Apr 5, 2023

Brandon Johnson Delivers Victory Speech After Winning the Chicago Mayoral Election Transcript

Brandon Johnson Delivers Victory Speech After Winning the Chicago Mayoral Election Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsBrandon JohnsonBrandon Johnson Delivers Victory Speech After Winning the Chicago Mayoral Election Transcript

Johnson, Cook County’s commissioner, triumphed over former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas in the city’s runoff election. Read the transcript here.

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Speaker 1 (00:00):

Our brother, teacher, organizer, warrior, Karen Lewis’s protege, our brother, commissioner, and now mayor of Chicago, Brandon Johnson.

Speaker 3 (00:00):

Make some noise in the building. Put your hands up in air. Make some noise for Brandon Johnson.

Brandon Johnson (00:00):

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Speaker 3 (00:00):

Make some noise for Brandon Johnson. Mayor Brandon Johnson.

Brandon Johnson (01:39):

Thank you. Thank you, thank you. Chicago, how the heck are you? They said this would never happen, so if they didn’t know, now they know. There’s so many people who are responsible for this moment and I’d like to take a second to thank those individuals. But first I want to make sure that I say this. The first thing that I want to say is to the Chicagoans who did not vote for me, here’s what I want you to know, here’s what I want you to know, that I care about you. I value you, and I want to hear from you, I want to work with you, and I’ll be the mayor for you too.

Speaker 3 (02:55):


Brandon Johnson (03:01):

Yes. Because this campaign has always been about building a better, stronger, safer Chicago for all the people of Chicago. And when I say all the people, I mean all the people, especially folks who have ever been on a payment plan. So from Lincoln Park to Humboldt Park, from Jefferson Park to Garfield Park, there are so many people that made this possible. Of course, I want to thank my God. Aren’t you glad Chicago, that we serve a God who was at the beginning and the end?

Speaker 3 (04:01):


Brandon Johnson (04:04):

And of course, to my family, my wife Stacy, I love you baby. To my three children, Owen, Ethan and Braden, and of course to HCII, SCIU, SCIU73. To the CTU, to the CCTU, to the I F T, the AFT, the UWF. Because make no mistake about it, Chicago is a union town. I want to thank the board president, Toni Preckwinkle, the attorney general Kwame Raul, congresswoman Delia Ramirez, congresswoman Jan Sakowski, congressman Jonathan Jackson, and then of course to congressman Danny K. Davis. But I also want to give a special thanks to someone who could not be here tonight, and we are praying for you, congressman Garcia. Chuy, we love you, brother. And to the over 70 elected officials from across the country. But I also want to thank Paul Dallas for running for office. As difficult as it was, we want to thank you for your service, Paul.

Chicago, tonight is just the beginning. With our voices and our votes, we have ushered in a new chapter in the history of our city. The truth is the people have always worked for Chicago. Whether you wake up early to open the doors of your businesses or teach middle school or wear a badge to protect our streets or nurse patients in need or provide childcare services, you have always worked for this city. And now Chicago will begin to work for its people, all the people. Because tonight is a gateway to a new future for our city. A city where you can thrive regardless of who you love or how much money you have in your bank account. A city that’s truly safer for everyone by investing in what actually works to prevent crime. And that means youth employment, mental health centers, ensuring that law enforcement has the resources to solve and prevent crime.

A city that actually respects the workers who keep it running and supports the entrepreneurs that keep it growing. A city where trains run on time and where no one is too poor to live in one of the richest cities in one of the wealthiest nations at the richest time in the history of the world. A city where public schools have the resources to meet the needs of every child across this city. Now, in other words, tonight is the beginning of a Chicago that truly invests in all of its people. Now you’ve heard me say this before, Chicago. Well, you’re going to keep hearing it, because the heart of this movement has always been about investing in people. I’ll be honest, this is personal for me. Investing in people is at the heart of this campaign because I’ve seen what disinvestment looks like.

I grew up in a household, it was 10 of us, and if it weren’t for Andrew and Jean, we wouldn’t be here today. A home with one bathroom and four sisters. Let me tell you, you learned to negotiate early in life. Always ally with your sisters. But it wasn’t always easy for us. My father worked two and three jobs just to make sure life was a little better for us. But I know what it’s like to come home and your water is not on. I know what it’s like to come home, and thank God for a long orange extension cord from your window to your neighbor’s window. But I also know what it’s like to teach in Cabrini Green, where my students can see one of the wealthiest neighborhoods from their back window, but out of their front windows, bulldozers stared them down, preparing to destroy their public housing.

I know what I’m talking about when people rely upon public transportation, and because it is not reliable, people have lost their jobs because of an unreliable, unsafe transportation system. So when I talk about investing in people, I know what I’m talking about. And when I talk about this city feeling unsafe for so many, it’s because as a husband, as a father, raising three children on the west side of Chicago, I’ve had to shield my children from bullets that fly right outside our front door. Or the student who looked me in the face who said, “Mr. Johnson, you shouldn’t be teaching here. You should be teaching at a good school.” For too many people in the city of Chicago, we recognize value, but for too many of us, we don’t believe that we deserve it. That changes under a Johnson administration. Because there’s more than enough for everybody in the city of Chicago.

Here’s the truth. Chicago is a world-class city. It’s a city with incredible tapestry of taste, culture, people from all over the world. We are a city with this natural beauty and history like no other place in America. And we are a city that has been the conscience of the nation time and time and time again, because it is here in the city of Chicago that Harold Washington and Jesus Chuy Garcia and Rudy Lozano built a Black and Brown Coalition to make room for us today. It was here in the city of Chicago that legendary figures like Jane Adams taught us to educate the whole child. Marion Stamps, the mother of Cabrini Green, who fought to organize for housing justice. Here in Chicago, where Margaret Burrows left her incredible mark on art, the culture, the schools for the whole nation to witness.

It is also here in Chicago that are reverend by the name of Jesse Jackson, Sr., whose support and counsel I still rely upon today, reverend Jesse Jackson told us that we can keep hope alive. It was right here in the city of Chicago that Martin Luther King, Jr. organized for justice, dreaming that one day that the civil rights movement and the labor rights movement will come together. Well, reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. The civil rights movement and the labor rights movement has finally collided. We are experiencing the very dream of the greatest man, whoever walked the Earth. In fact, on this very day, 55 years ago, the King stood on the balcony. But you all know it’s very clear that one bullet can’t kill a dream.

I’m humble standing in front of you today. Because of all of you we’ve accomplished so much. But in the years to come, we have more work to do, Chicago, because right now in this moment, it’s the continuation of those legacies. We will not allow the politics of old to turn us around. We are building a better, stronger, safer Chicago. We’re doing it together. It’s a multicultural, multi-generational movement that has literally captured the imagination of not just the city of Chicago but the rest of the world. When reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Came to the city of Chicago, he said he never experienced a place like Chicago. It was brutal. But he understood something. He said, “If we can figure it out in Chicago, we can do it anywhere in the world.” So Chicago, I’ll say it this day, today we take big steps towards figuring it out here. So I believe since we are taking steps to figure it out here, let’s take this bold, progressive movement around these United States of America.

Chicago, we can show the country, we can show the world what’s possible when we stand on our values as one people. We can reject the false choices that have been presented to us for so long. We don’t have to choose between Black, Brown, white, young, old, poor, rich. We get to do it for everyone, Chicago. We don’t have to choose between toughness and compassion, between the care of our neighbors, and keeping our people safe. If tonight is proof of anything, it is proof that those old false choices do not serve this city any longer. Here’s the truth, looking out for our neighbors, it makes everyone safe. Tonight is proof that by building a multicultural, multi-generational movement, we can bring together everyone no matter if you live on the North side, the South side, the Southeast, the Southwest, South, or West side. Listen you all, we have demonstrated that we can change the world, Chicago.

We finally will have a city hall, a government that truly belongs to the people of Chicago, that Chicago can truly be a safe, world class city, as remarkable as its potential. We get to make sure of that our hopes and our dreams do not have to stop and end today. We get to make sure, you all, that the people of Chicago will finally have what they’ve been waiting for. The most radical thing we can ever do, you all, is to actually love people. And our administration will do just that. So make no mistake about it. Today we do not just commemorate the life and the legacy of one of the greatest humanitarians who ever walked the planet Earth. Today we do not just acknowledge the assassination of a dreamer. Today, the dream is alive, so today we celebrate the revival and the resurrection of the city of Chicago. It is time for Chicago to come alive. Come alive, Chicago. My name is Brandon Johnson, and I can’t wait to be sworn in as the next mayor of the greatest city in the world, Chicago.

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