We had a large crowd and great guests at yesterday’s Labor Day Bash at Co-Prosperity Sphere.
It was a fund raiser for Lumpen Radio and I’m told we raised enough money to pay for the tower bill this month.
If you couldn’t come or want to contribute on a regular basis, you can do that by signing up as a Lumpen member.
Thanks to all our guests, including Danny Rodgriquez, SEIU organizer at O’Hare, Joanna Klonsky, Anne Emerson, Cory and Craig Sevenson, Jennifer Klonsky, Izzy Klonsky and Ellen Gradman and Lisa Kosowski, activists in Jewish Voice for Peace.
It was fitting that our first guest of the day was Troy LaRaviere. Troy was our very first guest when we started this project 31 weeks ago.
“Did you get the kinks out yet?”
“Those weren’t kinks,” I told him. “Those were features.”
Aside from sharing with us that he is preparing for “exploring the possibility” of challenging Rahm Emanuel in the next mayoral election, we talked about the scandalous role that Rahm played in forcing CPS principals to lobby for the recently passed voucher and funding bill.
Troy, who once was the Principal at Blaine Elementary, now leads the Chicago Association of Principals and Administrators.
“Emails were sent to principals across the districts leading up to the vote on the funding bill,” Troy told us.
These emails indicate CPS officials coerced principals into lobbying for Springfield’s voucher legislation during work hours, something teachers are strictly forbidden to do.
District officials framed their instructions to principals as being motivated by a need for funding in general.
“Has this kind of pressure ever happened before?” I asked Troy.
No such lobbying instructions were sent for any of the previous voucher-free versions of school funding legislation.
One of the district emails includes a section that states, “there will be a Google Sheet for you to indicate the result of your calls.”
Such sheets, called trackers, are often used in CPS as accountability measures to ensure principals turn in required documentation.
The trackers are used it to keep track of who’s complying and who’s not.
“These calls need to happen today or tomorrow.” directed a network chief.
Regardless of how the principal felt about vouchers or the bill, the memo made it clear that this directive was not a suggestion.