I arrived here at the UIC FORUM at 5:30 p.m. The place was relatively empty; however, at around 7:00 when the polls closed the crowd was ready to begin to fill up the room. The Chuy supporters were ready to begin cheering. This was a crowd that was hopeful and praying for victory.
At 8 p.m. CBS TV called the election for Rahm! The crowd had not gotten the news because the program had music playing on the stage. All of the TV stations followed suit and called the election for the mayor. The crowd of Garcia supporters were nevertheless hopeful that Chuy could pull out a victory even though predictions of an Emanuel win was called after 70 percent of the vote was counted.
Chuy gives his concession speech at 9 p.m. He said that he had called Mayor Emanuel and wished him well. I have been here in this city for fifty years. He said that this city had been very good to him and his family. “We did not lose today, we were victors because people came from every area and every race and ethnic group. They all said that we want to be heard. We need a city that is growing and not having people leaving. We have too many shootings. We have too much violence. We must stop the school closings. We need to begin paying attention to our neighborhoods. These are the things that we must do because it is moral, it is right, and it must be done. While we lost today, we will keep on fighting and we will never stop! I want to thank all of those who supported me including the CTU, THE AMALGAMATED TRANSIT WORKERS UNION, Former Senate President Emil Jones, Former President of the Cook County Board, Rev. Jesse Jackson, the ministers from the west and south sides of this city. Thank you! Thank You!”
The prevailing sentiment in the crowd was that this election had re-launched the Black-Brown-Progressives movement that is ready and willing to take this city back and make it the city that it should be. Stephanie Gatlin, former Campaign Director said that “this coalition is now in place and it will begin no later than April 8th working to make sure that justice and fairness moves across this city like never before. We have not loss; we have just begun the fight!”
It may be premature to declare the showing of Chuy Garcia in this mayoral race a victory for the establishment of a Black-Brown-Progressive Coalition; however, we can conclude that that many voters who represent this coalition stood together throughout this election cycle and have vowed to continue the fight. They all agree that they have sent a very strong message to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and they intend to continue to remind him of their demand. We can only wait for the outcome of the Aldermanic elections and the moves of the Mayor Emanuel in the coming months.