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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:32pm
Mon Oct 13, 2014

Chicagoans Push For Ward-Level Ballot Referendums On Elected School Board (VIDEO)

Although a citywide advisory referendum asking Chicagoans whether they support switching to an elected school board has been crowded off the ballot for a third time, education activists have a backup plan.

Parents, teachers and community groups are banding together to place a separate, non-binding question about an elected Chicago Board of Education on the February municipal ballot in each of the city's 50 wards. The coalition, which is unhappy with the policies endorsed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's handpicked school board, officially launched their ward-level referendum drive on Monday.

"While the mayor makes his moves by squashing democracy and disrespecting parents, we will make our moves by knocking on doors and by giving the people [the ability] to do the one thing the mayor's afraid of. We are going to give people the chance to vote for an elected school board," Action Now's Executive Director Katelyn Johnson said at the referendum drive's kick off, held in front of Ronald E. McNair Elementary School in the city's Austin neighborhood. (Back in April, the Chicago Board of Education voted to "turnaround" McNair, which involves firing and replacing all school staffers, to improve its academic performance.)

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:31pm
Wed Oct 8, 2014

Chicago Aldermen Approve IG Measure, Washington Park TIF; Elected School Board Referendum Gets Squeezed

Progress Illinois provides highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:14am
Wed Aug 20, 2014

Karen Lewis Discusses Potential Mayoral Run During Stop On Chicago 'Listening Tour' (VIDEO)

Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) President Karen Lewis said she is "seriously considering" running for Chicago mayor and will decided whether to challenge Mayor Rahm Emanuel when she has "certain things in place."

"And those things are, primarily, the three things you need to run a campaign," Lewis said at a Tuesday evening discussion about city issues, held on Chicago's far Southwest Side in the 19th Ward. "You've got to have money. You've got to have people, and you've got to have time."

"I want to run things on my timeline," she added at the talk, moderated by journalist Walter Jacobson and hosted by the CTU at the Beverly Woods Banquet Hall, 11532 S. Western Ave.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:55pm
Mon Aug 18, 2014

CPS Students Call For An Elected School Board, Adequate School Funding (VIDEO)

About 100 members of the Chicago Students Union and their allies marched in support of an elected school board and adequate neighborhood school funding during a downtown protest Monday afternoon. Progress Illinois was there for the demonstration.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
7:08pm
Wed Jul 30, 2014

Chicago City Council Roundup: Minimum Wage Bump, Phone Tax Hike & New Moratorium

Progress Illinois provides highlights from Wednesday's jam-packed Chicago City Council meeting.

Quick Hit
by
4:48pm
Wed Mar 19, 2014

Guest Post: Lessons Learned In Primary 2014

The following guest post is from Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis.

Incumbents seeking to erode retirement security in Chicago had better beware

Throughout this primary season, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has been a strong and vocal advocate for voters on the South and West Sides of Chicago—many of whom have been most impacted by the foolishness of education deformers and pension thieves. It is time to stand up to the predatory corporate and political interests that seek to threaten the economic security of thousands of workers. Incumbents seeking to steal our retirement security, beware.

The Chicago Teachers Union expressed people power this electoral cycle. We were most successful in creating a platform of educational justice and retirement security that was expressed by our endorsed candidates.  Representative-elect Will Guzzardi amplified our calls for an elected, representative school board, a moratorium on school closings and an end to charter proliferation.

With our continued support and his ability to turn the issues we’ve long championed into a successful political campaign, he was able to take down the Berrios machine and strike a blow to the top-down political tradition of the Northwest Side.

While the 26th District race remains contested, it is clear that voters on the South Side have soundly rejected State Rep. Christian “Crown” Mitchell’s anti-working families’ platform. This contest, more than any other this Primary season, exposes the racial and economic fault lines for 2015.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:52pm
Mon Mar 17, 2014

Election Preview: Tensions Boil Over In The 26th District Legislative Race

Jhatayn “Jay” Travis, who is challenging incumbent State Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago) in the 26th District Democratic race, blasted her opponent Monday for "questionable election tactics." Mitchell's campaign called Travis' comments "desperate and superfluous." Progress Illinois details the latest scuffle kicking up dirt in the race on the eve of the primary election.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:34pm
Thu Mar 6, 2014

10th District Race: Candidates Sound Off On Elected Chicago School Board, TIF Reform

Three of the five candidates vying to unseat incumbent State Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) in the crowded 10th District Illinois House race took part in a forum Wednesday night, discussing everything from education to TIFs. Progress Illinois was there for the discussion. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:40pm
Wed Feb 12, 2014

Travis Touts Her Education Activism, Criticizes Mitchell's Record In 26th District Race

Jhatayn “Jay” Travis, who is challenging incumbent State Rep. Christian Mitchell in the 26th District Democratic primary, unveiled her education platform Wednesday morning flanked by public school parents, teachers and Chicago residents.

The group gathered in front of the now empty John Fiske Elementary school, located in Chicago’s West Woodlawn neighborhood. The school is one of 50 Chicago public schools that were shuttered last year.

“When schools close, the children in our neighborhoods lose,” said Travis, former executive director of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization. “Our communities lose viable institutions. We can no longer allow school closings to go forward.”

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