Susan Sadlowski Garza, daughter of longtime Steelworkers activist Edward Sadlowski, has been named the winner in a hotly contested race for Chicago’s 10th Ward Alderman seat. Garza won a runoff election against longtime incumbent, and Rahm Emanuel ally, John Pope.
Chicago’s 10th Ward, on the city’s Southeast Side is home to mostly blue-collar workers, including former industrial workers like Garza’s father. Many of these residents are displaced workers still looking for the types of well-paying union jobs that were once plentiful in the area. Garza’s husband is a city ironworker and Garza has long been active in the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), which made headlines with a week-long strike in 2012.
The CTU was one of a handful of unions, including three AFT-affiliated teachers’ unions, that endorsed Garza’s candidacy, along with USW, AFSCME, SEIU, Ironworkers, and CWA. Garza also received an endorsement from United Working Families, a Chicago-based “organization dedicated to giving a political voice to working people and to advancing a progressive policy agenda in Chicago and Illinois. [They] bring together community organizations, union members and progressive activists to fight for racial, social and economic justice.”
Among Garza’s stated issues are attracting union jobs in solar and wind industries to the area and stabilizing pensions for public sector employees.
She was sworn into office on May 18, 2015.