NPE Action Endorses Jay Travis

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NPE Action is proud to support Jay Travis’s campaign for state representative in the 26th District in Illinois. Below you will find a powerful call to action for Travis from NPE Action board member Jitu Brown. Once I read his eloquent endorsement, I simply couldn’t wait to share it with you. Just selecting a few quotes wouldn’t do – I wanted you to read it in its entirety.

On behalf of NPE Action, I ask that you please do what you can to support Jay Travis, a grassroots community organizer, for Illinois State Representative.

Thanks for all you do,

Robin Hiller, NPE Action Executive Director

There is a groundswell of support in this nation for candidates who reject the politics of moneyed power and put the needs of ordinary people at the heart of their work. In Chicago, we have a real opportunity to elect just such a candidate — with support from people like you.

The race for 26th District state representatives pits an incumbent corporate Democrat against grassroots community organizer Jay Travis. Jay has a lifelong record of commitment to the needs of ordinary people, from rank and file teachers to young students in some of our most disenfranchised communities. As the leader of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization for twelve years, she led the battle to save our neighborhood public schools, push back against neighborhood displacement, and bring resources and equity to communities ignored by mainstream politicians and their corporate backers.

She’s running against corporate Democrat Christian Mitchell, a darling of the school privatization movement closely allied with Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, who gave Mitchell more than $28,000 last April alone in two donations that bookended Mitchell’s endorsement of Emanuel.

Mitchell has voted dead wrong on issues of critical concern to educators and our residents. He voted for the state charter school commission’s power to overrule democratically elected school boards who reject charter school applications. He voted against parents who wanted the right to opt their kids out of controversial and deeply flawed high-stakes tests. He opposed a bill for an elected Chicago school board — and only changed his tune during this election season. For the last six months, he’s been promoting a pension cost-shift scheme that does nothing to address the structural deficits in Illinois’ schools, and would only create new losers among already cash-strapped school districts outside of Chicago.

None of this is surprising given the amount of money Mitchell’s received in the last for years from school privatizers — including more than $150,000 alone from Stand For Children, over four times greater than the amount they’ve donated to Senate GOP leader Christine Radogno.

Most recently, Mitchell stood with CPS CEO Forest Claypool and supposed “leaders”, including the minister who paid destitute Black people $25 each to advocate for the closing of Dyett High School, in betraying the brave Dyett hunger strikers. With accountable political representation in the 26th District, we would not have had to starve our bodies for 34 days.

We need state representatives in Springfield who aren’t beholden to opportunistic corporate elites and their raids on critically needed programs for our seniors, students and working families. We need a work ethic — and a representative — who tells the truth and puts the needs of ordinary people first.

You can help. Jay Travis came very close to beating Mitchell two years ago, even though he’s raised ten times as much in campaign contributions. Her volunteer field crew is large, committed, effective — and growing. But it takes money to print literature, pay for office supplies and mailers and run a competitive campaign. I’ve had the privilege of working with Jay for years — and she’s always been unflinchingly honest and supremely committed to putting our young people and their families first. Your help can put a real advocate for public education and a progressive voice for ordinary people in Springfield. Click here to learn more about supporting her campaign.

In solidarity,


Jitu Brown

NPE Action Board Member and Journey for Justice Alliance National Director

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