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Election 2015

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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:12pm
Tue Feb 3, 2015

Chicago Education Activists Keep Pressure On Ald. Burns Over Dyett High School (VIDEO)

Chicago education activists who have been fighting to preserve Walter H. Dyett High School as an open-enrollment, traditional neighborhood school protested outside of Ald. Will Burns' (4th) office Tuesday morning, claiming the South Side alderman "pretends to be progressive while pushing privatization."

Members of the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School, who for more than a year have been advocating for a community-driven plan to turn the facility into a "global leadership and green technology" open-enrollment high school, are upset over the prospect of a contract operator taking control of the Bronzeville school. They are also angry because the alderman has not endorsed their global leadership and green technology proposal.

"Instead of honoring the community plan and believing in democracy, Ald. Will Burns has given Dyett over to private operators and left it open for the school to be a contract school," said Jitu Brown with the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School, which is spearheaded by the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO).

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:24pm
Wed Jan 28, 2015

Deb Mell Takes Heat For Family Ties At 33rd Ward Candidate Forum

Aldermanic candidates running in Chicago's 33rd Ward sounded off on issues ranging from the minimum wage and charter schools to "political dynasties" and "machine politics" at a Tuesday evening forum sponsored by several Northwest Side neighborhood groups.

In Chicago's 33rd Ward, incumbent Ald. Deb Mell is being challenged by Tim Meegan, a public school teacher at Roosevelt High School, and Annisa Wanat, a non-profit consultant and former Peace Corps volunteer. Mell, the daughter of former Ald. Dick Mell (33rd), was appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to fill her father's council seat after he retired in July 2013.

At the packed candidate forum held at Newton Bateman Elementary School, Mell touted a number of accomplishments in her 18 months as alderman, including efforts around affordable housing, cracking down on "absentee" landlords, making the ward office more accessible and voting to raise the minimum wage to $13 by 2019.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:07pm
Tue Jan 27, 2015

CTU, Allied Groups Call For Quazzo's Resignation From Chicago Education Board (VIDEO)

Members of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and other allied organizations increased their calls on Tuesday morning for an elected school board and the resignation of Chicago Board of Education member Deborah Quazzo, who has come under scrutiny over her business interests following a recent Chicago Sun-Times investigation.

Chanting, "Quit, Quazzo. Quit," about 30 CTU members, parents and organizers with Action Now, the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, More than a Score and other groups picketed outside the offices of GSV Advisors, an investment firm of which Quazzo is the founder and managing partner. The company's offices are located in the John Hancock Center, 875 N. Michigan Ave.

According to an investigative report published late last month by the Chicago Sun-Times, five educational tech companies in which Quazzo has invested have allegedly tripled their business with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) since Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed her to the board in June of 2013. The firms have reportedly been paid nearly $3 million by CPS since Quazzo's board appointment. The CPS inspector general launched a probe into the matter in light of the newspaper's findings.

The CTU maintains that "Quazzo's seat on the board represents an unethical conflict of interest" and demonstrates the need for an elected, representative school board.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
12:48pm
Thu Jan 15, 2015

Chicago's 31st Ward Aldermanic Candidates Debate About Progressive Values, Campaign Funding

Aldermanic candidates for the 31st Ward, including incumbent Ald. Ray Suarez (31st), debated Wednesday night and discussed their platforms for next month's municipal election.

Those challenging Suarez, who was first elected alderman of the Northwest Side ward in 1991, include lawyer and professor Sean Starr, former reporter Milagros Santiago and Irma Cornier, a community outreach coordinator at NewLife 316.

More than 50 residents of the ward, which includes portions of the Belmont Cragin, Portage Park, Hermosa and Logan Square neighborhoods, attended the debate hosted by the Belmont-Cragin United community organization.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:38pm
Wed Jan 14, 2015

Chicagoans Pack Hearing On Using South Side Park Space For Obama Library

About 1,000 South Siders, preservationists and others packed the second of two spirited Chicago Park District hearings Wednesday afternoon to discuss the possible use of parkland for the Barack Obama presidential library. Progress Illinois was there for the meeting.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:58pm
Tue Jan 13, 2015

Garcia Talks Public Transit, TIF & Red Light Cameras At U Of C

At a Monday night talk at the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics, Chicago mayoral candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia reiterated his support for scaling back the city's red light camera and tax increment financing (TIF) programs as well as his desire to boost investments in public transportation. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the discussion.

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