Frustrated teachers and parents called on local Chicago aldermen to stand up and make individual commitments of support to public school teachers and students during the ongoing budget crisis on Saturday.
At the State of Chicago Public Schools Summit, community organizer and former aldermanic candidate Jhatayn "Jay" Travis was addressing the aldermen when a voice from the crowd demanded the aldermen stand up, state their names, and specifically answer two questions: will they work on local revenue solutions in the city council to help Chicago public schools, and will they demand progressive revenue funding from Gov. Bruce Rauner and state lawmakers?
The audience swelled with cheers as the aldermen took the floor.
Speaking to the crowd, Ald. John Arena (45th) said he is already working towards the issues brought up at the summit, but needs cooperation from the state to see results.
"We need help from Springfield to make some of these ideas go forward," said Arena. "Just because we're in the council, it doesn't mean we have the authority to do some of these things. So we need to work together to bring pressure and put some of these ideas forward, and voters have to support it."
Former Lt. governor and state senatorial candidate Sheila Simon wants state lawmakers to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of a spending bill that would have funded social services as well as colleges and universities.
After City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Cheryl Hyman announced plans this week to step down in about a year, the college system's board of trustees is expected to sign off on her one-year reappointment during its Friday meeting.