CHICAGO — Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson will be sworn in as Chicago’s 57th mayor Monday morning during a ceremony at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

When Johnson, 47, takes the oath of office, he will complete a plan set in motion with the teacher’s union strike more than a decade ago.

At a panel discussion, held a decade prior to his victory, he foreshadowed his unlikely rise to the summit of city politics. “We will rise out of the dust, as we continue to organize and candidates will emerge,” Johnson told a crowd gathered at the Haymarket Pub in Chicago. “Who knows? Those candidates might just be in this room.”

He, of course, was in the room. It was a discussion about progressive politics in the era of centrist mayor Rahm Emanuel, in which author Kari Lydersen discussed her book, “Mayor 1%: Rahm Emanuel and the Rise of Chicago’s 99%.”

Lydersen appeared on the panel with Ben Joravsky of the Chicago Reader, Amisha Patel of the Grassroots Collaborative, and Johnson, who was then representing the Chicago Teachers Union.

The discussion was broadcast on C-SPAN. Johnson told the telling the audience to focus more on policies, and less on politicians.

“Elevate the issues make sure the issues are illuminated and when the candidate emerges, they’ll have a platform to run on and not just a party to represent,” Johnson said.

Johnson spoke about how Emanuel’s decision to close 50 Chicago Public Schools a year after the strike became a personal issue for him – as a teacher, CPS parent, and a union member.

Then CTU-president Karen Lewis viewed the school closures as proof the CTU would have to have its own candidates run for government offices. 

A decade later, Johnson was elected mayor.