Wednesday, May 24, 2017

If Chicago could vote, Claypool wouldn't have been CEO in first place.

Marching through the rain yesterday through Chicago Loop. 
Visitors in town yesterday from the west coast were awed by this city's political life. First by the march for immigrant rights and Fight For15 march they encountered on their drive in and second, by the vote of "no confidence" in schools CEO Forrest Claypool, they read about this morning.

The conversation made me recall the reasons I left the warmth, smog, the earthquakes and my beloved Dodgers in L.A. for the frozen winter tundra and steamy summers of the Windy City back in 1968 and then again in 1975.

Yes, I explained, if you miss the protest today, stick around. There will be another tomorrow. This is a vibrant political and cultural community, a union town and a sanctuary city. It was here that candidate Trump met his first major sign of mass resistance, turned a fled the city.

I've grown to love Chicago.

If Chicago could vote, Claypool would not be here. 

THE 99% VOTE OF CTU MEMBERS sent another powerful message both to the mayor and city and state officials, that Chicago teachers are a force to be reckoned with and that his hand-picked CEO has no juice as far as they are concerned.

The vote may give the mayor the excuse he's been looking for to get rid of this, his 3rd CEO and the 7th so far under mayor control began under Daley. We recall how Rahm Emanuel's second CEO, J.C. Brizard was hired after suffering his own vote of no-confidence back in his previous district of Rochester. Rahm and the Civic Committee must have taken that vote as a feather in Brizard's cap and a sign that he wouldn't be afraid to put the hammer down on the CTU and be a buffer for the mayor against political blow-back.

The result was Brizard's botched handling of the 2012 teachers strike leading to Rahm tossing him under the bus and J.C. himself getting back-stabbed by his own former friend and colleague, Barbara Byrd-Bennett. BBB was slipped in through the back elevator to replace Brizard in the contract negotiations. She then went on to close 50 schools four years ago this month. Then she committed fraud, bilking the city's school children out of millions.

She's on her way to prison. Claypool look like he's toast. But we will have to wait til the next election to get rid of Rahm Emanuel.

How will this vote of no confidence play out is anybody's guess. But it's already a win for the CTU, another show of unity in the face of Gov. Rauner's drastic budget cuts and the mayor's own failure to respond beyond making teachers bare the burden of the funding crisis.

It's also an indication of the mass support needed to end the budget crisis and win the right to an elected school board Chicago. If citizens could elect our school board here, Claypool wouldn't have been here in the first place.

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