“They have the school security cameras on the us. The minute we leave, they’ll have the demolition crews here,” explains Gema, a community organizer from Pilsen.
La Casita is the name given to the field house on the playground at Pilsen’s Whittier School. Last year, following a long occupation by parents and community folks, Daley and then CPS boss Ron Huberman agreed to the demands that a library be housed in La Casita, rather than demolishing it.
Says Gema, “We have the money. We have the architectural plans. We just need the go ahead. We want to talk to Brizard and no one else.”
Daley is gone. Huberman is gone. Now it is Rahm and Brizard. And they have decided to renege on the promises that were made by Daley and Huberman. Demolition crews were due to arrive this morning. But the community folks and the parents are back inside and the crews were turned away this morning.
Gema explains that the Emanuel/Brizard plan now is to put a library into the Special Needs classroom. There is no other available space.
I ask, “Where will the Special Needs kids go?”
“Thats the point,” says Gema. “There is no place for them to go.”
The promise made to Whittier parents? Rahm has broken that promise.
The promise of a 4% pay raise for CTU teachers? Rahm has broken that promise.
Senate Bill 7, which targets Chicago teachers and their right to collectively bargain and their right to strike?
Rahm’s DNA was all over that too.
His DNA is everywhere.
By the way, both suburban and city teachers are off now. If you can spend an hour at Whittier to show support, do it.
Call CPS boss Jean Claude Brizard and tell him to meet and agree to the parent plan for La Casita. 773.553.1500.
And then call again to tell Brizard to negotiate with the CTU over any salary issues. That’s what collective bargaining is about. No unilateral actions by Rahm or Brizard.