While the Bond Buyer's Midwest Municipal Market Conference was being held Tuesday at the InterContinental Chicago hotel on Michigan Avenue, over a dozen Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) members and their allies protested outside the event this morning.
Holding signs reading, "CPS: Broke on Purpose," the education activists were there to highlight controversial financial deals the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has with banks and to call for fair-share revenue options to help tackle the school district's pressing fiscal issues.
Those at the protest, spearheaded by the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE), marched in a circle chanting, "Fat cats profit and kids come last. Who pays taxes? The working class."
"There's been numerous long-term financial deals, bond deals, swap deals that have put CPS under a heavy burden of debt," explained CTU organizer Martin Ritter. "They've got bad financial advisers. Many of them are at this conference."
Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon urged Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner to release his complete 2013 income tax records during a press conference Monday morning.
"Today I am calling on candidate Bruce Rauner to make full disclosure of all the schedules that go with his taxes and his 2013 tax returns," Simon said in Chicago's Grant Park. "Being engaged in public politics and governance requires a sacrifice of some privacy, but it's a small sacrifice, and it's worth it because transparency builds trust. This is not a 'gotcha.' This is governing. Let's do it right."
Reproductive rights advocates and several youths took to Springfield Thursday to speak out against a state law requiring parental notification before a minor can obtain abortion services.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, the Chicago Abortion Fund and the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH) hosted the day of advocacy at the Capitol to call for a repeal of the state's Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995, a law activists say puts teens in harm's way.
"For many young women, having a family member notified is equivalent to them being abused, being kicked out of their home, or being forced to carry a pregnancy to term against their will," stressed Allie Carter, advocacy and outreach director at the ACLU of Illinois.