I was born in Philadelphia. I was raised in LA and have lived in Chicago since 1973. My home has been in the Logan Square neighborhood on the northwest side of this City. My wife Anne and I have lived here since 1975.
I am a member of the the North Lake Shore Illinois Retired Teachers Association (NLSIRTA).
Other than that I have no organizational or party affiliations, although if pressed, I would consider myself a Harold Washington Democrat.
In June of 2012 I retired from my job as a K-5 Art Teacher after nearly three decades.
Before that I was a steelworker, a cab driver, worked in a tire factory, made Schwinn bicycles and automobile gauges. I was also a certified welder.
In 1973 when I came to Chicago, this was an industrial city where union workers made things and earned union wages. Every neighborhood had three things: A neighborhood school, a factory and a place of worship.
That Chicago is no longer here.
I was president of my teacher union local for ten years. I am an activist for issues that retired teachers face, particularly the defense of our constitutionally protected pensions.
I post about teaching, schools, unions, politics, culture, social justice issues and anything else I feel like writing and posting about.
I post news, poetry, personal essays, links to others, fiction and my own drawings and cartoons.
If you send a comment or an e-mail to me about issues raised on this blog, I reserve the right to publish it. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
And please feel free to comment.
A word about comments:
1. When I was a teacher I established classroom rules as they were needed. The same goes here.
2. I have a lenient comment policy.
3. I will not publish racist, sexist or homophobic comments.
4. I will publish anonymous comments. However, I encourage people to comment using their name. I understand why sometimes you can’t.
5. I believe it is an American tradition to mock, ridicule and to generally be disrespectful of leaders when it is deserved. When it is deserved is a subjective issue. On my blog, I decide.
6. I will allow for a little wiggle room when debates get passionate and intense. When people feel strongly about an issue, they will sometimes cross the line. I will allow a limited amount of line crossing.
7 When you comment, keep in mind that long-windedness becomes just noise after a while. Be parsimonious and readers will read you. Wordiness has diminishing returns on a blog.
8. I am the final judge of what goes up as a comment. There is no higher authority here.