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Roderick Sawyer

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Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
11:39am
Tue Mar 19, 2013

Education Activists Head To Springfield Calling For Moratorium On School Closings (VIDEO)

A group of education activists boarded a bus to Springfield this morning to campaign for a moratorium on school closings in Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

Leaving shortly after 6:30 a.m., the group of approximately 30 CPS staff members, students and supporters plan on attending a 1 p.m. Senate Education Committee hearing at the Illinois Statehouse. Organized by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) the group aimed to petition for lawmakers’ support and testify on behalf of SB 1571, legislation that would place a two-year moratorium on school closings.

“Before they instill policies and close schools they should listen to the people who actually do the job,” said Dorothy Clabaugh, a librarian at Alexander Graham Elementary School in Canaryville, which is one of 129 schools that is facing a potential school action.

PI Original
by Aricka Flowers
10:24pm
Wed Mar 13, 2013

Second So-Called Progressive Caucus Emerges In Chicago City Council, Begging The Question Of Why?

A second group of aldermen, calling themselves the Paul Douglas Alliance (after the liberal Illinois U.S. Senator and former member of the Chicago City Council), announced they are forming a new so-called progressive caucus. The move comes one day after the council's original progressive caucus, the Progressive Reform Coalition, announced their legislative priorities. Progress Illinois breaks down what the formation of the second progressive caucus could really mean.

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
5:37pm
Thu Jan 24, 2013

Youth Unemployment Summit Highlights Illinois Teens' Urgent Need For Jobs

Illinois’ teen unemployment rate is among the highest in the country and during a panel on Thursday at the Chicago Urban League, local elected officials came face-to-face with Chicago’s unemployed youth. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
11:11am
Mon Jan 14, 2013

Community Group Brings Together Politicians, Religious and Community Leaders In A Call For Social Justice

Busloads of Chicago and suburban residents filed into the pews of a South Side church Sunday for an afternoon remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr. and called on a dozen elected officials to join their push for social and economic justice in the area.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
6:27pm
Mon Oct 29, 2012

City Touts Building Demolitions In Crime Prevention, But Is There A Connection?

Today, the city of Chicago demolished its “200th dangerous building” since July 12, according to the office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The mayor stated in a press release that demolitions are “preventing criminal activity in our neighborhoods.”

Is this true? “We’ve been knocking down houses since the 1930’s and it’s not clear if this has a significant effect on crime rates,” says Bradford Hunt, a sociology professor at Roosevelt University who studies Chicago housing issues.

Also in question: How does the city determine what properties see the wrecking ball?

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
4:20pm
Tue Oct 16, 2012

City Staffing, Promised Savings Scrutinized In Emanuel Budget

The Chicago City Council started this morning four days of hearings that will examine the proposed 2013 budget that Mayor Rahm Emanuel released last week.

At a community meeting on the Northwest Side last night Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd) said that, “The annual budget is the most important aspect of public policy. It tells us who we are as a city.”

Perhaps to the chagrin of Fioretti, Chicago is a city that mostly lets the mayor write the budget. Unlike the U.S. Congress or Illinois General Assembly, the 50-member city council essentially plays an advisory role.

The public also played a small role under previous mayors through community hearings, but Emanuel scrapped those this year. So a group of six aldermen representing the council’s progressive caucus held a public forum last night that attracted about 200 people.

Quick Hit
by Progress Illinois
4:59pm
Tue Sep 11, 2012

Op-Ed: 6th Ward Ald. Roderick Sawyer Speaks Out In Interest Of City's Poorest Children

The following is a statement from Chicago's 6th Ward Alderman Roderick T. Sawyer on the Chicago Teachers Union strike and the well-being and education of the city's less fortunate children.

There is currently a lot of confusion about the state of Chicago Public Schools and what is going on for our students. Recent reports state that both sides are close on the questions of compensation, but we must take this time to work towards and actual solution that helps our children. I want to make clear that I support the teachers union, but I believe that both CTU and CPS should acknowledge that there are serious issues we need to address if we are going to do what is best for our children.

Budgetary realities are real and accountability is necessary, but we cannot ignore the challenges that face some of our neighborhoods. I just cannot understand any education plan that acts like violence, poverty and other societal ills have no effect on the ability of a student to learn.

PI Original
by Matthew Blake
1:17pm
Mon Aug 27, 2012

What To Make Of The Chicago Murder Rate

The homicide rate is probably the top political story in Chicago so far this year, with an approximately 30 percent citywide increase in murders between 2011 and 2012 and a succession of new pronouncements from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy on how they are responding to the problem.

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