WBEZ | city club of chicago http://www.wbez.org/tags/city-club-chicago Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en CTU president Karen Lewis speaks up http://www.wbez.org/news/ctu-president-karen-lewis-speaks-111489 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/IMG_5569.JPG" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-0b1e0242-4cb2-31b5-92f2-63e7dd3faf91">If 35 minutes behind a microphone after months of silence proves anything about Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, it&rsquo;s this: She hasn&rsquo;t changed much.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-0b1e0242-4cb2-31b5-92f2-63e7dd3faf91">Lewis spoke to a crowd of people for the first time since being diagnosed with a brain tumor last fall. At that time, she was considering a run against Mayor Rahm Emanuel. &nbsp;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-0b1e0242-4cb2-31b5-92f2-63e7dd3faf91">&ldquo;I was planning on running for mayor and in doing so I intended to lift up the voices of marginalized people in the city of Chicago,&rdquo; Lewis said at a City Club of Chicago luncheon Monday.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-0b1e0242-4cb2-31b5-92f2-63e7dd3faf91">&ldquo;That also meant that if my mayoral motorcade was blowing through red lights, I was planning on digging deep into my purse to pay those fines,&rdquo; she said, referring to </span><a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/chicago-mayor-rahm-emanuel-says-he-pays-his-motorcades-red-light-tickets/">a recent CBS investigation</a>.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-0b1e0242-4cb2-31b5-92f2-63e7dd3faf91">Lewis also took aim at newly seated Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-0b1e0242-4cb2-31b5-92f2-63e7dd3faf91">&ldquo;He&rsquo;s wasted no time attacking the wages of working class people, attacking their labor unions and threatening massive cuts to social services programs, which help the most vulnerable people in our state,&rdquo; Lewis said. &ldquo;He&rsquo;s not some easy-going, blue-jean-wearing, $20-dollar-watch-having good guy who&rsquo;s coming to save the day. He is Scott Walker on steroids.&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-0b1e0242-4cb2-31b5-92f2-63e7dd3faf91">But unlike Wisconsin&rsquo;s Republican governor, Rauner will have to work with a Democratic state legislature to pass any laws that would limit the rights of public-sector unions.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-0b1e0242-4cb2-31b5-92f2-63e7dd3faf91">When asked for a response to Lewis&rsquo; comparison, Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said, &ldquo;Governor Rauner is happy to see Ms. Lewis back in action. He continues to admire her tenacity and spirit.&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-0b1e0242-4cb2-31b5-92f2-63e7dd3faf91">Despite her fiery remarks about politicians, Lewis said she remains focused on the next teachers contract and has no intentions of running for office.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-0b1e0242-4cb2-31b5-92f2-63e7dd3faf91">&ldquo;If you want well-resourced schools, educators with tenure and job security, it&rsquo;s going to cost money,&rdquo; Lewis said. &ldquo;We shouldn&rsquo;t shy away from this.&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-0b1e0242-4cb2-31b5-92f2-63e7dd3faf91">Similar to what it did in 2012, the teachers union </span><a href="http://www.ctunet.com/quest-center/research/position-papers/text/A_Just_Chicago.pdf">released a blueprint to outline the issues</a>&nbsp;it plans to push during negotiations. The latest white paper, titled &ldquo;A Just Chicago: Fighting for the City Our Students Deserve,&rdquo; lists a host of things, a number of which are outside of what the union can bargain for under law.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-0b1e0242-4cb2-31b5-92f2-63e7dd3faf91">Those include: stable jobs for all Chicagoans, decriminalizing marijuana possession, expanding public housing, and reforming the state&rsquo;s formula for funding education.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-0b1e0242-4cb2-31b5-92f2-63e7dd3faf91">Lewis also said although negotiations have just begun, the union would be ready to strike again if talks fail.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-0b1e0242-4cb2-31b5-92f2-63e7dd3faf91">The Chicago arm of Democrats for Education Reform, which supports Emanuel, issued a statement late Monday chiding Lewis and the union for bringing up the possibility of a strike.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-0b1e0242-4cb2-31b5-92f2-63e7dd3faf91">&ldquo;If the CTU hopes to use another strike as revenge if Mayor Emanuel wins re-election it would be even worse,&rdquo; the statement read. &ldquo;There are teachers in every Chicago neighborhood doing amazing work who do not wish to be dragged into the CTU&rsquo;s single-minded political mission.&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-0b1e0242-4cb2-31b5-92f2-63e7dd3faf91">Becky Vevea is an education reporter for WBEZ. Follow her </span></em><a href="http://twitter.com/WBEZeducation">@WBEZeducation</a>.</p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Mon, 02 Feb 2015 17:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/ctu-president-karen-lewis-speaks-111489 Lewis: Loyalty to public schools should rival that of Cubs fans http://www.wbez.org/news/lewis-loyalty-public-schools-should-rival-cubs-fans-107765 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/lewis_ap_file.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis wants people to rally around the city&rsquo;s public schools like loyal Chicago Cubs fans.</p><p>Lewis made the analogy in a speech titled &ldquo;On Baseball and Budgets&rdquo; that she delivered at a City Club luncheon Tuesday.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;When the Cubs lose a game, they don&rsquo;t call for Wrigley Field to close down,&rdquo; Lewis said. &ldquo;They don&rsquo;t want the entire team dismantled. And despite some empty seats, the stadium isn&rsquo;t accused of being underutilized.&rdquo;</p><p>Last month, Chicago Public Schools announced it would close 50 schools officials considered &ldquo;underutilized,&rdquo; or in other words, did not have enough students enrolled.</p><p>&ldquo;Despite game losses and near wins, the fans continue to show up,&rdquo; Lewis continued. &ldquo;We keep cheering for our Cubbies. We know they are winners. We believe. We don&rsquo;t let the statistics drive our beliefs. But do the same for our children. Cheer them on, invest in them, love them, support their parents, support their teachers, and support their schools.&rdquo;</p><p>But a large part of Lewis&rsquo;s speech focused on ways the district could increase revenue&mdash;like ending corporate loopholes, a progressive tax, and re-negotiating interest rates with big banks. Lewis claimed such moves could generate as much as $600 million.</p><p>CPS spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said re-negotiating interest rates could actually cost CPS money.</p><p>The speech Tuesday comes on the heels of mass layoffs late last week. CPS issued more than 800 pink slips (link) to employees at closing schools. But more layoffs could come as other schools across the district grapple with budget cuts at the school level. (link)</p><p>CPS has said it is facing a $1 billion deficit next year,&nbsp; which includes about $400 million in increased pension payments.&nbsp; But when asked about how that contributed to cuts being made at schools, Lewis blamed the tight budgets on the district&rsquo;s new way of funding schools.</p><p>This year, principals are being given a set amount of money per student, rather than being allocated teaching positions and money for specific programs.</p><p>Like she has repeatedly over the last two years, Lewis again brought up the issue of race and inequality in public education, noting that the poor and minority students end up with worse learning conditions than their more affluent peers.</p><p>Lewis also took aim at corporate education reformers saying, &ldquo;There&rsquo;s something about these folks that use little black and brown children as stage props at one press conference, while announcing they want to fire, layoff or lock up their parents at another press conference.&rdquo;</p><p>Despite her fiery rhetoric at times, Lewis repeatedly said she hoped to collaborate more with CPS and City Hall.</p><p><em>Becky Vevea is a WBEZ education reporter. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/WBEZeducation" target="_blank">@WBEZeducation</a>. Aaron Atchison is an intern on the WBEZ education desk.</em></p></p> Wed, 19 Jun 2013 09:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/lewis-loyalty-public-schools-should-rival-cubs-fans-107765 Fitzgerald: Patriot Act and information-sharing critical to war on terror http://www.wbez.org/story/fitzgerald-patriot-act-and-information-sharing-critical-war-terror-91894 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-12/RS2587_AP070713024159-fitzgerald CP Dave Chidley.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald says the most important change in fighting terrorism over the past 10 years has been a new cooperation between the intelligence and law-enforcement communities. The cooperation is a result of the Patriot Act.</p><p>Prior to 9/11, there was a wall between the law enforcement and intelligence communities, he says. The wall arose largely as an effort to prevent domestic spying on U.S. citizens, but Fitzgerald says it meant there were two teams of people protecting the United States, and those teams weren't helping each other. He says he could get more information from an Al Qaida operative than he could get from some people in his own government.</p><p>"It used to be, 'Why should I share something with you?&nbsp; What is your need to know?&nbsp; And if someone finds out I shared it, how am I going to justify myself to my boss that I gave out that information?'&nbsp; That's been reversed.&nbsp; People now think, 'What is my duty to share?&nbsp; And if it's found out that I have information that I didn't share with someone, how am I going to justify to myself that I sat on it?'" said Fitzgerald.</p><p>Fitzgerald says now law enforcement regularly meets with the intelligence community, and he says that's been a key tool that wasn't available before 9/11.</p><p>He focused his comments in a speech Monday on assessing the war on terror, but Fitzgerald also took questions from the audience of business and civic leaders.&nbsp; One of the questions involved public corruption and former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.</p><p>Fitzgerald wouldn't comment on Blagojevich's case, but he says too many people think corruption is a problem just for law enforcement.&nbsp; "And if I could have a dollar for everyone who's ever come up to me after we've convicted someone to say, 'Yes, we knew he or she was doing it all the time and we wondered when someone was going to get around to do something about it,' and I bite my lip, but I want to just smack them up side the head and say, 'Well the person you wanted to do something about it was you,'" says Fitzgerald.<br> <br> Fitzgerald has been the U.S. Attorney in Chicago for 10 years.&nbsp; That's an unusually long tenure, but he says Chicago is his home and he loves his job and he has no plans to leave it.</p></p> Mon, 12 Sep 2011 23:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/fitzgerald-patriot-act-and-information-sharing-critical-war-terror-91894 After Emanuel court victory, mayoral debate gets some spice http://www.wbez.org/story/carol-moseley-braun/after-emanuel-court-victory-mayoral-debate-gets-some-spice <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//Mayoral debate Rahm focus - Getty Chris Sweda-Pool.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The election of Chicago's mayor has entered its post-litigation phase. Candidates say they're ready to focus on city issues after Rahm Emanuel was put back in the race by the Illinois Supreme Court.</p><p>In the minutes after the ruling was announced, Emanuel joked to reporters in downtown Chicago that the long saga over his residency had left a mark.</p><p>&quot;I've got to be honest,&quot;&nbsp;he said. &quot;We're a pretty avid Scrabble-playing family. I have banned the word 'resident' in Scrabble in our household. I never want to see it again. Even if you get it on a triple word, you're not allowed to use it.&quot;</p><p>That rule did not apply at a <a href="http://www.wgntv.com/news/elections/mayor/wgntv-mayoral-candidates-clash-on-ethics-taxes-at-debate-20110127,0,7242506.story">debate at the WGN-TV studios</a> a couple hours later, with the first question focusing on that Supreme Court decision.</p><p>&quot;I'm talking about the issues that affect real Chicagoans, and the ruling today doesn't affect that one way or another,&quot; former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun said.</p><p>Likewise, City Clerk Miguel del Valle told reporters the ballot fight was a distraction from issues affecting city residents.</p><p>&quot;They want to hear about those things. Not about residency,&quot;&nbsp;del Valle said. &quot;So I'm glad we're there - finally - even though there's only four weeks left.&quot;</p><p>Even less time is left to win support from Chicagoans who take advantage of early voting. That begins Monday.</p><p>In Thursday night's debate, sponsored by the City Club of Chicago, the candidates wasted little time in stepping up their attacks on the frontrunner.</p><p>On at least three occasions, ex-school board head Gery Chico referenced an Emanuel proposal to levy a sales tax on some services, which Chico's campaign dubbed the &quot;Rahm Tax.&quot;&nbsp;&nbsp;Chico says the Chicagoans he's met can't handle a tax &quot;on common services: barber shops, child care, pet clipping.&quot;</p><p>Emanuel's campaign said that the candidate's proposal would tax only what it called &quot;luxury goods.&quot; The campaign denied that barber shops or child care would be taxed under the plan, but acknowledged pet grooming would be.</p><p>Responding to Chico's criticism during the debate, Emanuel noted that his services tax would be coupled with a drop in the sales tax percentage.</p><p>&quot;I do not think it's fair for a single mother with two kids who are trying to buy school supplies to pay a higher sales tax when people who have charter planes, private planes, don't pay,&quot; he said.</p><p>Emanuel spent much of the debate on the defensive, taking hits from each of his opponents. Chico also faced a good number of attacks from rivals Braun and del Valle.</p></p> Fri, 28 Jan 2011 06:27:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/carol-moseley-braun/after-emanuel-court-victory-mayoral-debate-gets-some-spice Lewis Jordan: Plan for Transformation 10 years in http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-housing-authority/lewis-jordan-plan-transformation-10-years <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//cabrini green.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Overcoming economic hardships and creating self-sufficient residents are two main goals &nbsp;of the Chicago Housing Authority ten years into its Plan for Transformation.&nbsp;</p><p>Speaking to the City Club of Chicago Monday, CHA CEO Lewis Jordan said, &ldquo;We&rsquo;re almost at the end of the road.&rdquo; That&rsquo;s means they&rsquo;re 5,000 units shy of completing CHA&rsquo;s goal of building or renovating 25,000 units throughout the city. Jordan said &ldquo;81% of total development process had been completed before the housing market took a turn for the worse.&rdquo;</p><p>Despite the downturn in the economy the CHA plans to complete an additional 1,026 units by the end of 2011. &nbsp;</p> <div>To help achieve this goal, the CHA has created a Property Investment Initiative. It&rsquo;s designed to purchase vacant homes in neighborhoods that have been effected by the decline in the housing market. So far, 16 homes have been purchased through the initiative and Jordan said the CHA plans to purchase around 200 single family and multi-unit properties over the next few years. Jordan called the plan an &ldquo;economic engine&rdquo; that is responsible for helping to empower residents through a job training and employment placement program called Opportunity Chicago. Jordan said since the inception of the program in 2006, 42% of heads of households are now employed as opposed to 15% before the program was in place. The average yearly income for these workers has risen from $9,000 to $20,000 dollars, but Jordan said much more work needs to be done to employ the remaining 50% of CHA residents and improve their economic situations.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Throughout the past decade concerns have been raised that crime could become a problem in areas where CHA residents have relocated to. Jordan said there&rsquo;s no statistical evidence to prove that the people who were responsible for crime or violence were necessarily public housing residents. Jordan said he believed so strongly that there was no correlation between public housing residents and criminal behavior that the CHA has commissioned a third party to conduct a study of crime in the city. Kellie O&rsquo;Connell-Miller, a CHA spokeswoman, said the study is expected to begin this fall and would likely be conducted by the Urban Institute. The Plan for Transformation is expected to be completed by 2015.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div></p> Mon, 24 Jan 2011 20:40:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-housing-authority/lewis-jordan-plan-transformation-10-years Testiness, accusations in final gov debate http://www.wbez.org/story/bill-brady/snippy-exchanges-guilt-association-charges-mark-final-debate-illinois-governor <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2010-October/2010-10-29/Quinn Brady WTTW debate - AP Nam Y Huh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and state Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, on Thursday night wrapped up their final televised debate in the contest for Illinois governor. It was light on details, but heavy on guilt-by-association.</p> <div>Brady called Quinn &ldquo;Governor Blagojevich&rsquo;s partner for eight years.&rdquo; An exasperated Quinn replied &ldquo;[Blagojevich] didn&rsquo;t talk to me. He never talked to me. Everybody knows this. As a matter of fact, he announced to the whole world that I was not part of his administration.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In the heated exchange that followed, Brady brought up Quinn&rsquo;s praise for Blagojevich in 2006 when the two ran for re-election together.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;You knew he was under investigation at the time, governor,&rdquo; Brady said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Quinn tried to justify the 2006 comments by pointing out that Blagojevich is a proven liar, noting the ex-governor&rsquo;s conviction this summer for making false statements to federal agents. Quinn also sought to tie Brady to a now-imprisoned governor from the Republican Party, George Ryan.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The debate was marked by frequent snippiness between the candidates. Their talking points on various issues were similar to those used in previous debates, though Quinn and Brady seemed more tense and frustrated this time.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>When discussing the state&rsquo;s fiscal situation, Quinn touted a &ldquo;landmark&rdquo; budget accountability plan known as &ldquo;budgeting for results.&quot;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Brady jumped in. &ldquo;Budgeting for results means balancing the budget, a part of the [Illinois] Constitution that you seem to have failed to [follow],&rdquo; he said.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Quinn quickly criticized Brady for failing to release a detailed budget plan, and said that as governor over the past 20 months, he&rsquo;d cut the state&rsquo;s budget. &ldquo;You haven&rsquo;t even cut your own pay,&rdquo; Quinn said.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Before the moderator, Carol Marin, was able to get control of the exchange, Brady got the final word. &ldquo;Governor, it doesn&rsquo;t matter how many times you say it, it doesn&rsquo;t mean it&rsquo;s true.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The debate was hosted by the City Club of Chicago and WTTW public television. The Green Party&rsquo;s Rich Whitney, Libertarian Lex Green and independent Scott Lee Cohen were not invited.</div></p> Fri, 29 Oct 2010 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/bill-brady/snippy-exchanges-guilt-association-charges-mark-final-debate-illinois-governor