Tuesday, September 8, 2015

North Side/South Side. The pot is boiling over. Hunger strikers ask Obama to intervene.

Labor Day at Dyett...We gathered in support of the hunger strikers, now in the 23rd day of their strike. We heard Jitu Brown's progress report along with a reading of the demands the strikers are making which include greater community decision-making in all things Dyett. They say they're hoping for a quick resolution with Rev. Jesse Jackson handling the negotiations with CPS.

That won't be easy. Negotiations in this city are basically warfare without guns. Remember, CEO Forrest Claypool is already on record refusing to negotiate with the hunger strikers. That's what led to a continuation of the strike in the first place.

He's also blown up the Board's negotiations with the CTU as his first act in office. This, just as Karen Lewis was reporting that they were thisclose to a contract agreement.

This is obviously a man with white entitlement issues. Doesn't work well with people of color.

But shit happens. Remember in 2005, even though he was campaign genius David Axelrod's partner with goo-gobs of money, running as the great white hope with support of both daily newspapers, Claypool still lost his 2005 race for Cook County Board President to John Stroger. This even after Stroger suffered a stroke the week before the election.

Then in 2010, banking heavily on white suburban support, Claypool lost the race for county assessor, this time to wobbly machine boss Joe Berrios. I guess city voters didn't think Claypool was good at assessing. It seems white-skin privilege only gets you so far these days.

But Daley and Rahm still enjoyed Claypool's political loyalties and his willingness to reward their friends and take an axe to city services, so they started appointing Claypool to various manager jobs at the Park District, the CTA, and now at CPS, instead of making him run for office.

Beginning today, the hunger strikers will gather in Washington Park from 1-6 p.m. and then organize daily ("non-aggressive") marches to President Obama's home in nearby Kenwood. They are calling on Obama to intervene on behalf of the strikers. Jitu Brown and April Stogner just returned from D.C. where they met with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who, Brown said, expressed his "sympathy" but offered little else. 

State Rep. Will Guzzardi, Sen. Iris Martinez & Ald. Milly Santiago support protest at Kelvyn Park H.S. today. 
This morning we were up on the north side at Kelvyn Park High School where parents, teachers, students and community supporters stood outside the school for an opening-day protest and press conference. As a result of budget cuts, the school is opening without badly needed counselors, coaches or programs.
‪"I've been waiting for 4 years to be a senior. I worked hard. Now, I learn that I won't have a college counselor. No one to help me figure out how to get to college. It's like they my wings are getting clipped before I could fly,” says Kelvyn Park High School senior Sherilyn Royce.
 “We are Dyett,” says Kelvyn Park teacher Jerry Skinner. “We’re starting the school year with a $2.2 million budget cut, on top of cut after cut, year after year. This is how neighborhood high schools get destroyed by design.”
Lots of media here. None yesterday at Dyett. Just saying.

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