This evening Rogers Park residents and others from the 49th Ward met, showing a unity rarely seen. They were at Willye B. White Park to fight charter schools coming into the neighborhood.
It has been reported that Alderman Joe Moore had planned to be at this event, but those there are more than aware he was not.
Those in the crowd marched toward the 49th Ward Alderman's home, chanting "Save our schools", and when his door was knocked upon and his house surrounded by the community and media, his house remained eerily quiet.
A 14 year old boy who attends Gale School spoke of the hope that is brought on by seeing his seniors graduate and being elected into the presidency of student run boards.
It is reported that Alderman Joe Moore's Chief of Staff, Michael Land, drove by to see the on-goings, and when community members tried to speak with him, he drove away.
Below are some images of the march to Mr. Moore's home, videos will be available shortly.
My partner, Autumn Davids, and I first heard about this event while going through our collective e-mails looking for things to do and events to attend that signify things we find important. In my e-mail, we found out that this was an upcoming event. Here is some information from that e-mail about tonight's event:
This meeting includes parents and teachers from Gale Elementary, north of Howard St. in Rogers Park. Even though our school didn't make the list for closure it met CPS criteria of being just shy of 50% full. Although the school got a reprieve this time, we know that the charter schools are always a threat to the neighborhood public school. Our reasons for opposing charters are in the press release below.
Ald. Joe Moore is signed onto the city council resolution calling for a moratorium on charter schools, but we believe this moratorium is a red herring because it is non-binding and stuck in the rules committee. We are seeking a commitment from Moore that he will oppose the expansion of charter schools in the 49th Ward - where is has power over these decisions - regardless of whether the moratorium passes city council. His support of the moratorium is not an excuse to avoid making this commitment specific to his ward.
Please call if you have any questions about this event.
Contact: Kristi Sanford
Telephone: 773-456-4024 cell
500 Northside Residents Gather to Demand
No More Charter Schools in 49th Ward,
Affordable Higher Education and
Closure of Illinois Corporate Tax Loopholes
With the State of Illinois unable to pay its bills, Chicago Public Schools claiming a $1 billion deficit, and college students facing rising costs, ballooning debt and grim job prospects, five hundred (500) North Side and North Shore residents will gather to demand public policy changes.
Northside P.O.W.E.R. Public Meeting: Common Sense, Common Good
Sunday, March 10
Willye White Field House
1610 W. Howard St., Chicago
Even though no Rogers Park schools are on the CPS school closure list, neighborhood schools are threatened by the expansion of charter schools. With fierce competition for funding often based on test scores, charter schools are incentivized to attract and admit only the best students. An investigation by Reuters revealed that many charter schools require lengthy application forms, student and parent essays, mandatory family interviews, entrance exams, and even illegally demand Social Security cards and birth certificates. Charter schools often require parents to cover additional educational costs, an obstacle for poor parents. Northside P.O.W.E.R. has invited Ald. Joe Moore to attend to answer questions about charter school expansion in the 49th Ward.
The struggles for those already overburdened continue at institutes of higher learning. Loyola University will increase the cost of its freshman and sophomore meal plans. All undergraduate resident students are required to have a meal plan, yet the cheapest freshman year plan will increased 12%, and the sophomore plan by more than 150% in the 2013-2014 academic year. More than 100 Loyola students will attend.
State Senator Heather Steans and State Representatives Robin Gabel and Kelly Cassidy will attend. Northside P.O.W.E.R. will ask them to make a public commitment to support corporate tax transparency and to close corporate tax loopholes.
Two-thirds of corporations in Illinois pay no state income tax, and a meager 8% of state revenue comes from corporate income taxes. Eighty-one (81%) of state revenue comes from personal income and sales taxes. Statistics from the Public Policy Polling, a non-partisan polling firm found that nearly 80% of Illinois voters say legislation to require publicly-traded corporations to disclose how much they pay in Illinois corporate tax income is a good idea. By closing three corporate tax loopholes, Illinois could raise $1.5 billion over 3 years to help solve its budget crisis.
Northside P.O.W.E.R. (People Organized to Work, Educate and Restore) is an institution-based people’s power organization whose members are located in the North Side of the City of Chicago and North Shore Communities. Northside P.O.W.E.R. is the community organizing arm of A Just Harvest."
Although events worked out so that we were late to the event, we nonetheless made an appearance to record the event and show our support to the local public schools. Both Autumn and myself are by-products of the public school system, both of us having some college education and success in our day to day activities. How can we not support such a noble cause our community took the reigns for?
Wording by Autumn Davids, Images and Videos by Bill Morton