If you’re a long time reader of this blog you can hit the remote.
If you play the drinking game that involves downing a shot when I post a picture of my stalker, Ben Velderman, get to the liquor cabinet.
Chicago Reader columnist Ben Joravsky reports today on the difficulty of getting a response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from Rahm Emanuel, the City of Chicago or the Chicago Public Schools.
Joravsky’s story involves the attempt by Joanna Brown of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association to get information on the secret attempts to turn one of our local schools into a military academy in spite of community opposition.
FOIA becomes a devious way to keep the public clueless and easier to control.
In any event, Joanna Brown of the LSNA sent her request to CPS in May 2012. Summer, spring, and most of fall came and went with no response.
So on November 8, Brown sent CPS a subtle reminder, along the lines of, “WTF, man, where’s my FOIA stuff?”
Finally, on January 11, 2013, she got a response—a blank sign-in sheet for a public meeting. At the top of the paper someone had handwritten “no attendees.”
When going after those in power there is no information in FOIA. No freedom of information in FOIA. And it’s mostly an act.
Back in the day, when I was still teaching and union president, a group of teacher union haters in Michigan called the Education Action Group, filed a FOIA request for all my work emails and personnel file.
The request was officially filed by the guy pictured above. Ben Velderman. Back then Velderman’s main job was getting coffee for the groups leader, Kyle Olson. And for filing FOIA requests against union activists.
While Velderman was doing the FOIA thing, his boss Olson was making a national tour attacking the children’s book, Click, Clack Moo. Cows that Type as Bolshevik propaganda.
It’s a great book, by the way.
Now Velderman has been promoted. In addition to getting Olson’s coffee he does multiple posts daily on the EAG blog. And EAG wisely changed photos of him.
Unlike Rahm, the City of Chicago and CPS, my emails were handed over to EAG within a few days. Years of work emails. All my teaching evaluations. Excellent ones, by the way.
Two sets of FOIA rules. One for Rahm. One for a classroom teacher and union guy.
Who would have thought?