Stacy Davis Gates - City Club of Chicago

Stacy Davis Gates

Chicago Teachers Union

Tuesday, Mar 5, 2024

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Stacy Davis Gates

Stacy Davis Gates took office as President of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) in July of 2022 and is a national leader in the labor movement and progressive political organizing efforts.

President Davis Gates taught high school social studies in Chicago Public Schools before joining the CTU staff, politicized and spurred to union activity by the 2008 closing of Englewood High School, her workplace on Chicago’s South Side. Late CTU President Karen Lewis recognized Davis Gates bold strategic vision and political savvy, tapping her to become the union’s Political and Legislative Director in 2011. In that position, she built coalitions and spearheaded legislative campaigns that established an elected school board for Chicago, the most substantial charter school accountability measures in the country, restoration of bargaining rights denied to Chicago educators for nearly three decades, and securing hundreds of millions of dollars in state funding for Chicago Public Schools. Her leadership greatly expanded the union’s political vision, building political organizations like United Working Families and raising millions to elect progressive community leaders from Chicago to city, county, and state governments and the U.S. Congress, culminating with the election of CTU organizer and middle school teacher Brandon Johnson as Mayor of Chicago in 2023. 

As CTU Vice President, Davis Gates helped lead a successful 15-day strike in the fall of 2019. That strike united CTU with SEIU Local 73 members at CPS and allowed the negotiation of a historic contract providing smaller class sizes, a nurse and social worker in every Chicago public school, sanctuary protections for immigrant families, and support students and families experiencing homelessness.

Davis Gates’ focus on community outreach and CTU’s outspokenness about racism, privatization, democracy, women’s rights and other causes under her leadership have gained a national audience and made her a regular target of right-wing media, conservative activists and corporate lobbyists. In addition to her leadership at CTU, President Davis Gates also serves as the Executive Vice President of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, Vice President of the American Federation of Teachers, Party Chair of United Working Families, and board member of the Action Center on Race & the Economy (ACRE). She lives on the South Side of Chicago with her husband and three children.

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