Those of us who work with students day in and day out know the brilliance and potential that our students have. We also find ourselves as educators, parents and taxpayers becoming increasingly frustrated by a mayor, "CEO" and appointed school board that consistently and blatantly do not have the best interest of our students at heart.
Have no fear our students will lead the way. Yes, our students that the media far too often label as "gang bangers" "thugs" or "criminals" will lead the way against the harming polices implemented by CPS.
The tarnished legacy of indicted community officials no longer lies in Chicago ranks but has indeed spread to the south suburban areas of Cook County. Three villages are now victim of the all too familiar spirit of greed and exploitation that infests those in leadership. After the embarrassing episode of Jesse Jackson, Jr. that shattered the 2nd congressional district, three south suburban towns face again the deception and humiliation from community officials.
Most recently, former Crestwood Police Chief Theresa Neubauer was found guilty of 11 counts of purposely reciting false claims to environmental regulators. As Crestwood water head, she repeatedly lied to state regulators about the quality of the village's water that was chemically altered. She claims two other individuals including former longtime Mayor Chester Stanczek are guilty of the tainted water scheme that possibly harmed the 11,000 residents. Neubauer also implies both were well-aware of vinyl chloride remnants in water that was used for 22 years until 2007. Neubauer possibly faces that maximum of five years in prison and $250,000 fine for each count. Even after nearly seven hours of deliberation, the mother of four still proclaims her innocence. "I suppose today I have to say I am the unfortunate person that the village of Crestwood hired when I was an 18-year-old girl," said Neubauer. She resigned from her post May 2.
Chicago's City Council, compared to other large U.S. cities, is one of the largest. One alderman representing 53,912 Chicagoans, based on 2010 census data.
According to the 2013 budget released by the city, City Councils budget for this year is $26.4 million. Chicago aldermen's salaries range between $104,101 to $114,913, depending on whether they decided to take raises.
The summer of 1974 is memorable not only for the release of a Doobie Brothers' LP that with its hit "Black Water" would form a soundtrack for much of the coming year, but also for the resignation of Richard Nixon. As Mechanics' attorney-in-residence, and possibly the only writer here who remembers dancing to either of the aforesaid, and as a nod to Law Day, I agreed to cover the forum last night at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics in Hyde Park featuring current and past U.S. Attorneys General Eric Holder and John Ashcroft. Moderated by former Chicago law school dean Geoffrey Stone, the event highlighted the publication of Restoring Justice: The Speeches of Attorney General Edward Levi, by Jack Fuller. Fuller, former Chicago Tribune editor and publisher, interrupted his long journalism career to serve as an assistant to Edward H. Levi during Levi's stint as the country's top lawyer during the Ford Administration.
That 1975 appointment, of course, plucking Levi from the presidency of the University of Chicago, was a direct response to a national crisis in confidence in the Justice Department specifically, and in government generally. Watergate and related scandals saw lawyer-President Nixon impeached and resign, two of Levi's predecessors as Attorney General convicted of perjury, and the White House counsel plead guilty to obstruction of justice. Fuller's book debuts amidst the 40th anniversary of the scandals, cover-ups, shocking revelations, and legal-political drama that overshadowed much else in the nation in 1972-74. Since some of the same themes that then gripped the U.S. reverberate today -- electronic surveillance of Americans, bombings abroad ordered by the executive branch, and the power of the Presidency itself -- the forum held promise of potential fireworks and relevancy. The Institute did a pro job at logistics and presentation, and, let's be clear, is not required to offer all points of view. Unfortunately, what could have been more provocative ended up, by virtue of lack of balance, as a soft promo for continued perpetual war and expanded executive branch power, with only nods of concern to clampdown on civil liberties and ever-eroding privacy. I have to wonder if that's what Edward Levi would have wanted.
But what often gets lost in the pages of recent political history are the legacies of men and women who serve just below the president, and subsequently impact the policies that shape the government and country in ways beyond what most Americans realize.
Tuesday, April 30, the University of Chicago Institute of Politics invites you to take a look at one such individual -- Edward Levi, the attorney general nominated by Gerald Ford to clean up the Justice Department in the wake of the Watergate scandal.
When he started writing First Son: The Biography of Richard M. Daley, Koeneman said he wanted to keep his opinions out of it and let the readers decide how to interpret the facts about the former mayor's life and legacy.
"I tried really, really hard to be very, very balanced about his accomplishments and his mistakes," Koeneman said, before he sat down with the Chicago Tribune's Rick Kogan for a public discussion of the book. "I tried to make it an interesting life story."
The book, Koeneman said, is the first biography of the 22-year mayor, though there are many about his father (and also former mayor) Richard J. Daley. He doesn't know why there hasn't been a biography about the younger Mayor Daley until now, though he thinks it could be because potential biographers may have been afraid to upset the mayor while he was still in office.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal law, with numerous state-level counterparts, that makes government information more accessible to journalist and citizens. Often, one would fill out a FOIA (commonly pronounced "FOY-uh") request in order to obtain information made available by the act.
The city of Chicago tracks FOIA requests made to its various departments, and posts the information on the Chicago Data Portal. A look at which print media outlets submit the most FOIA's gives an interesting look into the size and focus of various publications.
Today Sen. Mark Kirk sent out an email to constituents sharing a video about the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act, the gun control bill he co-authored with senators Pat Toomey (R-PA), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Charles Schumer (D-NY), with reference to the recent gang violence in Chicago.
Last week, I met with Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy who highlighted an unfortunate statistic: 40 percent of guns were purchased without a background check. I have made it one of my top priorities in Congress to end gun violence in cities like Chicago and to dry up dangerous criminals' access to illegal weapons. Drug gangs like the Gangster Disciples exploit the loopholes in our current system, and they commit senseless acts of violence leading to the death of innocent people, like 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, shot and killed in gang crossfire. I invite you to watch my new video that explains Senator Manchin (D-WV) and my bipartisan legislation, the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act. This bill will reduce gun violence across the US and save lives while defending law-abiding citizens' Second Amendment rights.
It is an honor to represent you in the United States Senate.
David Axelrod joined a four member panel convened last Tuesday at the University of Chicago's International House in celebration of the 30th anniversary of Harold Washington's 1983 successful mayoral election. Journalist and political correspondent Laura Washington moderated the discussion between 4th Ward Alderman Will Burns, University of Chicago political science Professor Michael Dawson, Washington campaign advisor Jackie Grimshaw, who now serves in the department of policy, transportation and community development for Chicago's Center for Neighborhood Technology; and the aforementioned former Obama campaign strategist Axelrod.
After twice polling the plentiful and diverse audience as to our ages and cognizance of the historical election of Chicago's first African-American mayor, the event began with rousing clips of an effusive Mayor Washington speaking of the great responsibility of his office, love for his constituents and contempt for the tactics of Mayor Richard J. Daley.
The historic Julia C. Lathrop Homes are listed by Preservation Chicago as one of the city's seven most endangered developments and the Chicago Housing Authority will release its final proposal soon, according to a city council staffer.
The CHA will release their final proposal and hold a meeting sometime this month, according to Paul Sajovec, chief of staff to Alderman Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward). The agency's board will meet Tuesday, April 16.
"To say there is imminent danger [of demolition] is completely accurate," said Sajovec. "Now is the time if people are concerned with what's happening there."
Chicago Public Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett is being called racist for school closings, but no one called other black politicians racist for ignoring the needs of their communities by engaging in corrupt activities for decades. We've seen the downfall of African-American communities from the direct result of the crack epidemic, street gangs, economic collapse, inadequate leadership and years of disinvestment. Evidently, accountability for previous leaders is the missing ingredient.
We are quick to bash her decision; however, where was the opposition when black leaders were becoming greedy off the expense of their citizens? Where was the opposition when black alderman and state representatives knew neighborhood schools lacked resources and were failing? Where was the outrage when parents become negligent? Most of all, where were protesters when residents repeatedly voted for corrupt leaders out of tradition and not for morality?
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is truly king of Chicago's rubber stamp City Council.
In his first two years in office, he enjoyed more support than Boss Richard J. Daley or his legacy, Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Mayor Emanuel has more control over the council than even Mayor Edward J. Kelly, a co-founder of the Cook County Democratic Machine.
This is counter to his claim a year and a half ago: "I said we were going form a new partnership between... the mayor and the city council — that voters didn't want Council Wars and they also didn't want a city council that would be a rubber stamp." But despite his claim, we got a rubber stamp council.
By Dick Simpson Mayor Rahm Emanuel is truly king of Chicago's rubber stamp City Council. In his first two years in office, he enjoyed more support than Boss Richard J. Daley or his legacy, Mayor Richard M. Daley. Mayor Emanuel... More...