WBEZ | Gery Chico http://www.wbez.org/tags/gery-chico Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chico: schools won’t be able to give new state standardized tests without massive tech upgrades http://www.wbez.org/news/education/chico-schools-won%E2%80%99t-be-able-give-new-state-standardized-tests-without-massive-tech <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Gery Chico Debate_Getty_Scott Olson.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois State Board of Education chairman Gery Chico says the state urgently needs to &ldquo;play catch up&rdquo; with technology in schools, in part because the state will be unable to administer its basic annual standardized exam to elementary students unless more schools are wired for the internet and outfitted with computers.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not chalkboards and textbooks anymore,&rdquo; Chico told business and education leaders at a City Club luncheon Tuesday. &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t get me wrong, I love books. But today, a student with a device in their hands and a connection to the Internet can have more capacity than the Chicago Public Library, the Library of Congress, and the New York Public Library all put together.&rdquo;</p><p>Chico said Illinois students&rsquo; access to technology varies widely, with some students in the state learning in classrooms with iPads and interactive smart boards, and others unable to access the internet. The state has a responsibility to address those inequities, Chico said.</p><p>But Chico also made clear the clock is ticking; Illinois is switching to new standardized tests next school year. Those tests are meant to be given by computer.</p><p>But education officials say currently, just a quarter of the state&rsquo;s schools are technologically equipped to administer the exams, which are replacing the pencil-and-paper ISATs. The new tests go along with more rigorous learning standards Illinois has adopted.</p><p>State education officials say if schools are not ready by spring 2015 to administer the state exam online, the cost of offering a paper test will be about $7 per child.</p><p>Chico is proposing the creation of a $250 million &ldquo;Illinois Schools Technology Fund&rdquo; that would expand broadband access, upgrade wiring in schools, train teachers in tech, and buy devices. He suggests the state could use $176 million in unspent school construction funds, and augment with general state funds.</p><p>Asked by an audience member how schools slated for a construction project would feel about his idea, Chico said he&rsquo;s &ldquo;the eternal optimist about finding more funds to do school construction.&rdquo;</p><p>Jesse Sharkey, vice-president of the Chicago Teachers Union, criticized the notion of paying for computers or other electronic devices with bond proceeds.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a reason you don&rsquo;t buy a new set of clothes with a mortgage, which is the clothes are going to long be gone and you&rsquo;re still going to be paying off the mortgage.&rdquo; Sharkey said upgrading the state&rsquo;s technology infrastructure will take sustained increased investment.</p></p> Wed, 30 Oct 2013 00:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/education/chico-schools-won%E2%80%99t-be-able-give-new-state-standardized-tests-without-massive-tech Push for teacher quality in Illinois takes toll on minority candidates http://www.wbez.org/news/push-teacher-quality-illinois-takes-toll-minority-candidates-108601 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Teacher diversity_130904_oy.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Across the nation, states are considering ways to make teaching a more selective profession. The push for &ldquo;higher aptitude&rdquo; teachers has often come from the nation&rsquo;s top education officials. &ldquo;In Finland it&rsquo;s the top ten percent of college grads (who) are going into education,&rdquo; U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4ykyW4F9q8">said to an audience of educators in Massachusetts</a> last year. &ldquo;Ninety percent don&rsquo;t have that opportunity.&rdquo;</p><p>Education leaders in Illinois have taken up that call, but the way they&rsquo;ve done it has raised some red flags. That&rsquo;s because tougher standards are coming at a cost: fewer minorities are on track to become teachers. The data have state officials talking about whether they should do things differently.</p><p>The issue became a key point of discussion at last month&rsquo;s regular meeting of the Illinois State Board of Education. Though it wasn&rsquo;t on the board&rsquo;s agenda, a handful of outsiders showed up to bring it to the board&rsquo;s attention during the public comment portion of the meeting. Linda Wegner, a teacher in Rochelle, IL, spoke on behalf of the <a href="http://www.ieanea.org/">Illinois Education Association</a>. &ldquo;I want to encourage my minority students to be teachers. I try to, I always have,&rdquo; she told</p><p>Wegner warned the board that unless it intervenes, Illinois&rsquo; teaching force will become whiter. That&rsquo;s because the number of African Americans and Latinos in teaching schools is way down. She and many others attributed this to a change in the <a href="http://www.il.nesinc.com/">Test of Academic Proficiency</a>, or TAP, an admissions test for colleges of education. Anyone who wants to be a teacher in Illinois must pass the TAP.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re seeing a diminution in the number of minority candidates who are passing this exam, so we&rsquo;re worried about it,&rdquo; said Gery Chico, chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education. Chico told Wegner he is seriously alarmed about data that show that fewer African Americans and Hispanics are passing the TAP. He said the board had feared this might happen when it raised standards to pass the TAP in 2010.</p><p>That year, the board doubled the scores needed to pass each section of the TAP, and also <a href="http://www.isbe.net/licensure/pdf/icts_test.pdf">limited students to five tries</a>. &ldquo;It was really part and parcel of that overall movement to increase the rigor of various standards that affect the entire profession,&rdquo; Chico explained.</p><p>Last year, the board also began allowing teacher candidates to <a href="http://www.isbe.net/licensure/pdf/act-sat-grade-use-notice0113.pdf">submit test scores on other standardized assessments in lieu of the TAP</a>. A score of at least 22 on the ACT or 1030 on the SAT would qualify. However, the state has not tracked whether this has allowed more candidates of color into colleges of education. Both of those cutoff scores are above what African Americans and Hispanics in Illinois average on those exams; they are below what Caucasians average.</p><h2 dir="ltr"><strong>Data is in</strong></h2><p>But now, it&rsquo;s been three years, and the numbers are in: the overall pass rate for the TAP is less than half what it was before, and the changes have disproportionately hurt non-Asian minorities. Sixty percent of African-Americans used to pass the TAP; now it&rsquo;s 17 percent. For Hispanics, the pass rate has dropped from 70 percent, to 22 percent.</p><p>Many are quick to warn that this is not because those candidates are less capable, but that they themselves were products of poor schools. &ldquo;If you think about who have we been under-educating in the past, it tends to be low-income and minority students,&rdquo; said Robin Steans of <a href="http://www.advanceillinois.org/">Advance Illinois</a>, an education policy group.</p><p>Steans rejects the idea that raising teacher standards must come at the cost of diversity. She says colleges of education should do more to recruit talented minorities.</p><p>But the reality is, Illinois is seeing a tradeoff. She and many others in the education field in Illinois believe this matters because year after year the white student population in the state has shrunk. According to the Illinois State Board of Education, white students make up 50.3 percent of school enrollment this year. Meanwhile, the share of white teachers in Illinois has barely changed, <a href="http://iirc.niu.edu/State.aspx?source=About_Educators&amp;source2=Teacher_Demographics">hovering between 82 and 85 percent</a>. Many feel the new TAP further exacerbates the mismatch.</p><p>&ldquo;Don&rsquo;t we want kids to have elementary teachers who have a solid grasp of these subjects?&rdquo; said Arthur McKee, of the <a href="http://www.nctq.org/siteHome.do">National Council on Teacher Quality</a>. The NCTQ has become a vocal advocate in pressuring states to raise teacher standards. McKee said Illinois made the right changes to the TAP, and should stay its course. &ldquo;We actually think that it&rsquo;s a good assessment,&rdquo; he continued. &ldquo;We believe that teachers should generally be drawn from the top half of the college-going population.&rdquo;</p><p>Nationally, that&rsquo;s where things are going. Many states are considering policy changes to make teaching more selective. Some would weed candidates out after they finish their education degrees, but others like New Jersey and Nebraska are thinking of doing what Illinois does: narrowing the pool at the front end. In most of these places, there are debates about whether changes might limit diversity in their teaching pool. Illinois is the early adopter that shows those fears are well-founded.</p><h2 dir="ltr"><strong>Teachers of their own culture</strong></h2><p>Practitioners on the ground agree that we need smart teachers, but many also believe students do better with teachers of their own culture. &ldquo;I just think it&rsquo;s so important for children to see people that look like them in positive situations,&rdquo; said Shalonda Randle, principal of Roosevelt Junior High and Elementary School in south suburban Riverdale, &ldquo;so that they can see that African Americans are teachers, are principals, are in positions of power and authority.&rdquo;</p><p>Randle started at the school as a teacher in 1996, and said she saw the student body change. &ldquo;When I first started, the demographics was pretty much, I would say 50 percent Caucasian, 50 percent African American,&rdquo; she remembered. &ldquo;Within the course of 3 years, by 1998 until &nbsp;2000 the demographics went to 100 percent African-American students.&rdquo; Meanwhile, Randle recalled being one of only two African American teachers at that time.</p><p>When Randle became principal in 2003, she said she made it a priority to hire more teachers of color. Today, more than half her teachers are African-American. She said she doesn&rsquo;t compromise the quality of her teachers for race, but she worries that the TAP may be locking out people who might make really good teachers. Randle said Illinois should keep high standards, but it should measure teacher aptitude in a variety of ways.&nbsp;</p><p>Joyce Jackson agrees; she said by any other measure, she&rsquo;d be deemed worth to teach. Jackson returned a phone call to WBEZ just hours after she had taken the math portion of the TAP. &ldquo;You can hear the shakiness in my voice, because I&rsquo;ve just come from taking the Basic Skills math portion of the new TAP exam,&rdquo; Jackson said in a recorded voice message, &ldquo;and as you can hear I am so upset because I have yet not passed it again.&rdquo;</p><h2 dir="ltr"><strong>A rigorous test</strong></h2><p>My editor had me take the TAP, to see what it&rsquo;s like. It&rsquo;s a five-hour, computer-based test, geared toward a college sophomore level. My experience was that the test is doable, but certainly rigorous.</p><p>Jackson has taken the math portion of that test seven times. She is board president for Randle&rsquo;s school district, and decided to go back to school herself to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a teacher. But after years of trying to pass the TAP, and hundreds of dollars in test preparation and test-taking, she&rsquo;s reaching the end of her tether. She has not been able to move forward in her coursework at Governor State University to complete her teaching credits.</p><p>&ldquo;I also have enough credits to switch a major and go maybe into sociology or social work or psychology,&rdquo; said Jackson. Officials of colleges of education at UIC, NEIU and Governor State University all said that many of their minority teaching candidates do what Jackson is considering: switch to other majors after failing the TAP. Jackson says it breaks her heart to think of this, because all she wanted was to teach students that they could be whatever they want.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 04 Sep 2013 07:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/push-teacher-quality-illinois-takes-toll-minority-candidates-108601 Emanuel's former opponents grade his first 100 days http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuels-former-opponents-grade-his-first-100-days-91045 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-26/AP110217115127.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Today we wrap up our coverage of Rahm Emanuel's first 100 days in office. All week we've brought you stories about the new Chicago mayor: what he's accomplished, where he's fallen short.</p><p>Now we give the microphone to people who tried to stop Emanuel from getting the job in the first place. We asked the mayor's political opponents to grade his first 100 days.</p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483665-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-august/2011-08-26/emanuel-critics-feature110826sh.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>Miguel del Valle thinks this story is stupid. Okay, so he didn't actually say that to me. He's too polite. But last week at a diner on Western Avenue, around bites of oatmeal and raisins, del Valle complained about the whole notion of 100 day assessments.</p><p>"Well, I don't think it's a benchmark that should be used at all," del Valle said. "It takes time."</p><p>Del Valle is a former city clerk, and up until February 22, a candidate for mayor. He finished a very distant third to Emanuel.</p><p>"The 100 days is more about a perception of whether or not there's movement, whether of not that movement is in the right direction," del Valle said.</p><p>One area where del Valle thinks Emanuel is moving in the wrong direction is on property taxes.</p><p>"The mayor said there would not be a property tax increase in the city of Chicago," del Valle said. "Well, we're looking at a property tax increase for CPS. Now, I think it's a bit disingenuine on the part of the administration to say, 'Well,&nbsp; we said that there wouldn't be a property tax increase for city services.' Well, the schools are a part of the city."</p><p>Generally speaking, though, del Valle said Emanuel is doing well, has energy and a no-nonsense approach to governing. But he said it's too early to judge how Emanuel will do when it comes to the city's $600 million budget deficit, or other big-ticket items.</p><p>"Well, I'd give him an A for effort," said another mayoral candidate, Patricia Van Pelt Watkins, delivering a preliminary grade for Emanuel. If the 2015 election were held today, Watkins said she'd vote for her one-time opponent.</p><p>"He has surpassed my expectations," Watkins said. "I did not expect him to get out in the neighborhoods like he has, and talk to the people, because he shied away from all the forums. And he was more like a television - he ran a campaign - a Rose Garden campaign. But I've seen him in the neighborhoods. And I've seen him talk to people, and try to figure out what people are concerned about."</p><p>One thing Watkins is concerned about that she hasn't heard Emanuel address, is the issue of ex-offenders: how to help people leaving prison stay out of prison.</p><p>"Now, I met with Rahm Emanuel right after the election, and I talked to him about the ex-offender issue," Watkins recalled. "And he told me he understood it. He said, 'I understand if we do not provide some type of re-entry support for people coming back...they're going to continue in that cycle and we're going to continue to pay. He said, 'I haven't figured out how to deal with it yet.' But he said, 'It's important to me, and I am thinking about it, and I want you to know that.'"</p><p>Watkins is still waiting.</p><p>During the campaign, she got a lot of exposure after a major candidate, former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, ridiculed Watkins for her past - admitted - drug abuse.</p><p>The former senator declined to talk for this story, because - she told me - an interview would be like "one cocktail" for a "recovering politician." But one of her key supporters did agree to weigh in on Emanuel's first 100 days.</p><p>"Right now, it's a mixed review," said Jonathan Jackson, who is the national spokesman for Rainbow PUSH, and - though he'd rather not be known just for this - the son of the Reverend Jesse Jackson. He sharply criticized Emanuel during the campaign as a stranger to the South Side who only came around to get votes.</p><p>Sitting in his father's office last week, Jackson told me he wishes Emanuel were speaking out more on some things - like the increase in shootings by police. But he sees positive signs.</p><p>"I would congratulate him on taking a stand on increasing the school day," Jackson said. "I like to see that the new schools CEO is going to reinstitute recess back into the Chicago Public Schools. It never should have been gone. So those are important steps."</p><p>Jackson said he has not met or talked with Emanuel since the election day, though he acknowledged he has not requested a meeting.</p><p>U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez has met with Emanuel. Perhaps uncomfortably, though, as Gutierrez backed candidate Gery Chico in the mayoral race, and recorded a Spanish-language commercial claiming Emanuel "turned his back to us and our most vulnerable families" when it came to immigration reform.</p><p>Gutierrez's tone has changed dramatically. The congressman's spokesman said in an email that Gutierrez "is extremely impressed and encouraged by the mayor's first few months in office" especially his work "related to immigrants." And he said Gutierrez and Emanuel are "developing a good working relationship."</p><p>Gery Chico, it should be noted, has been appointed chair of the state Board of Education but is still awaiting state Senate confirmation - a limbo that could explain why he didn't answer my repeated interview requests.</p><p>Chico's biggest supporters during the campaign - and therefore, Rahm Emanuel's biggest detractors - were labor leaders. And many of them declined to comment for this story. But not Rocco Terranova.</p><p>In addition to having an awesome name, Rocco Terranova is head of the Sheet Metal Workers' Union Local 73. About a thousand of his members live in Chicago, but only 87 of them work for the city. Still, their union was - and is - concerned about Emanuel. About privatization that could cost jobs. About overtime changes that could mean smaller paychecks.</p><p>"He's probably a little better. He's better than we thought," Terranova said this week. "We haven't had a lot of changes that we thought were going to come down right away against the unions, to be honest. So, we haven't...we feel very fortunate to be working with him."</p><p>Other union leaders have criticized Emanuel's early posturing with labor. But for the sheet metal workers, the mayor is benefiting from exceptionally low expectations.</p><p>And there could be something else at play in all this nice talk. Who could blame Rocco Terranova, Luis Gutierrez and other former Emanuel critics from trying to develop "working relationships" with him? Or all those others who didn't want their comments in this story?</p><p>For at least the next three years and 265-odd days, he is the mayor.</p></p> Fri, 26 Aug 2011 17:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuels-former-opponents-grade-his-first-100-days-91045 Quinn names Gery Chico chair of ISBE http://www.wbez.org/content/quinn-names-gery-chico-chair-isbe <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//chico_cropped.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has chosen Gery Chico as the new chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education.<br> <br> Chico served stints as president of the Chicago school board and head of the city colleges under former Mayor Richard Daley. Chico lost the race for mayor of Chicago in February, coming in second to Rahm Emanuel.<br> <br> Chico says he supports the educational reform bill on Quinn's desk that would lengthen both the school day and year.</p><p>"Nobody says this is a magic wand," said Chico. "However, from my time at the board of education and on boards of higher education including the city colleges board, nobody could ever tell me that spending more time on a subject doesn't yield results."</p><p>Quinn said he would be signing the reform bill within the week, calling it a model for the country.<br> <br> Chico will replace Jesse Ruiz, who left the post to become vice chairman of the Chicago School Board.</p></p> Tue, 07 Jun 2011 20:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/quinn-names-gery-chico-chair-isbe No pow-wow yet for Emanuel and powerful alderman http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-city-council/no-pow-wow-yet-emanuel-and-powerful-alderman-85158 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-March/2011-03-16/Ald. Ed Burke AP.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Since his election, Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel has yet to meet or talk to one of the most powerful aldermen in the city council.</p><p>Emanuel said last week he'd met with about 40 current or incoming members of the council. That does not include, though, Finance Committee Chairman Ed Burke.<br> <br> "I've sent him a letter that says congratulations and good luck," Burke said Wednesday, describing the extent of his communication with the mayor-elect.</p><p>The 14th Ward alderman supported another candidate - Gery Chico - in the race for mayor.</p><p>"I think [Emanuel has] been busy with a lot of planning meetings. I know he's been out of town for a while," Burke said. "So, no, that's not surprising [that we have not talked]."</p><p>Told that it seems like Emanuel has met with most of the other aldermen, Burke replied, "Maybe he's saving the best for the last."<br> <br> A spokesperson for Emanuel declined to comment, as did the current mayor, Richard Daley.<br> <br> "I don't know about that," Daley said. "That's their problem, not mine."<br> <br> Emanuel gets sworn-in on May 16th, as does Burke and the rest of the city council.</p></p> Wed, 13 Apr 2011 22:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-city-council/no-pow-wow-yet-emanuel-and-powerful-alderman-85158 What the numbers mean for Emanuel, Braun and Chico http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2011-02-25/what-numbers-mean-emanuel-braun-and-chico-82949 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//Rahm Election Night_Getty_Scott Olson.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img title="" alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-25/rahm%26carol.jpg" style="width: 487px; height: 313px;" /></p><p>There&rsquo;s no disputing the numbers: Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel had an overwhelming victory in an election that &ndash; while not quite as big as had been anticipated &ndash; brought a higher percentage of registered voters to the polls than any other municipal campaign since 1995.</p><p><span style="font-family: Arial;">Emanuel won the heavily white, Jewish and gay lakefront by more than 60 percent of the vote, scoring nearly 75 percent in the 42<sup>nd</sup>, 43<sup>rd</sup> and 44<sup>th</sup>.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Rahm also won four of the ten Latino majority wards: the 26<sup>th</sup>, 30<sup>th</sup>, 31<sup>st</sup>, 33<sup>rd</sup> and 35<sup>th</sup> &ndash; all north side wards, each and every one far away from his good buddy Juan Rangel&rsquo;s sphere of influence (in other words, though Rahm may be giving him a shout out, there&rsquo;s no way Juan, based on the southwest side, had squat to do with those victories).</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">But most significantly &ndash; and perhaps most crucial to avoiding a run-off -- Emanuel won every single African-American majority ward in the city: the 3<sup>rd</sup>, 4<sup>th</sup>, 5<sup>th</sup>, 6<sup>th</sup>, 7<sup>th</sup>, 8<sup>th</sup>, 9<sup>th</sup>, 15<sup>th</sup>, 16th, 17<sup>th</sup>, 18<sup>th</sup>, 20<sup>th</sup>, 21<sup>st</sup>, 24<sup>th</sup>, 28<sup>th</sup>, 29<sup>th</sup>, 34<sup>th</sup> and 37<sup>th</sup>.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">And he won big -- often by breathtaking margins of 30 and even 40 points. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">No question the President&rsquo;s coattails were long in this case (again, in spite of Rahm&rsquo;s shout out, I don&rsquo;t buy that Jesse White&rsquo;s late endorsement had much to do with this win). And there seems little doubt that, in spite of a pre-election<a href="http://www.chicagodefender.com/article-10079-we-endorse-carol-moseley-braun-for-mayor-feb-22.html"> editorial</a> in <em>The Chicago Defender</em> that endorsed Carol Moseley Braun and claimed Emanuel &ldquo;has shown no affinity for (Chicago&rsquo;s) 1 million African-Americans,&rdquo; the vast majority of the city&rsquo;s black voters thought otherwise. Emanuel&rsquo;s victory margins in each African-American majority ward evidence support &ndash; frankly, very enthusiastic support.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">But in a contest with a &ldquo;consensus&rdquo; black candidate &ndash; with a campaign supported by some of the African-American community&rsquo;s best known and best loved figures and financed by black millionaires -- this kind of turnout for Rahm Emanuel is also irrefutable testimony of just how out of touch the old black leadership may well be with its own grassroots community. It is also startling proof of the utter lack of an on-the-ground organization to get the vote out, which means the &quot;consensus&quot; group's endorsement was ultimately meaningless.<br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">How badly did Braun, the &ldquo;consensus&rdquo; candidate, lose? Catastrophically. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">She came in fourth overall in the city, behind both Gery Chico and Miguel del Valle, and only better than the other two African-American candidates, both mavericks who were never expected to get more a few votes. </span><span style="font-family: Arial;">In her own 5th ward, Emanuel humiliated Braun 62 percent to 16.7 percent.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Carol didn&rsquo;t win a single ward &ndash; <em>not one</em> &ndash; in all of Chicago. And in the black majority wards, that was <em>her </em>Rahm Emanuel was trouncing by 30 to 40 points over and over. <br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">In the 18<sup>th</sup> ward, where African Americans make up nearly 68 percent of the population, Braun even came in <em>third</em> to Chico, 20.3 percent to 17.7 percent. Granted, the 18<sup>th</sup> ward has a maverick streak: Until Mayor Daley appointed Lola Lane to finish out Thomas Murphy&rsquo;s term once he got bumped up to judge, Murphy had been the only white alderman from a black majority ward. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">In fact, outside of the black majority wards, Braun was held to <em>single digits</em>. Only in the 27<sup>th</sup>, which is a black plurality ward, did she hit 10.5 percent of the vote.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">And in four wards &ndash; the 14<sup>th</sup>, 38<sup>th</sup>, 41<sup>st</sup>, and 45<sup>th</sup> (all white majority except the 14<sup>th</sup>, which has a Hispanic majority), she actually scored<em> less than one percent</em>.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">In spite of endorsing Braun days before election (in a twisted editorial that emphasized her resume way more than her achievements), <em>The Defender</em>&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.chicagodefender.com/article-10128-black-chicago-leadership-failed-in-this-election.html">editorial</a> late on election night may have bared the staff&rsquo;s real frustrations:</span></p> <blockquote><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Arial;">&ldquo;This election was lost over the last 22 years, because what constitutes Black leadership in Chicago seemed to be caught with its pants down when Daley decided he wasn&rsquo;t going to run for re-election. Since Harold Washington died in 1987, a whole generation of able and qualified aspirants to City Hall have been co-opted, bought out, or chased away, and when leaders went looking for mayoral candidates, they found the cupboards largely bare. So we got Cong. Danny Davis, at 69, running for mayor, a year older than Daley, who was retiring. We got Braun, who had not been active in politics for nearly 15 years, stepping into the fray. We had William &lsquo;Dock&rsquo; Walls running for this third different post in the last four years, and we had Patricia Van Pelt Watkins coming out of nowhere to seek the office of mayor in her first foray into politics. She obviously didn&rsquo;t read the book about paying political dues &hellip; This was a watershed election for Chicago, but especially for Black Chicago. Not only could we not come up with a &lsquo;consensus&rsquo; Black candidate (while the white community certainly did by sending Tom Dart and Lisa Madigan home to spend more time with family), we didn&rsquo;t really support any Black candidate.&rdquo;</span></p></blockquote><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Indeed, it might be time to make way, not for those who still have memories of Harold but for those for whom Harold fought for a better future long after he was gone.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">*<span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>*<span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>*</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">One other election note: Second place winner Gery Chico won ten wards, of which six were Latino majority wards. But the actual picture&rsquo;s a little bit more complicated. <br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Who supported Chico? Well, if you look at the wards he won, Chico's Machine ties are glaring. His victories came in:</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * the 10<sup>th</sup> ward, Ed Vrdolyak&rsquo;s old territory, where alderman and committeeman John Pope adheres to Machine tradition; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * the 11<sup>th</sup>, run by John Daley, the most &quot;old school&quot; of the Daleys; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * the 12<sup>th</sup>, coordinated by committeeman Tony Muñoz, the Machine ally who ousted progressive Jesus Garcia as state senator years ago;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * Michael Madigan&rsquo;s 13<sup>th</sup>;<span style="">&nbsp; </span></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * Ed Burke&rsquo;s 14<sup>th</sup>; <span style="">&nbsp;</span></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * the 19<sup>th</sup>, where Matt O&rsquo;Shea, the new alderman and heir to Machine stalwart Virginia Rugai, is also the committeeman;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * the 23<sup>rd</sup>, which is run by Daley&rsquo;s president <em>pro tempore</em> of the City Council, Michael Zalewski, also the old school ward committeeman; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * and finally, the 25<sup>th</sup>, where Ald. Danny Solis is also the committeeman, and when he&rsquo;s not Daley&rsquo;s best Latino ally in the council, he&rsquo;s allied with Cong. Luis Gutierrez, who put everything he had into getting Chico elected this time.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Chico also won the 41<sup>st</sup>, the city&rsquo;s most Republican ward (and the most bipartisan, if we&rsquo;re talking old style Dems), where he may have found his most natural constituency. It&rsquo;s fair to say that most GOPers would find Rahm Emanuel's politics unthinkable, except for the utterly unfathomable and even more liberal and progressive politics of Carol Moseley Braun and Miguel del Valle. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Chico also won the 22<sup>nd</sup>, the city&rsquo;s most Latino ward, where he challenged alderman and committeeman Rick Munoz, County Commissioner Jesus Garcia and state legislature aspirant Rudy Lozano, Jr., all del Valle supporters, on their home turf. This was a classic 22<sup>nd</sup> ward fight, where ethnicity doesn&rsquo;t matter and the very last remnants of the Machine refuse to die while the progressives continue to flail. It&rsquo;s also the ward which historically casts the fewest votes, as was the case again with 4,847.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">And in spite of the tough words Chico had for Rahm Emanuel during the campaign, be assured that Chico will be back, and probably sooner rather than later. David Mosena, the former Daley chief of staff who made Chico his deputy and launched his career as Daley&rsquo;s go-to guy, has just been named to Mayor-elect Emanuel&rsquo;s transition team. </span><span style="font-family: Arial;"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><br /></span></p></p> Fri, 25 Feb 2011 06:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2011-02-25/what-numbers-mean-emanuel-braun-and-chico-82949 A mayor is elected, as a dozen council races head for runoffs http://www.wbez.org/story/carol-moseley-braun/mayor-elected-dozen-council-races-head-runoffs <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//Rahm mayoral win - AP Charles Rex Arbogast_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago has a mayor-elect. Rahm Emanuel won 55-percent of the vote in Tuesday's election, enough to avoid a runoff. That means that in May, Emanuel will succeed his one-time boss, longtime Mayor Richard M. Daley.</p><p>The ex-White House chief of staff and congressman will take office May 16th. And from the looks of things, the new mayor may be dealing with a large group of new aldermen.</p><p>Emanuel stepped to the stage last night, surrounded by his family and supporters at the surprisingly early hour of 9 o'clock - just two hours after the polls closed.<br /><br />EMANUEL: Thank you, Chicago, for this humbling victory. <br /><br />Humbling, perhaps, but also decisive. And Emanuel couldn't help but make a joke about the residency fight that nearly got him booted from the race just a few weeks earlier.<br /><br />EMANUEL: All I can say, you sure know how to make a guy feel at home.<br /><br />Since Emanuel's return to Chicago in October, he's run an orderly, professional campaign that at times seemed more White House than City Hall.<br /><br />Not counting money from his congressional campaign fund, Emanuel raised in excess of $12 million. Millions of that came from out of state, and it funded aggressive TV ads that attempted to turn a bulldog into a golden retriever, a leader with just enough bite to get things done.<br /><br />And it worked. He won the most votes in 40 out of 50 wards.<br /><br />With the win, Emanuel inherits a budget expected to be well out of balance, a monster pension debt, and school and public housing systems in the midst of enormous, and controversial, transitions.<br /><br />EMANUEL: The real work of building a better future begins tonight. And I intend to enlist every living one of you. Every one of you, in our city.<br /><br />Including his now-former opponents.<br /><br />EMANUEL: I look forward to drawing on their insights, their energy, their experiences, in the years to come and in days to come.<br /><br />CHICO: Whatever he needs me to do, I'm a phone call away. Because this is our city. And we all love our city. And we've elected a mayor tonight. We've elected a mayor tonight.<br /><br />Gery Chico emerged in the final weeks of the campaign as the clear number-two in this race. A former chief of staff to Mayor Daley, and Daley-appointed head of the school, park district and city college boards. That means he spent the campaign balancing his experience and accomplishments in the old administration, with promises that the city under his watch would do better.<br /><br />In the end, Chico won close to a quarter of all votes, and 10 wards - some with large Latino populations. Chico last night made a reference to this soft spot in Emanuel's results, along with the mayor-elect's troubles with organized labor. His campaign, Chico said, started building a coalition...<br /><br />CHICO: ...with ethnic groups, with the Latino community, the African American community, labor, working men and women. And Rahm will obviously need to continue that work to take our city where we want it to go.<br /><br />A high-profile backer of Chico's, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, said he was happy with Chico's results. But he said what allowed Emanuel to climb above 50-percent was that another candidate won so few votes.<br /><br />BRAUN: We didn't make it, in spite of all the prayers and in spite of all the work, and in spite of all the effort, it didn't happen for us.<br /><br />Carol Moseley Braun's candidacy was buoyed in December, when two other prominent African Americans - Congressman Danny Davis and state Senator James Meeks - dropped out of the race and endorsed her. But her candidacy never caught on, due in part to some high profile flubs. And the campaign reported zero large donations in the final weeks. Her money and her momentum had dried up.<br /><br />BRAUN: I said to my little niece Claire maybe you'll be the first woman elected mayor of the city of Chicago.<br /><br />Chicago has had a woman as mayor: Jane Byrne was elected more than 30 years ago. Braun herself is no stranger to history. In 1992, she was the first - and still only - black woman elected to the U.S. Senate. But Tuesday, Braun failed to win a single Chicago ward, and was kept to the single digits in total percentage.<br /><br />Same goes for another top mayoral contender, Miguel del Valle, who during his campaign couldn't multiply the kind of enthusiasm he shared Tuesday night with his supporters.<br /><br />DEL VALLE: Look around you. Look behind you. Look to the left. Look to the right. Look in front of you. This is Chicago. This is the future of the city of Chicago.<br /><br />Del Valle's speech sounded less like a concession and more like a call to arms.<br /><br />DEL VALLE: My worst enemy was not my political opponents, but rather time. We'll have time. We're going to have time to build. We are going to build. We are going to build a progressive agenda in this city.<br /><br />Del Valle's term as city clerk runs out in May. Voters Tuesday picked state Representative Susana Mendoza to replace him.<br /><br />They also weighed-in on 43 contested city council races. In at least 14 of them, no candidate won a majority, so there will be runoff elections. That includes 10 sitting aldermen fighting for their jobs, leaving the potential for even bigger change than expected in the council. That body could support - or stifle -&nbsp; the plans of its new mayor.<br /><br />EMANUEL: While not all the contests are settled, I want to reach out tonight to the members of the next city council. We have a chance for a new partnership that will serve our city and its taxpayers well.<br /><br />That may have been the only line in Emanuel's speech aimed directly at aldermen, and none of them were there to hear it. After the mayor-elect left, and the room half-cleared, one did show up: <br /><br />TUNNEY: Well, the fact is I didn't get here on time.<br /><br />That's 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney from the North Side's Lakeview neighborhood. He endorsed Emanuel, and now wants and expects him to get involved in the remaining city council races - both with endorsements and campaign cash.<br /><br />TUNNEY: Any new mayor is going to have to build relationships. And when Rich Daley became mayor in 1989, he'd build relationships...And that's why he was so successful.<br /><br />Daley may be retiring, but he wasn't entirely missing from the scene Tuesday night. At his victory party, Emanuel said he'd received a phone call from Daley.<br /><br />EMANUEL: Rich Daley is the only mayor a whole generation of Chicagoans has known. And let's be honest: It's an impossible act to follow.<br /><br />Emanuel once worked for Daley - raising campaign donations for Daley's first mayoral win, in 1989. Tuesday night, Emanuel heaped on the praise.<br /><br />EMANUEL: Nobody has ever loved Chicago more or served it with greater passion or commitment. This city bears his imprint, and he has earned a special place in our hearts and our history.<br /><br />Those were perhaps the most explicitly kind words any mayoral candidate has said about Daley since this election began. In fact, the mayor was almost never mentioned by the candidates, even as they complained about how the city is run.<br /><br />His was the name that was rarely spoken. That is, until last night, after the voters had their say, and the mayor-elect got a phone call from the mayor.</p></p> Wed, 23 Feb 2011 14:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/carol-moseley-braun/mayor-elected-dozen-council-races-head-runoffs Chicago's Mayoral Election http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-chicago-mayor-race/chicagos-mayoral-election <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//Rahm mayoral win - AP Charles Rex Arbogast.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has been elected mayor of Chicago and will succeed the retiring Richard Daley.</p><p>Emanuel called his victory &quot;humbling&quot; and &quot;most gratifying.&quot; He also thanked Daley for his lifetime of service to the city.<br /> <br />Emanuel said he is ready to meet the challenges head-on to &quot;make a great city even greater.&quot; He also said he had just talked to President Barack Obama, who sent affection for his hometown.<br /> <br />It was the city's first mayoral race in more than 60 years without an incumbent on the ballot and the first in more than two decades without Daley among the candidates.<br /> <br />With 97 percent of the precincts reporting, Emanuel was trouncing five opponents Tuesday with 55 percent of the vote to avoid an April runoff. Emanuel needed more than 50 percent of the vote to win.<br /> <br />The other major candidates - former Chicago schools president Gery Chico, former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun and City Clerk Miguel del Valle - had hoped to force a runoff but were no match for Emanuel.<br /> <br />Chico had 24 percent of the vote compared to 9 percent for both del Valle and Braun. Two other lesser-known candidates got about 1 to 2 percent of the vote.<br /> <br />Emanuel's win caps off a campaign that included an unsuccessful legal challenge to try to keep him off the ballot.</p><p>Chico told supporters tonight that he and Emanuel spoke on the phone and he pledged to help the new mayor any way he could.</p><p>2,522 of 2,570 precincts - 98 percent</p><p>x-Rahm Emanuel, 317,329 - 55 percent</p><p>Gery Chico, 138,864 - 24 percent</p><p>Miguel del Valle, 53,717 - 9 percent</p><p>Carol Moseley Braun, 50,974 - 9 percent</p><p>Patricia Van Pelt Watkins, 9,358 - 2 percent</p><p>William Walls, 5,142 - 1 percent</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 22 Feb 2011 22:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-chicago-mayor-race/chicagos-mayoral-election We make history today http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2011-02-22/we-make-history-today-82708 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//bean.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;" class="MsoNormal"><img width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-22/bean.jpg" /></p><p>It&rsquo;s such a ritual, this thing we do today.</p> <p>We trudge out to a neighborhood school or senior center or library and stand in line, sign our names and make a choice.</p> <p>Sometimes we&rsquo;re thrilled about our choice, sometimes indifferent, sometimes downright disgusted.</p> <p>But, in the end, we get to exercise this rare right and privilege that is voting.</p> <p>Today, the headlines from halfway around the world can only remind us how very fortunate we are that when we transition from one government to another, from the old leader to the new, our way is so safe and banal.</p> <p>And tonight, when the votes are finally counted, Chicago will be a little more democratic. We will know who our new mayor is or we will be one step closer toward that decision.</p> <p>And no matter who comes out on top, there will be a little bit of history to celebrate: all six candidates were unthinkable as potential leaders of the city a generation ago.</p> <p>And five of them will absolutely make history:</p> <p>If Carol Moseley Braun or Patricia Van Pelt Watkins wins, Chicago will have its first female African-American mayor.</p> <p>If Gery Chico or Miguel del Valle prevails, the city will have its first Latino mayor; a Mexican-American in Chico, a Puerto Rican in del Valle.</p> <p>If Rahm Emanuel wins, Chicago will seat its first Jewish mayor.</p> <p>Descendants of slaves, children of immigrants &hellip; the candidates all speak to the grandeur of our admittedly battered and often begrudging democracy.</p> <p>But they&rsquo;re all, each and every one, evidence of the arch of justice.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 22 Feb 2011 18:04:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2011-02-22/we-make-history-today-82708 The final mayoral push: Visiting churches, shaking hands and blaming the media http://www.wbez.org/story/carol-moseley-braun/final-mayoral-push-visiting-churches-shaking-hands-and-blaming-media <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//Photo150.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The candidates for Chicago mayor are making a final push before ballots are cast Tuesday, and everyone besides the front-runner is making the case for a runoff. Sunday campaigning included church visits, last minute fundraisers, hand-shaking at restaurants, pumping up volunteers and blaming the media.<br /><br />Miguel del Valle said he visited four churches on the South and West Sides.<br /><br />&quot;And we're getting a great response everywhere,&quot; del Valle, the city clerk, told a group of supporters at a restaurant in the Logan Square neighborhood.<br /><br />Del Valle said a runoff is necessary because voters have been distracted - by the blizzard, and the lengthy challenge to Rahm Emanuel's residency.<br /><br />&quot;Because of all that, they feel that they haven't had a chance to really get a good look at the candidates,&quot; del Valle said.<br /><br />Nine miles to the northwest, Gery Chico tried to excite volunteers who crowded into his Edison Park campaign office.<br /><br />&quot;We will win this election. If not the 22nd, we'll become the mayor on April 5th in this city,&quot; Chico said to cheers.<br /><br />Polls show Emanuel with roughly 50-percent support. His opponents, including former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, need to keep him below that mark Tuesday or he'll will win without a runoff.<br /><br />Some of the candidates Sunday blamed the media for Emanuel's front-runner status. Chico told reporters this has been an &quot;odd&quot; election.<br /><br />&quot;In this race, we have a candidate who was dropped in by parachute with all of you guys - not you guys, but your colleagues - who [was] walking around like a rock star since day one,&quot; Chico said. &quot;So it's been a little bit different dynamic, so you got to give it a chance to catch up.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;This race is not over, number one,&quot; del Valle told his supporters. &quot;Number two, this race should not be decided by the media. It has to be decided by the voters in the neighborhoods.&quot;</p><p>Patricia Van Pelt Watkins and William &quot;Dock&quot; Walls are also on the ballot for mayor.</p><p>Polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday, and close at 7 p.m.</p></p> Tue, 22 Feb 2011 04:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/carol-moseley-braun/final-mayoral-push-visiting-churches-shaking-hands-and-blaming-media