Senior citizens from Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood plan to hold a sit-in and prayer circle outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office at City Hall on Wednesday morning in support of the Dyett hunger strikers.
While Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was at a pricey downtown breakfast event on homelessness, city housing activists and homeless families protested outside Thursday morning citing the mayor's "failure to support reform of the Chicago Housing Authority."
"Under Mayor Emanuel's watch, the CHA has failed to release 13,500 available housing vouchers, left thousands of public housing units vacant, stopped rebuilding public housing and stockpiled over $432 million in surplus cash at the expense of housing for thousands," said Paul Burns with the Metropolitan Tenants Organization and the Chicago Housing Initiative, which organized today's protest.
"And yet today, the mayor shows up to a breakfast about ending homelessness," he continued. "This is hypocrisy, and we will not be silent ... The truth is that until the mayor begins talking about reforming the CHA and setting clear standards for the agency, he is not talking about ending homelessness."
The following is from the Jane Addams Senior Caucus.
Over three hundred senior citizens, their allies and aldermen gathered at Daley Plaza Tuesday to dramatically protest the housing and economic policies supported by Mayor Emanuel, which are having disastrous impact on struggling families and seniors.
The message chanted at the Rally was “What do we want? $15 Now! What do we want? CHA Housing Justice!”
Shatara Uhunmwangho, leader of Chicago Housing Initiative who is homeless said, “I made the decision to participate in the political theater and rally because I am a mother, I am a worker and I am on the waiting list for the Chicago Housing Authority. Affordable housing is an issue for my family. My daughter and I need a stable and affordable place to live. This year, the city council has the opportunity to vote on two important issues that would transform the lives of thousands and thousands of families – the Keeping the Promise Ordinance and $15 Minimum Wage for Chicago Ordinance.”
About a dozen Chicago education activists pitched a makeshift campsite outside of Ald. Will Burns' (4th) South Side office Monday morning in protest of the school district's plan to close Walter H. Dyett High School at the end of the 2014-2015 school year.
Back in 2012, the Chicago Board of Education voted to phaseout and close the Bronzeville neighborhood high school, located in Burns' 4th Ward, due to poor academic performance. Dyett is scheduled to close completely in 2015 after its last senior class graduates.
Members of the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School, spearheaded by the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO), are upset with Burns because the alderman does not support their specific proposal to keep Dyett open beyond 2015 and transition it into a open-enrollment "global leadership and green technology" neighborhood high school.