State Watch

Two democratic socialists win spots on Chicago city council, three headed to run-offs

As many as five self-described democratic socialists could be on the Chicago City Council after two members won outright elections on Tuesday.

The Chicago Sun Times reports Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa won his reelection bid Tuesday and Daniel La Spata upset an incumbent to join the council. Both are members of the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) group.

{mosads}Three additional DSA members are headed to run-off elections slated for April after successful showings Tuesday.

“Our continued organizing and movement-building over the last four years is paying dividends and it appears to be a total transformation of political power at city hall from the bottom up,” Ramirez-Rosa told a crowd Tuesday night following his victory.

The DSA is not an official political party but instead a “political and activist organization,” said socialist Rosanna Rodríguez-Sánchez, who will face an incumbent in the April run-off.

“Chicago had a way of doing politics and I feel like that died tonight. The city’s dinosaurs are done. I’m very very confident that I’m going to win,” she told the Sun Times.

The DSA for years has only had one representative on the Chicago City Council, but co-chair Lucie Macías said she is excited to see that change.

“For the third biggest city in the country to have a DSA caucus is amazing and having members around Carlos will only amplify the causes that working-class Chicago — not the rich — wants,” Macías said.

DSA members Andre Vazquez and Byron Sigcho-Lopez will also head to run-offs in April for the chance to secure a spot on the city council.

Democratic socialism has gained national prominence in recent years with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) running a close race in the Democratic presidential primary in 2016 and freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) winning an upset over longtime Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley in her New York City district last year. Both Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are self-described democratic socialists.

There are roughly 60,000 card-carrying members in DSA across the country and 1,300 spread across Chicago’s three local chapters, according to the group.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Bernie Sanders Joe Crowley

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