Chicago’s Democratic Socialists pull endorsement of embattled candidate – Chicago Tribune newstrendslive

Mueze Bawany, the sole challenger to Ald. Debra Silverstein in the Far North Side’s 50th Ward aldermanic race, has lost the backing of the local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America.

The de-endorsement follows a story by the Tribune earlier this month that detailed past statements Bawany made on Twitter in which he used profanities against the state of Israel and made other offensive comments. When asked about the comments, which were made in 2019 on a since-deleted Twitter account, Bawany expressed regret for the “harmful” words and said they were not representative of who he is now.

But the Chicago chapter of the DSA said in a letter to members this week that its move to no longer support him was more about recent comments Bawany made to the Tribune and at a candidate forum as he tried to defend himself. The 50th Ward includes the West Ridge neighborhood and other areas with significant Jewish populations.

Bawany told the Tribune he did not “care for the label” of socialism and declined to embrace the “defund the police” movement. He also told a crowd at a candidate forum that he was “disavowing” the DSA on the issue of boycott, divestment and sanctions, or BDS, toward Israel. DSA is supportive of the BDS movement as well as the “defund” movement.

“These comments contradict Bawany’s statements given to CDSA during our endorsement process,” states the letter from Chicago DSA officers to its members, which was obtained by the Tribune. “For these reasons, Chicago DSA rescinds our endorsement of Mueze Bawany.”

The rescinded endorsement is the latest development in the race between Bawany, a 35-year-old high school teacher, and Silverstein, who was been alderman since 2011.

DSA is the first major organization to rescind its support of Bawany while the Chicago Teachers Union and SEIU Healthcare — Bawany’s largest financial backers — have as of Thursday not changed their positions backing Bawany. According to The Daily Line, which first reported the action by the DSA, over two-thirds of the group’s executive committee voted to rescind the endorsement of Bawany.

Bawany told the Tribune “we have no comment at this time” in an email regarding the rescinding by DSA . DSA officials did not respond to requests for comment.

The newly drawn 50th Ward is one of the most diverse in Chicago. Bordering Evanston, the ward is home to socialists and conservatives, Muslims and Jews, Indians and Pakistani Americans, and many other ethnic groups. Many of Bawany’s Jewish supporters have stood by Bawany and at the candidate forum handed out an open letter signed by more than 70 Jewish community members.

After the tweets became public, a group of 11 Illinois state legislators who are members of the Illinois General Assembly’s Jewish Caucus wrote a letter asking for a meeting with CTU and SEIU. The letter states the caucus wishes to work with the groups to “identify effective joint strategies for addressing this and future antisemitic actions and statements.”

“Like many of us, I’m sure CTU and SEIU are disappointed with Mr. Bawany’s tweets and will take appropriate steps to better understand his positions on these important issues,” state Rep. Jonathan Carroll wrote in an email to the Tribune when asked if he would request the CTU and SEIU rescind their endorsements.

Since the tweets became public, Bawany has only received one political contribution of $1,000 or more. Silverstein has received more than $30,000 in individual contributions during the same time.

While DSA was not a large financial supporter of the candidate, the endorsement did come with canvassing, social media posts and other acts of exposure. Chicago DSA has now scrubbed its support for Bawany from its website.

Tribune reporter A.D. Quig contributed.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.