the country, as illustrated by the explosive growth of DSA in recent years, figures like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) have pushed left-wing policies once considered fringe — such as Medicare-for-all and free college tuition — into the national spotlight. But never in modern U.S. history has a slate of democratic socialists taken power in a major American city.
As the Chicago Sun-Times recently reported, these victories will mark the most socialists elected to office in Chicago in more than a century. Once they take their seats, these new members are poised to have a dramatic impact on the city’s political future.
Read the rest at: Chicago Socialism