Archives for category: Emanuel, Rahm

Mike Klonsky speculates on who might replace Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who resigned in the midst of a federal investigation of a $20 million np-bid contract to SUPES, a principal training program that BBB once worked for.

Will it be the return of Paul Vallas? A businessman?

MIke says it doesn’t matter.

“Meanwhile, the media debate is all about whether Rahm should appoint another career educator like BBB or J.C Brizard, or another non-educator business guy? I don’t think it makes a damn bit of difference so long as either one, along with the hand-picked school board, are mere puppy dogs. It’s mayoral control of the schools that’s the real issue here. The fact that Rahm is shopping for Chicago’s 6th CEO in 6 years following Huberman, Mazany, Brizard, Byrd-Bennett, and Ruiz, makes my point. Instability is the name of the game and when things go south, like a major scandal or a teachers strike, they are all easily replaceable.

“We need an elected school board and an end to autocratic rule over the schools.”

News from Chicago about what happens when the Feds start digging and turn over rocks.

Michael Klonsky tells the story here

The cast of characters: Rahm EMANUEL, Paul Vallas, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, and more.

Business as usual in Chicago? Crony capitalism? A city with a big deficit, so big it closed 50 schools. .

NEWS ADVISORY

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Stephanie Gadlin
May 26, 2015 312-329-6250

CTU to lead picket before Chicago Board of Education meeting calling for halt to charter school expansion

CHICAGO—The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has organized a picket line before the Chicago Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, May 27, to highlight the hypocrisy of the district’s insistence on expanding charter operations throughout the city while claiming a $1 billion budget deficit. The financial “crisis” for Chicago Public Schools is the result of the district’s own fiscal irresponsibility—hundreds of millions of dollars mired in scandal, swap deals and failed, privatized outsourcing. By allowing the unchecked growth of charter schools, including some into closed neighborhood school buildings, CPS continues its plan to weaken communities by creating a culture of chaos that the district will use to justify cutting school budgets, closing schools and laying off thousands of CPS educators and education support staff.

Four Points of CPS Charter Hypocrisy

· Lying to the Illinois General Assembly that there would be no charter schools placed into any school building that was part of the mass school closings in 2013. CPS is “selling” the Peabody Elementary School building—closed in 2013—and putting Rowe Charter into that building.

· Expanding charter operations—a Noble Street charter school moving into the Uptown neighborhood; Rowe moving into the Peabody building; a Perspectives charter school moving to 85th & Lafayette—as the district claims a massive budget deficit

· Ignoring community opposition to place a Noble Street charter school into a community that has voiced outrage over the proposal. “They told my mom what she wanted to hear to get me and my brother to go there, but she realized after a few years of struggle, that the school doesn’t live up to its promise,” said a former Noble Street student who is now attending a neighborhood high school in Uptown. Another student added: “Noble schools don’t work with kids to do better—they just kick them out to their neighborhood schools.”

· Rewarding an ally of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Alderman Howard Brookins with the lucrative placement of a Perspectives charter school into the Rev. Charles Jenkins’ Legacy Project development, with no disclosure of how the project is being financed.

WHO:

CTU teachers, community partners and allies

WHAT:

Picket line before the Chicago Board of Education meeting

WHEN:

Wednesday, May 27, 2015, at 6:30 a.m.

WHERE:

Chicago Board of Education
42 W. Madison St.
Chicago

Rahm Emanuel was re-elected to a second term. Preliminary estimates show a 56-44 win. He had a huge financial advantage over his opponent, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.

This is a defeat for the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and a big win for the Status Quo corporatist wing.

“The mayor raised about $20 million through last week, easily outpacing Garcia, who brought in about $4 million. The hefty cash advantage enabled the mayor to run a steady stream of ads that raised questions about his challenger’s résumé and his plan for remedying the city’s problems.”

The Network for Public Education took a look at who is financing the candidates for Mayor in Chicago.

Not surprising. Chuy Garcia is sustained by small donations. The big money is betting on Rahm.

Anthony Moser writes a guest column for EduShyster, asking and answering some questions about Mayor Rahm’s campaign: Who is funding it? Who benefits most from the mayor’s determination to make (or keep) Chicago “a world-class city”?

Moser looks at the city’s TIF (Tax Incentive Fund):

“This, presumably, is the justification for Rahm’s obsessive focus on downtown. Nearly half of the money collected in TIF districts has gone to the central business district. In case you are unfamiliar, TIFs are a means of diverting property taxes from their normal destinations, like schools and parks, and instead earmarking the funds for *development.* As originally enshrined in Illinois law, they were tools for improving blighted districts. Of course the Loop does not fit most definitions of *blight,* but the complicated rules of TIFs allow money to be shunted around between adjoining districts, so that money collected in Englewood can fund development downtown. Wealth does not flow from the prosperous center to the impoverished fringes, but instead the growth of downtown is financed by the parts of our city most in need….”

“Our mayor came into power after living in the city for less than a year with a campaign funded by powerful, wealthy people across the country. He has rewarded them with city contracts and privatization schemes even as he fired ordinary working folks like teachers and janitors by the thousands. He sues to curb pension benefits, while turning over those same pension funds to his friends and donors. He stands before the national media, taking no questions, to celebrate investment by and for the richest among us (and, given his ties to New York, Washington and LA, not among us). The campaign contributions Mayor Emanuel accepts in a week are more than many of the city’s residents could earn in a lifetime.”

For the links to sources, read the article.

The mayoral election in Chicago on April 7 is a contest between big money and grassroots organizing.

 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has raised nearly $20 million for his re-election campaign, while his challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia has raised some $3 million.

 

The latest big gift to Mayor Rahm comes from a hedge fund billionaire who has given him nearly $1 million. According to Huffington Post, Ken Griffin has supported Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and other prominent conservative Republicans.

 

Ken Griffin, CEO of the hedge fund Citadel, has donated nearly $1 million to pro-Emanuel groups in the last year, including $750,000 since March 2, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

 

Griffin has also contributed to Walker, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.). Schock, under fire for lavish spending, said on Tuesday that he would resign from Congress. Since last year, Griffin has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars American Crossroads, America Rising, the Republican National Committee and other conservative groups.

The Network for Public Education enthusiastically endorses Jesus (Chuy) Garcia for Mayor of Chicago.

The election has national significance. NPE believes it will send a message that closing public schools en masse and replacing them with private charters is unacceptable; that the public schools are a public responsibility and should be fully funded to meet the needs of students.

If you live in Chicago, please vote, volunteer, and help turn a new page for the students of Chicago by electing Chuy Garcia.

EduShyster hosts a Chicago citizen who shows what the New York Times got wrong about Rahm.

 

The newspaper article mostly repeated the Mayor’s talking points instead of digging to find out if they were true.

 

The author, Maria Moser, writes:

 

“Here’s what happened: Rahm systematically attacked nearly every city service through a neoliberal privatization plan. As a friend put it, *Rahm’s not so much the mayor as the guy auctioning off what’s left of our public goods.* And public goods have a disproportionate value to middle class and poor people in our city. Your library is open less and has less staff. There are fewer lifeguards on our beaches in the summer. Or you spent hours on the phone trying to activate your new Ventra card only to be disconnected. We’ve taken notice as these things have happened because they affect our lives. What’s it like to live in a city with an auctioneer at the helm?”

 

And read this correction:

 

“NYT: And many of the neighborhoods that faced schools closings were in predominantly black or Latino areas.

 

“Chicago: Uh, that’s a bit of an understatement. As it turns out, of 46,000 students impacted by school closures (not 30,000, as CPS tried to suggest), 88% were black, 10% were Latino, and .7% were white. So yes, predominantly. Like, 98%.”

Investigative reporter Rick Perlstein writes that Rahm Emanuel failed to reach the 50% plus one threshold against a crowded field because of the widespread perception of corruption.

Some saw him as “Mayor 1%,” taking care of the powerful. But there was more:

“Perhaps what turned some voters against Rahm at the last minute—or motivated them to go to the polls in the first place on a cold Chicago day that started out in the single digits—was an Election Day exposé that appeared in the British paper the Guardian by investigate reporter Spencer Ackerman. “The Disappeared” revealed the existence of Homan Square, a forlorn “black site” that the Chicago Police operate on the West Side.

There, Chicagoans learned—many for the first time—arrestees are locked up for days at a time without access to lawyers. One victim was 15 years old; he was released without being charged with anything. Another, a 44-year-old named John Hubbard, never left—he died in custody. One of the “NATO 3” defendants, later acquitted on most charges of alleged terror plans during a 2012 Chicago protest, was shackled to a bench there for 17 hours.

It “struck legal experts as a throwback to the worst excesses of Chicago police abuse, with a post-9/11 feel to it,” the Guardian reported. And for a candidate, Rahm Emanuel, who ran on a message he was turning the page on the old, malodorous “Chicago way,” the piece contributed to a narrative that proved devastating.

“Indeed, the mayor faced a drumbeat of outstanding journalistic exposés all throughout the campaign. The Chicago Sun-Times reported on Deborah Quazzo, an Emanuel school board appointee who runs an investment fund for companies that privatize school functions. They discovered that five companies in which she had an ownership stake have more than tripled their business with the Chicago Public Schools since she joined the board, many of them for contracts drawn up in the suspicious amount of $24,999—one dollar below the amount that required central office approval. (Chicago is the only municipality in Illinois whose school board is appointed by a mayor. But activists succeeded—in an arduous accomplishment against the obstruction attempts of Emanuel backers on the city council—to get an advisory referendum on the ballot in a majority of the city’s wards calling for an elected representative school board. Approximately 90 percent of the voters who could vote for the measure did.) “

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