Chicago mayoral candidate profile: Brandon Johnson

Chicago mayoral candidate profile: Brandon Johnson

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Brandon Johnson has served in the Cook County Board of Commissioners since 2018, when he defeated incumbent Richard Boykin in the 1st District that covers the western suburbs and West Side of Chicago. Johnson is the son of a pastor and worked as a social studies teacher at Edward Jenner Academy in Cabrini Green until 2010. After that, he became an organizer with the Chicago Teachers Union, including during the historic 2012 teachers’ strike that heralded a new era for the union. He has backing from major labor organizations including CTU and the Local 73 and Healthcare chapters of the Service Employees International Union. During his time as Cook County commissioner — a role he was reelected to this past November — Johnson pushed a measure making it illegal to refuse to show or rent property to people with certain criminal records. He also drafted a symbolic resolution that supported diverting money from policing in the wake of nationwide protests demanding police budgets be defunded.

Age: 46

Born: Elgin

Personal: Married to Stacie Rencher-Johnson, raising one daughter and two sons

Education: Bachelor’s degree in human services and youth development; master’s degree in teaching, Aurora University

Neighborhood: Austin

Current job: 1st District Cook County commissioner

Government experience: 1st District Cook County commissioner (2018-present), chief of staff to state Rep. Deborah Graham (2005-2010), constituent service director, state Sen. Don Harmon (2003-2004)

Political experience: Chicago Teachers Union organizer (2011-present)

Campaign slogan: “Brandon is better”

Campaign website: brandonforchicago.com

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