Credit: Christopher Dilts

Joanna Klonsky


Joanna Klonsky does for the City Council’s 11-member progressive caucus what it takes Mayor Emanuel’s two dozen flacks to do—get the word out. Hey, Mr. Mayor, hire Klonsky, so you can cut your PR budget and spend the savings on schools!
Born in Chicago, Klonsky graduated from Oak Park River Forest High School and Bard College. In 2011 she was the spokeswoman for Miguel del Valle’s mayoral campaign before Alderman Rick Munoz recruited her to work for the progressives. Over the last four years Klonsky’s been the one calling reporters to get out an alternative point of view to the mayor’s cuts and privatization deals. In the last mayoral election she worked for Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. Since then the 30-year-old has diversified her client list, taking on Alderman Patrick Daley Thompson, an Emanuel backer. “I’m progressive leaning, but I don’t impose my ideology on my clients,” she says. “Will I take on the Koch brothers? No. But not every client is going to agree with what I think—nor should they.” She’s so good at the publicity game that I’m writing her up even though she didn’t pitch the story to me—I swear!