Rahm Emanuel versus Karen Lewis
She led a Chicago Teachers Union that put tens of thousands of people in the street for a week, giving organized labor its greatest victory of the twenty-first century. Somehow Karen Lewis, a former teacher and wife of a teacher, was able to unite the poor, African Americans, labor and reformers and face down Rahm Emanuel, a millionaire mayor who was virtually handpicked by President Obama and the Daley Machine. She was preparing to challenge him again in this past February’s mayoral election. Only the tragic onset of a brain tumor took away her chance, and Chicago’s best opportunity for, if not a new government, at least a competitive election. Fortunately, she’s back in the saddle, so get ready for another showdown.
Best of Chicago 2015