tv Book Discussion on Mayor 1 CSPAN December 31, 2013 2:30pm-4:06pm EST
for inviting me to do this project. they've been so wonderful and to the brewery for being here and the panelists for joining me and everyone for coming. it's exciting to see this much interest and this kind of resistance bubbling up. so i will redoubled from the book from the introduction and then i will introduce the panel and we will talk and then people have some time for questions and comments. so, this is the introduction starting march 4th, 2012 about little over a year after rahm emanuel was elected the mayor. march 4th, 2012, chicagos 175th birthday. and the city celebrated with a public party at the chicago history museum. the yvette promised actors portraying famous chicagoans including jean ann adams an advocate for immigrant children and factory workers. little did the organizers know that the show would be stolen by
a woman some viewed as a modern-day jane addams more eccentric and less renowned and accomplished but just as willing to raise her voice and speak up for the formidable. as the chicago children's choir at dressed he had reason to smile. months earlier he had been inaugurated as the nation's third most popular city taking their range from the lesson very delete the legendary mayor and while his term hadn't been a cakewalk so far things seemed to be going well. the inherited a 700 million-dollar budget deficit and attacked it with an aggressive round of cost-cutting and layoffs. the union has resisted but ultimately he was able to strike deals and come out on top. meanwhile he was moving forward with these plans to institute a longer school day the promise that gained popular attention nationwide. he was already assuming the mantle was the grain mayor. in february he announced the city's power plants would close
and miles of bike lanes were in the work. he had even to important gatherings for chicago. the nato summit to be held concurrently in may 2012. the first time that both would be held in the u.s. city. there had been protests like community groups and unions related to the summit to the school closings and other issues. but he had shown a knack for avoiding and ignoring them and so far he didn't seem to have suffered too much political fallout. as he watched the singer is the birthday party, he didn't seem to notice a crinkle paper in the crowd. is that history will judge the of 1% emanuel. he got in early on in the tenure and as occupy wall street had left the nation it was a natural fit for the finance collection and highly lucrative career as an investment banker. a staffer for the museum did
notice the banner and told the man holding it to put it away. he complied lowering it into the crowd. the song ended and he began shaking hands with another multi tiered birthday cake. a voice cut through the chatter causing their heads to turn as it was raised again. i'm sorry i wish i could do the of place which is burned into so many people's memories but i'm sorry i am not going to try. please don't close our clinics we are going to die. there is no where else to go. please come a woman with hair peeking out of her scarf and dark circles under her eyes that gave her a formidable the expression. it was a chicago woman who struggled all her life with mental illness but still managed to become a of the advocate for herself and others where she lived and for other suffering
from disabilities and mental illness. for the past 15 years she had been a regular at the mental health clinic in the beverly morgan park neighborhood. irish and african-american working in the middle class area on the city's southwest side. it was one of the six clinics that he planned to close as the cuts in his inaugural budget. he said it made perfect economic sense and would save $3 million the patient could move to the remaning clinics. but they pleaded that he didn't understand the role of these specific clinics and their lives and the difficulty they would have traveling to other locations. his eyes were fixed on the may year as she walked quickly towards him calling out in that ragged voice with her intense focus. all of the allies were on her except those of the mayor who shook a few more hands and then pivoted quickly and disappeared through the door ignoring her the entire time.
she cried out again as he dashed out. please, stay here. the abruptness, the lack of closing my cities and the crowd around awkwardly gave the impression that they even had been cut much shorter than planned. they fell activist and stepped on the stage and lifted the banner. she centered herself in front of them and turned to face the remaining crowd. people are dying. they aren't going to have anywhere to go. and manuel's critics and admirers describe him as a quintessential creature of washington and wall street, a brilliant strategist and fund-raiser who knows the right way to leverage his personality to get wealthy donors to open their wallets and help him to win races. he became a prominent fund raiser for powerful politicians in his 20s and made $18 million in investment banking in just two years. he played a central role in to
white house is an orchestrated a dramatic takeover of the house of representatives during his years in congress. he clearly knows how politics work. but being the mayor is different or should be. in washington people are often tabbed as political allies were adversaries fair game for manipulation or intimidation. in congress, he represented his constituents that the daily grind had a lot more to do with the machinations and maneuvers. running the city that you are directly effected to serve people and listen to them is supposed to be a different story. but he was treating chicago as if it were washington and perhaps that is why even in his brief tenure as mayor he seemed to find it so easy to ignore the parents, teachers, students, patients and others who carried out multiple protests outside of his fifth floor office in city hall. the citizens frequently noted that he hadn't been sympathetic toward space and his approach. but the least he would meet with people and acknowledge them and
make efforts to listen to their proposals and act on their concerns. he can't seem to find the time for many members of the public even as he says he wants their input on issues like school closings. parents, grandparents and students at the community organization camped out at the city hall for nearly four days to deliver a plan that community members drafted in conjunction with experts to protect their local schools from closing and creating a network of educational resources and the surrounding income neighborhoods. the response was to ignore us said the organizer. we had our problems with mayor daley that he surrounded himself with people and he himself was a neighborhood person. this man, rahm emanuel surrounded himself with corporate people. the administration is doing the bidding of the corporations and robbing us of the things our parents fought for. so that is to set up the battle line a little bit. so now i want to introduce the
panelists who have been kind of at the forefront even before mayor emmanuel but the struggles that have taken center stage since he took office. brandon johnson is a teacher in organizer and community activist with the chicago teachers union. [cheering] [applause] and amisha patel as with the grassroots collaborative and take back chicago movement. [applause] and ben joravsky is with the chicago reader. [applause] we will hear first from you. >> thank you for your intellect and bravery around this topic.
let me say because the mayor of chicago is always looking for opportunities to run and when shelia introduced the but she said the "mayor 1%" and you all applauded. so if you are in the commercial cheering for him just be careful the next time you applaud when it is introduced. let me also say it is an honor to be a public schoolteacher. [applause] and a death threat against public education is not a conspiracy, it is real. the attack on public education we can find in the attack on public education at the very inception of this country. i would be remiss if i did not at least acknowledge all of my brothers and sisters in the teachers' union who are here tonight so think you brothers and sisters. i appreciate you.
[applause] this site for public education is collective but let's put some things into context. the mayor who represents all that is bad when it comes to public education and privatization as a whole. if we think about the history of this country we're educating black people and poor people was a legal you fast forward through the civil war and was somewhat permitted but they began to burn down schools that attempted to educate black people and poor people and now you fast forward and they are closing schools. 50 schools here in chicago when he actively pushed for that policy school closings in philadelphia, kansas city lost half of its public schools. the attack on public education is real and it's being carried out by both democrats and
republicans. this is a bipartisan decision to roll back everything we built in this country. so when we think about what has happened here in chicago to -- first i think it is interesting that before rahm emanuel became the mayor of chicago and there was some flirting of him running, the president of the united states said he thought rahm emanuel would make a great mayor but little did we know that he was only speaking for the 1%. and i think that we have to be extremely critical of both political entities that are dead set on destroying public education. when you look at the - around this country and you can see republican governors, democratic mayors that are all committed to the interest of private corporations that want to shape education in their image let's also be very clear that these
are the same corporate interest groups that have found their foothold here in chicago that are also looking to turn a profit off of public education. here in chicago the budget for public schools in $6 billion. it's a lot of money that the corporate interest group want to make sure they have their hands on and so we have to be very clear just like we have introduced here in chicago with a fight could look like around the country that the group that says that they are in favor of our children and they want to provide choice and opportunity, they are not telling the truth, they are being extremely disingenuous and today through the leadership we are going to expose that. [applause] if we could just try to rush through the strike that i think it's quite unfair because it was the most exciting time that i
have ever had as a teacher. [applause] foregoing our paychecks to ensure that children in chicago receive a quality of education is something not only teachers can be proud of that parents can be proud of because it was one of the most important and popular strikes that we have ever seen in our country and we can think from emanu-el for that. [applause] one of the things we were very clear about is that we were not simply fighting to fend off those that wish to destroy public schools. we had a plan that works. in one of the things that we made very clear during the strike you couldn't separate public education from the conversation of poverty because poverty in this country actually matters so what we began to do is do a diagnostic test if you will on the public schools here
in chicago and we discovered over 160 schools in chicago didn't have public libraries. let that sink in for the rest of the world that children were going to school every single day without access to a library or a librarian, where the class sizes were out of control. 35 to 40 kids in the classroom or even worse, some students didn't even have a regular assigned teacher to their classrooms. no proper ventilation, no air-conditioning, no books. this is a city that launched the first black president but we can't get books for students? there is something terribly wrong with that country that will prided itself as this great inclusive situation that will deny poor people the opportunity to learn. so as we began to expos the fact that the mayor was pushing long verdes even though he wasn't going to fund that, he began to
push for longer days even though there was no evidence that it was going to result in better learning outcomes. not only did we expose the fact that we didn't have libraries, no books, no proper ventilation, no air-conditioning, class sizes were out of control for most of our students didn't have art and music we are talking about a very basic fundamentals for children to be able to learn and flourish, he was dead set on moving the policies that didn't deal with the big issue for poverty. so when they made the conscious decision to forgo our paychecks to ensure that at least the conversation is raised those are days that we will never forget. but where are we now? even after the strike -- and there were some positive links we took away from that strike we are also very clear that after the strike the mayor of chicago
was determined to destroy the to ctu so what did he do? he moved an agenda to not only close out the schools but close the largest number of schools in the nation's history. so thousands of parents organized and marched for days and connected with community leaders, connected with their pastors, connected with other school leaders to say with a resounding police we do not want our schools closed because research tells us that closing schools does more to harm our students than actually help them. after thousands of parents came from all over the city to say we don't want schools closed, he stood at a press conference and said this is what parents want. his neglected mess has caused tremendous turmoil in this city.
think about what the first day of school will looked like in chicago. we are talking 50 years from the march on washington and our children are escorted to school with police officers, helicopters, firefighters. it looked like something straight out of alabama. this is the city of chicago in america and poor children are being forced to walk through territories that are not only not safe, but once they got to the schools of things the mayor promised, he didn't deliver and then he took it one step further for the school budgets had been drastically read joost or in some cases mine, ten, 15 teachers lost their jobs because of his policy to defund the public education and one of the other elephants in the room and then i will close with this is that you cannot have a conversation about public
education without having a conversation about race. [applause] i am a proud one. but our neighborhood schools are closed. no one asked me whether or not if my school should be closed. and so now my sons and the kids he is growing up with do not have access to a public neighborhood school not only did the school closings overwhelmingly affect black children but it also affected black teachers. over half of those that lost
their job where black and we had seen this gradual the decline of was actually implemented or started 20 years ago when the mayor of chicago took complete control of the public school system and then he had this ingenious idea to put ploch in charge of the public-school system and if you look at his record, he was actually the grandfather of the privatization and corporate takeover. so he has gone to chicago where the schools have been destroyed. philadelphia schools have been destroyed. do you get the point? finally in connecticut they said we know what you are about and they sent them packing back to illinois. we have to figure out somewhere for them to vero. but the move of the mayor should continue to privatize the schools. at the same time calling for
more charters is not only going to exacerbate the decline of the teachers but it continues to stratify the school system where you have intensely poor black children in a concentrated school with very little resources and of the very people that the children tend to look towards for some sort of guidance and hope that group is being denied. so my last point is that as chicago with the first black president sitting in the white house, the policies that are being moved by arne duncan r. destructive. w.e.b. du bois said it this way that public education as the expense of the state in the south in particular has an idea. we cannot allow the idea that move this country forward be destroyed while the first black president sits in the white house. thank you. [applause]
>> i'm going to talk about some of the things brandon touched on and also maybe a few things that bin will touch on. my name is amisha patel with grassroots collaborative and we are a coalition made up of 12 organizations that work in the city and across the state on economic and racial justice. rahm emanuel like many big city mayors thanks to new york city not all big city mayors, are pushing a agenda that benefits a few at the expense of many. i think that kari does a good job of laying out the different ways that is true of rahm emanuel. what that looks like here as brandon touched on with the massive attack on teachers and the public sector and let's be clear that it is about union busting in particular because of the political power unions have
in the city. so breaking the union closing down the public schools breaks the chicago teachers union and the political power of chicago teachers that fight back against his agenda. so there's a very clear thing happening on the multiple levels with this attack looks like. it has eliminated the corporate tax. so this is a tax that was in place on the corporations as more than 50 employees. basically to pay for some of the infrastructure expenses in the process corporations are making being based in chicago. that was eliminated. so now that happened at the same time that he passed the budget to cut the mental health clinics by 50%. so a very clear connection of his bed and think and who isn't in the policies that moved forward in this administration. he's also continue -- this doesn't start with the current mayor, right?
we had a few years before he and we're a lot of this agenda was moved forward. but he is absolutely continued at the downtown development. and in particular with the financing has done and what that looks like in the city. it is a shadow budget. so it's about $500 million every single year that gets diverted from the property taxes that instead of going to schools, parks and libraries at this point a huge majority goes to the downtown development towards the developers in the central part of the city goes to things like the university basketball stadium. again at the same time within weeks of the historic destruction of the 50 public schools in the black community with the announcement of originally around 50 million i think it is up to 90 million now that is being used on this private university stadium and
that is just one example of several things that have come under in terms of the different projects. one of the things was 29 print $5 million to the river point pleasant. so the building that is sent to be constructed and that $29.5 million was used to create a park but what they call a parked is the trees for smokers no offense to have a pretty place to look at while they are working in the corporate highrise. meanwhile the council that has only needed a couple million dollars to make that a state park space for the latino income community the city consistently says there is no money. they find the money though they found 30 million quickly to get to the developers who have plenty of money to construct that building in the first place and there's a pretty high
vacancy rate right now in downtown chicago is what happens is when the building gets created it just means you're moving the tenants from one building to another and subsidizing the process of the new development but not actually creating any new resources to go back into the community. privatization under this may year again continues the long line of privatization here in the city. a few things that he has done that we continue to live with. mayor rahm emanuel mullen the same lines still looking at the privatization of the health care and the closing of the mental health clinic and waste management, this idea of the forced competition but in the public employees and private kaiser's common infrastructure, the chicago infrastructure trust that is still unknown so when it was introduced original the na mabry our infrastructure is crumbling and we have to pass this now. there is no time for debate and a year later they are just now
introducing the first projects but we had three or four weeks to try to amount any fight back against this effort that is potentially dangerous in terms of the amount of power given to the private financiers whose interest is in the public good when it comes to infrastructure but it is about their profit that is a very dangerous precedent and we were not able to put any kind of accountability or checks against that power because again and was told to us that it's bridges are falling down right now and will be on your head if we do not -- you have stopped us to put some accountability in. and all of this is under the theme of the global city. the mayor trying to create chicago under this scheme of a global city which is a code word
for basically a city for white folks with money. it really is about policy that perpetuates the city that is a divided city. those who can benefit due to the connections and to their political positions are doing quite well in the city. but when you step outside of those lines which is about where we are now and a few miles radius from where we are sitting on today. the city looks really different and the struggles are different and the benefits that are supposed to trickle down and we have heard this before continue to not be true. our work to take this on has been about trying to organize against the truth of what's happening. we have been knocking at the last few weeks around the surplus in the neighborhoods across the city. people get it immediately.
it isn't easy but this is actually very much a no-brainer. what people also it's very clear folks are looking for independent leadership. they're looking for their older men in particular to the independent leaders to that we stand against the mayor to fight for what is the betting in the neighborhood and the community and there's a disconnect between what the council actually does and what the residents in the city actually want. one of the things that brand and talked about that is incredibly important is looking at the race when we talk about the city race and racism and the policies in this city. it's colavita to read a few weeks ago we released a study called downtown prosperity neighborhood neglect. and i looked at the impact of jobs in the city. and what we looked at -- what we know is that the mayor -- every day sometimes or every week or every day it would announce and making a press conference and a press release about all the jobs he is bringing in successfully in the city. so we know that there is one story that mainly the mainstream
media was eating up quite easily and sort of like that long list i don't know what they got up to, 30 or 50,000. the reality of the public services in the city we knew that we were losing jobs in that moment which wasn't -- there were no press conferences that the mayor announced around that. but it was a loss of primarily black and latino workers separate sector. so it is a place where you have middle class jobs in the communities of color. so the destruction of mental health connects the destruction of schools and libraries and not only does that have a direct effect on communities because of the service is not being there, or those institutions not being there, but also people's livelihoods being destroyed. ..ly destroyed. when knew there was a disconnect in terms of what was happening so we looked at job growth and creation and within the last ten
years, over 50,000 jobs were brought into and created in dhig. what we found was three out of four of the jobs went to folks who live in the suburbs, who live out of state. they were sub sigh dis diesed by chicago tax dollars that are the 2340 going to create jobs that chicago are getting. we looked at the one in four jobs, did an analysis based on zip codes because of the city, we find out who gets the jbs, and surprise, surprise, the jobs go to areas of white majorities of codes in the city. minorities lost huge numbers of jobs downtown. when we look at the policies and who benefits from it, it's clear what's happening, and rather than reducing equity in the city, the policies of the administration are furthering the divide. all that to say, what do we do?
what we'd like to talk about is wwhd, and part of the reality of, you know, living here in chicago is that we have to look 30 years ago to look at the last time there was a political ofment in the city, and i think what we have to think about is what do we learn from the movement, and what does it take at this moment to move forward the vision for the city or taking back chicago. this, what we experiment with now, and i don't think it's rocket science, but it's about organizing, strategy, and having a frame work that's clear and political and in everything b l what -- what the issues are and understanding them. it's alive, and it was an amazing inspiration to be a supporter of the chicago
teachers in the strike and have a clear perspective. the strike is over, that city is ours, and we want to reconnect to the fact and be taking actions to build a movement. octobers 15, we pulled 2,000 people together under a shared economic justice agenda. we had five campaigns that were actually already moving, people were working on, so campaigns to raise minimum wage in chicago, a fair tax so the rich pay a fair share in the state of illinois. a campaign so our tax dollars go to education and not downtown developers. we had to push around the budget and not have cuts to prick services and no cuts, and so
instead of being on a sort of let's fight to make sure -- defensive fight, and in the moment, i think is really key to moving families in the city forward. how do you create a political moment, not waiting three months before election to pill people together to say, okay, what are we going to do? how do we try to create a political moment? we know that the dissatisfaction and anger is there, and how as organizers do we create a space for people to come together and express dissatisfaction and anger in a way that connects campaigns. what we did was city wide had over 30 organizations, moved to try to push forward the surplus ordnance. this was not what we created. we did the work two years ago,
and we had parameters, targeting downtown district, dwoo years later, there was an dpektive order, pretty calling for what we called for two ears ag bu pretty much calling for what we. enough.ve order in good called sure this can't be attaid by the mayor whether he decide it's good policy or not. i know i need to wrap up. i'll sea in four weeks from take back chicago, we put 676 calls into all, pass through calls, and 738 postcards from door knocking and grassroots mobilization across the sigh, and all of this work in the
period of time led to three votes. three new votes. the progressive caucus around the order naps, and look, my god, what a failure, and i think the reality is, my god, we got votes. it's not enough, you it's the beginning. we organize now and it's clear what it takes to get the votes. huge amount of work and m oorks rla is in the room, a huge part of the fightings targeting several across the city, and i think that's what it takes. like, we have to have real political education at the grassroots, interact community so there's labor, community, and tate organizing at the grassroots level. we need a clear narrative and not afraid of naming this as the corporate agenda. it's not something that folks in the communities are scared. they get it. they live it every day.
we have to have action to be bold, clear, and correct, and we have to build a grassroots political power. 2015 is not long away. there's work to be doing, energy out there, thank. [cheers and applause] >> well, first of all, i write from the reader newspaper. which has thank you. i think i'm definitely the oldest person on the panel. [laughter] i have the longest amount of experience and memory about chicago,
so before i get too involved in memory lane, i want to thank kari for writing this book. [applause] i find nothing personal, but i find mayor rahm emanuel and one of the most noxious people -- [applause] i've ever had to cover. better kari in terms of doing it. i read it and write about it and i think you are remarkably restrained. [laughter] very fair. and you really bent over backwards, even though he would not participate in the writing of the book, would not be interviewed. even his assistants would not be interviewed, which sort of point out a point about rahm emanuel,
chicago and the people in this room. i present them that rahm's handlers or rahm himself looked at kari interview request and figured it was coming from the last, the perspective that is. as far as i can tell, rahm emanuel has utter disdain, boarded on hatred for people from the left. i think that part of the reason he has that utter disdain is because like many leaders of the democratic party, he works on the assumption that people on the left have nowhere else to go but to the democratic party. and so as a result, there's sort of a captive audience. and due to them what you will. most democratic politicians that i follow don't turn that into
disdain. so at least try to pretend like they care about the things that you care about. in fact, today i got a phone call from an older man who would remain anonymous because he wanted to be off the record conversation. i give away his gender. he was defending his note in the recent case matter that amisha was just describing, which is one of the most entertaining we've had in the past few years. his point was you have to work with the administration at times to get what you want and you have to suspend your larger goals, beliefs, object design principles from time to time. [laughter] to get ahead. this is a very, very common worldview in the city of chicago. so as i get older, i have a harder and harder time being
upset with the politicians that the people in the city of chicago at you lacked and i've become more and more upset with the people of the city of chicago for you that any politicians. [applause] as much as i respect amisha and agree with almost everything she says, i have to disagree with a couple points thrown out here at the point of discussion when she said that people get it. i've seen, at the risk of sounding incredibly dispirited, no evidence that the people of chicago have gotten anything since they elected harold washington back in 1983. even that was a racially divided vote in which almost 50% of the city didn't get it. so, i actually do believe what i can point you made, and this is
part of this unique, schizophrenic attitude in the make of chicago voters, which is people in chicago due respect politicians who stand up to power. i throw this challenge out to every single aldermen i talk to. i cannot recall any aldermen who lost his or her seat because he or she defied an all-powerful mayor. there's not a lot to choose from in that category. but i go back. i remember there was an alderman from the south side who is streeter. he had a friend with shane byrne and the people of, i believe it was, the 17th war come elected him over chain for its candidate. i remember helen shiller, who at one time or another was the leading independent and city council before she learned about the tips program, joined the
ranks. but mayor daley tried every which way he could chew and see shiller appeared he threw michael quigley at her. he brought all the goals from the southwest right to run the campaign. uptown, we elected helen shiller. i stand by the right that people in chicago may not get it, but they do want independence. which leads me to ask her. i still can't quite get my mind around the realization that the people in the city of chicago not only elected mayor daley five times in a row, but they overwhelmingly elected rahm emanuel. so i go around. i ask more questions than answers. i usually ask my fellow citizens, who did you vote for quite pretty much everybody at me, i asked who did you vote for? based on the results of what they are telling me, i've come to the conclusion that rahm emanuel didn't win the election
at all in the real winner with miguel divided. [applause] what it is, i think, a lot of people in chicago didn't realize who they were voting for or they didn't vote, which is just as bad. they elected this man who is a little to the right, mitt romney. this is the question that is always being raised. when the official program is over. my response more and more as we have that presents a great
leader will step forward to the dress out of the promised land. washington was the one in a lifetime individual. he knew politics. i tell people, look at the shane burton model. it occurred for years before the harold washington model, which was in 1979. in 1979, the voters in the city of chicago got so disgusted with the way the city was being run, that they elected a woman who had been written off as a complete and hopeless flake. she had no significant political support. she had no money to speak of.
she was mocked and maligned by all the powers in the city of chicago. when not blizzard hit and the machine was incapable of delivering the most basic and essential services, people said i'm voting for the lady. she won. so i think this is my dream, should start eating my children and looking for someone to lead them to where they want to go. [applause] they should stand up and take accountability for their city and elect somebody -- even if they don't like the person, just to see somebody that they really don't like. so we'll leave it at that.
[applause] >> thanks again to steps two, amisha in brandon. just to see a cloud like this morning to talk about the mayor and the victory of the teachers union is really amazing and inspiring. that will lead me to points i want to make to wrap up, which is that this book is definitely a story about rahm emanuel, but also a story about is people on both fronts a really ongoing story. talking about it and the very valid point about the fact that so many chicagoans did vote for amisha and mayor daley over the years. nonetheless, we have a pretty amazing populace with so much potential and talent and power. i think it is really important to acknowledge that, especially at a moment like this when there is a sentiment with facts to back it up, including this study
amisha talk about for chicago's future and image and identity is being redefined. he's been out then i'm back on transversal about the way he is transforming the city. you hear this talk about making it a hub of startups and clean energy. a greener, cleaner, hipper city has really been trying the creative class from all over the country. other bike lanes and urban garden and the food has. when he mentioned all these announced it's about creating the new jobs and those have been at anaphase 80 other people.
a lot of these are jobs filled by someone in the suburbs who come in against the city. they may be new jobs, but they look for a specific person who has the skills that are very specific skills. they are not jobs that can be filled by people that are without work, including all the people that have lost their jobs because of the privatization and cost cutting during this administration. the other staff at the school, the chanters, one of the stories that i was really inspired by following. they already worked for a private company. for a contractor. it looks pretty clear so that the powerful si you local one union and the new contractor brought in workers the remake in a much lower wage and part-time work. far less sustainable jobs.
the therapist at the mental health clinic, which has huge ramifications for their families and communities and also the strong bonds and can't just go to another middle-class woman therapist and have the same kind of relationship. one of the janitors from o'hare is probably not going to get a job at one of the youths started surrealistically. the income is gone and the ripple effects that has. the way the mayor talked about reshaping the city, he is literally ignoring all the homegrown talent and creativity and brilliance that we have here already and specifically one of the examples i alluded to in the introduction of the book was the
community organization that eddie hall. they developed a comprehensive, seemingly innovative, fantastic lan to save one of their neighborhood schools and reinvigorate the community. the mayor of the drill he wouldn't even step out of his office to talk to them about the plan. there is no he has the record of ignoring, actively sort of have first experience like the violence he may be talking to these consultants all around the world about the most cutting-edge policing strategies. he's not talking to the teachers and parents who are impacted every day and the kids.
that leads me into just one of. talking about tim ignoring public input. he canceled the budget hearing and how washington has started these budget hearings in different communities of people who work during the day had not trouble getting downtown can give input about the budget. the mayor did hold a series or in his first in office. this is during that time period that he was making dniester conan budget cut, was already kind of ignoring union contracts in place. so he canceled the budget hearings for the next two years. the progressive caucus, the whole alternative budget hearings for people pour their hearts out. there were literally several hundred hearings of school closings. as far as i know, the mayor and
his appointed schoolboard members didn't show up in any of those hearings. they were testifying and pouring our hearts out. you couldn't get a better forum for concrete input on how we could address some of the problems. surgery and his campaign for mayor and also during that time around the teachers strike, which really bizarrely became a psychic campaign because the mayor had really picked a fight with the teachers union early on in a school day in denying races in the contract. so the teachers strike in the period around it came for him in the teachers were forced to treat it this way as well, a battle where someone was going to win and someone was going to lose. it was not reaching a solution,
but their rhetoric was very clear and of course the larger debate around the rule in the shape of public education in the role of teachers unions and has proxies are really trying to drive home this message that the teachers are lazy and ineffective and greedy and scaring the kids over. around this time, he had this phrase he used several times about having an ei's and they were so be non-that he was robbing them of their personalities. try to look at the words and thanks what these mean. it was so ridiculous and insulting and really reveal how despite this being the campaign
mentality, where he was politically obligated to make it seem like he cared about the south and west side lower-income neighborhoods come oral-b schools are closed and so many teachers and public school parents are out on the streets came from. i feel like any parent or teacher or anyone who has a kid and this neighborhood would not describe them as empty. they're full of life and hope you sometimes anger and sadness the next a lot of trauma, but i just felt coming in now, that phrase reveal to the mayor is now known the lack of understanding, but lack of respect for these whole communities. i know it's really cliché to say that the youth are our future, but it's obviously true. it's striking that it's fairly certain, maybe he'll have at least one more term and move
beyond that. so you are talking literally generation of public school students who are growing up with the administration and seen first hand that they other public sector and the way parents and teachers are being disrespect and also the way the parents and teachers and neighbors and not elves are going out in this recent city hall and the board of that and become involved in the civic debate. so that's got to make a difference. i think it will be really exciting to see what unfolds over these coming years. what kind of legacy will last come even after mayor emmanuel is voted out of office. i ended the book was just kind of bringing it back to one of the other members of the mental health movement. i'm not sure if he's here, but one of the many mental health numbers is inspiring to me and
all the different events and protests and the videos. one of the young students to become a real outspoken activist and say run for mayor. i don't know if he'll still be around when he's old enough to legally do it. being really inspired deist by a sean -- a sean. there is obviously despite the apathy and various things that are referenced on the more cynical side, it will be pretty exciting and interesting to see how chicago responds and we'll leave it at that. thank you again to salve to amsouth three --
[applause] please, tip well for the servers here at haymarket. so open to questions and comments. i really want to start with sir sam reid, who's allowed us to some of her photos. [applause] know. thanks to sara. i think we will take four or five questions and then open it up you a little bit. >> everybody in this room wants mr. emanuel to lose the soonest possible. they will not fight fair.
therefore, we can't fight fair. let me say this. i was a union delegate for many years. the union, i love them, they are my brothers, my brotherhood. they would not even endorse a candidate for mayor until it was too late. they made a complete mockery of endorsing anyone and it didn't help our chances because they were afraid he was going to win and we be penalized. he won and we are penalized. two, chicago is the most sexualized city in the country. no doubt about it. people at the south and west want basketball court. soccer fields, everybody in the northwest, whatever they can get their hands on. in order for us to win, we need to fight unfair. we need to truly be brothers. we need to come together and say what's going on. it's terribly indecent.
we spoke 90 languages and not cool. we need to appeal to the new chicago. there are new people. we can't have 10% of all minorities voting because it they do, we are going to lose forever. not in this election, every election. they are counting on us being apathetic. they are counting on a rainy day so no one does. look who has friends are. it was appalling that he won without a second call for election. i never thought he would get a majority. when i saw the vote the next day, i couldn't believe it. it was nonsense. are we going to win? if we are, we don't fight fair anymore. we fight as filthy as they are.
>> i would just like to say, we have enough research. i think we are really repeating mistakes of the past. when it comes to how to solve a problem in the city, we are not holding anyone accountable for a planned. we have the university of chicago that has answers for how to solve the problems with the schools, how to solve the problem, even when it comes to crime. i worked on one of those research projects that investigated not the chicago police department because at the time, the chicago police department would not allow research of their statistics. but it was another medium-sized police department, aurora police
department read outside of the city. same problems because our people have went to that community. what i am basically saying is putting money into police instead of schools is not the answer when you don't have a plan for the police to even work effect delay. so, you need to hold this administration accountable. and giving it to the police and all these other entities. polito of poverty and raise another issues. we have the answers. we just do more research, more commissions, more studies are not business as usual.
but you have to take that and really seriously decide that you're going to solve these issues that basically revolve around poverty. [applause] >> mayor, 1% is not only mayor of chicago. he's leader of the democratic party. of course he's very close to the president. so i really represent the interests of the leadership of the democratic party. now, do you think your respective goals and agendas can be met by pressuring democrats here at the local level. and second, a follow-up that might have happened in seattle, which you support a nondemocratic candidate mayor? [applause] [inaudible conversations]
>> yeah, we'll do one more. yeah, we are going to do like for questions and then have people in toronto once. >> my name is rodney pruitt. i am a displaced teacher. i sit on the stage at the auditory and for the teachers to rock out. i joined you in front of fulton's on the river to deal with them. one thing i will say, i used to be had at one of the committees and i resigned because i felt we were doing many things. and so the city addresses race and call it as it is, nothing positive for happen in this city. that mayor will be reelected. because many of the grassroots protesters do not vote.
i am one of the black displaced teachers. until recently, not dean has been put out in the media that has named us by name. as a black male teacher, we are collateral damage. until this city addresses race, nothing that can in. this city is a microcosm of the entire country. as long as you have politics that is deliberately vague, trying to cover everybody, the people that need to vote, will never vote. thank you. [applause] >> thank you for the questions. there is alive. if you like and listening to the
cliff kelley show in chicago. this is a smart crowd. in terms of the first question, the road the democratic dirty has made, we have not shied away from that. it is quite clear from cory booker to mayor nutter, to rahm emanuel, these are all democratic mayors. as a black man, i always get a little uncomfortable when both hearties agree on what to do with black people. in terms of who we support, i would support any election. one of the things i am quite cautious about is this neat to find a candidate. what i think this room should continue to do is actually elevate the issues. because as substitute laid out,
there's no superman. there's no hero hero. the heroes are in the room right here in the front line every day. if a candidate emerges out of the movement, let's push that individual or individuals forward. if we look at it happened in new york, bill jablonski was running fourth place. no one knew who bill jablonski was until he put his blacks on television and the rest is history. now we will see how he governs though. i think it is important not just here in chicago but across this country we find candidates who are married to our issues. as far as what mr. pruitt is saying, one of the things that i'm quite proud of what this union has done is we've actually reawakened the black caucus within the chicago teachers union. i'm going to be quite frank with you. we did it under controversy. folks are right, people get their comfortable black folks
get in the room and start talking to each other. we could be planning more than just thanksgiving dinner. either way,, we are planning more to thanksgiving dinner. as he began to organize black teachers, dealing with the issue of the loss of black teachers, it pains me to have an educated brother in this room that is not in front of her children. let's be clear, this is intentional. the attack on public education is attack on public sector. when dr. king said on the balcony in the whole it went through his face, he was clear, fighting for dignity for public sector workers that are overwhelmingly black. this remembrance across this country not only have to tell the story of mr. pruitt, but they have to tell the stories of all the black teachers that even push the union when the union recognized by teachers. the final point that i will make regarding the issue of black teachers in moscow by teachers, ebony magazine did a story on the loss of black teachers. there is more price of corn to
be done around the loss of black teachers. the thing that made the strike so unique as we were not afraid, particularly on the third day of strike will be the democrats, republicans. we clearly said, shawn johnson made it clear that these policies are racist and we do have to deal with them. as we deal with issues, i'm confident a little more than i am because then has been around longer than me. i am confident that we will arise out of the dust and continue to organize. candidates will emerge. who knows, candidates might just be in this room. [applause] >> the only thing i would add is one of the things that harold washington did say is that it's not the man, it is the plan. it is about what is our agenda? had we left at those issues?
and it's true, we can't wait for the one person who's going to save us and rescue us. we don't build a long-term movement that way. what happens when the man is no longer here. what are we left in terms of what we've still got? we actually have a political organization where we are committed to electing independent political elected to ideally do come from our base of folks who don't jump in because they see an opportunity, but it's part of the fight before an election came down. how do we actually create a space for real independent politics in the city? it is clear that democrats in chicago, chicago democrats are the answer for us and i never have been. there's a lot of tensions in terms of institutions like labor and the struggles all the time the speaker madigan or the governor. he then what people were
thinking of the people who can take on the mayor. democrats have real issues. i think that our organizing has to be about the issues and not about individuals or politics because that alone will never get us to where we need to get to. [applause] >> if i can just add one thing on the racetrack. one of the things with the mayor is that he has fought for gay marriage and has been on immigration since he's been in the hall he's been pro-immigrant. although his time in the past was not broken agreement at all. you know, he doesn't say these really outrageous, racist names like some politicians who have these videos going biro. so i think he tries to register the national media or national public doesn't realize how racist is policies end up being,
whether he is really racist in his heart are not almost doesn't matter because his policies obviously have a racist and pack. since he's one of these mayors that were the pro-in some ways, i think he's been able to hide that at least i think people in chicago are well aware of that. nationally will become an interesting issue as the rents are higher up is nationally. >> if i could just add one of the things to the racist propensity of the mayor of chicago. if you look at the failed policies that he pushes, but it does have adverse impact on communities of color. right now the sheep mayor is pushing mandatory minimum, which is going to exacerbate the industrial complex that overwhelmingly is populated with black men. when the black caucus in illinois actually locked it from passing because he was going to
pass in springfield. eric holder come to the obama administration's credit are beginning to roll back on mandatory minimum. rahm emanuel is doubling down on it. what we have discovered, first of all, it does not curve violence. and so, as you begin to look carefully at his policies, you begin to see the leanings that he has that are overwhelmingly the interests of black and brown people. i will take it one step further, that when you push things like mandatory minimum, it has such tremendous impact on communities, particularly as teachers, as we sit in front of classrooms day in and day out and children are dealing with the issues of poverty, not having enough food, being homeless, having parents in the penal system. after the black caucus in illinois plot is, the mayor issues a press release the next day saying that he cannot wait
to congratulate the sponsor of the boat, which by the way the sponsor of the bill does not represent the community in which he says he wants to help. the mayor went as far to say he cannot wait to congratulate the sponsor when the bill passes. in other words, the mayor is saying that i cannot wait until we lock up more black men. those are the policies this man is pushing and as a community we have to elevate this issue to make sure people are engaged so we can give hope to people like that to that change will calm. [applause] >> there is a question right over here. >> i read the book and one of the things i was struck by reading the book is your interview. your repaired a fair and balanced reporter. you speak out the opinion of
everybody and everyone you write about. you speak to a lot of union leaders in the book. you now come with that brandon on the panel representing the ccu. but you think of people in the book who i would say do not represent that kind of unionism. i remember you got quotes from people who were saying things like i'm just sure glad whenever the mayor will answer my calls. you have these really are the full quotes from the labor movement. there clearly different styles having that. i read in the tribune, one of the city's more progressive unions in the city. they've given money to rahm emanuel's reelection campaign,
$25,000. i just want reflections on not about the different visions of unionism in the city that could he see me your book. >> thank you. >> too, i agree with you people should be responsible whether it's voting, marching, put in a referendum, i agree with you. it's also important to recognize that when emanuel us back to city to become mayor, you did very responsible sponsor. that gave him a lot of credibility and issues that he didn't deserve. but i thought the turning point in all of that was when ed work and jerry chico try to make a political hit on him by denying him his residence status to run
for mayor. and so, he appeared to be a victim of the chicago machine. you put both of them together and that is how you have an image that people can vote for without knowing a lot of processed in stuart. things have changed over the last couple of years. i am not saying he is beautiful or does not the money or the image, but i think that there is an opening now on the issues, on the candidates that we wouldn't have had four or five years ago. so i'd be a little bit more hopeful about this. you know this stuff far better than i do. >> as you might imagine, this is not the first time i've express these opinions i have about chicago's a lecture at. in regards to the election of the rahm emanuel, the man was
elected with the black vote. i talk about the disdain he has from leftists. i have to wonder what to say in answer black residents in the city of chicago who are electing him. he closes 50 schools in black communities, not even in town when the announcement comes down. utter disdain. the way he treated kerry lois, which i thoroughly enjoyed recounting. so, i am willing to give the citizens of chicago a makeover. what do they call it in golf? them all again? i am want to get the citizens of chicago a mall again. they were so caught a and b-bravo obama's wink and nod to get them out of the white house.
they were so sympathetic to his plays were being challenged in the residence the issue that then they were overwhelmed and they lost touch with their good senses. so they were wrong once. i like to believe in a do occasionally show signs of being a believer, reinvent, amisha. for instance, when i was at a northwestern football game in evanston, rahm's hometown. when his picture flashed on the screen because they decided to promote him at the start of the fourth quarter. i don't know why, probably because the payback for the deal at apprentice hospital. anyway, when his picture flashed on the screen, people do it and it was a loud too.
[applause] this was the father flickr's church. he had just been booed the week before. it was not the party. this is the northwestern football game. so maybe you are correct and maybe the people have come to their senses and realize there is a consequence for not paying attention when you have an election for just voting for someone because he think he's been endorsed by barack obama, even though barack obama has been kicking them out of the white house and feeling sympathetic for someone on a residency challenge to which he probably should not have been allowed on the ballot anyway. i'm willing to concede that there is a possibility that the people of the city of chicago will hurt me wrong this time and rice to the occasion. i'm certainly hoping so. >> taxpayer. >> i just wanted to piggyback on
what you said about race. because we are not a homogenous country, really it's an issue of class and that is why we have the school closings and everything. i am also a teacher. and so, you know, we get jaded because truly like the two-party system, it doesn't matter. they throw us under the bus. hopefully, you know, there's a viable alternative. i don't know. i appreciate you, especially, all of your articles. you still won't accept my friend requests. i'm upset about that on facebook. >> i am surprised nobody has investigated the $450 million venture contact. whether the money going to that will be taken from the buses and trains in the making of the cta.
[applause] >> i understand your disappointment with the people of chicago. i think that happens throughout the country. not in chicago will make you we're not giving giving many choices. i may not be a great choice. but when the political debate is controlled at the 1%, went to presidential candidates spend 1 billion each, the money they spent they are going to answer to. it doesn't matter how would you vote or how i'd vote. it's happening throughout the world. i happen to be greek and i understand what's going on there. they are using that as an experiment to see what they're going to do throughout the rest of the world. it's really a great site.
we have to fight in every front. we can't disparage ourselves are the people who've given up. we try to empower them in some way. you can stand up to these people and our votes can be more strong than their money. time for maybe one or two comments. anyone else like to make a comment? >> i had to run out to take care of my meter because that is a whole other issue. i don't know if this is direct while i was gone. the citizens of new york city said at this time. like you said, we don't know how a bill how bill defazio is going to govern, but a whole bunch of algae bt people ran away from christine quinn because they knew she was not progressive enough. i want to know when we are going to get our backbone. i just was wondering what the panel has to offer about how we
can, i don't know, like how can we make people excited about, you know, voting for somebody who matters quite i know we have to do with a two-party system. really we only have one in chicago. it is figuring out who is the most progressive. i don't know if i have a question or if it is just how can we -- how can we turn the corner in a city like they did in new york in a lesser degree at l.a. because the guy they voted for spent time having office hours into spent time in hollywood. that's why he got elected. i don't know. stop voting your constituency and what they believe in. i'm wondering what your thoughts are. >> all talk again in just a minute. >> i have a comment and it feels like an observation. i hope that i stated rate.
i travel all over the country. then attached to people, everybody is against corporate power. everybody is against privatization, the majority of people. when it comes down to it and i agree with the people on the panel is when they start edging about it is when it comes to the idea of phrase. not even a poverty. everybody is against poverty. but then they have this thing that they feel like it is helping people of color that somehow is some sort of does its damage to majority. it's not. i'm a native of chicago's dance relocated to los angeles. i get fat and die the progressive disintegration and the social unity and the city.
his heart rate came. i say to other places across the country, but i also see very progressive voices emerging in places like new york and california. part of it is because the youth are way more engaged in those states in those cities, that that power shifted arising and i don't witness that much sense of racism or resent men's in younger people as they do and people in my age group and older. my only hope is in that transition. that unification and those people being outraged enough to see that their futures have been not only blocked, but subverted. i don't know if i've articulated it or not.
that's the sense i get an average that pours out to me. >> let's make a closing date. >> i think for me, a lot of what i look at what is happening in the city and i think what is needed to shift things and to build a movement and why that's so difficult. santos is about hopelessness and we are set up to feel hopeless for a very particular reason. of course it is hard. of course people are not engaged. of course it feels like nothing contained. we have to go with the best of the worst situation. it's all very deliberate. when i think about organizing -- and organizers said this when i was learning organizing. i used to be union organizer. one of the things she said to me
was organizing was about an individual feeling like they have power. because of an individual does that feel they have power, the collective power, collective action is meaningless. we are set up all the time to individually feel they have no power. there are real constrictions on our lives and real challenges. to me, that is what organizing is about. how do you have this individual and relationships and how people see the spark of what is possible in their own life in communities and schools, workplaces and city. i absolutely do believe people in the city get it. they care about is that they. they got what is wrong. things aren't the way they want it to be and it's our job is organizers to figure out how do we actually create the spaces and opportunities for folks to step into that work for progressive change.
..up against. and how do we actually despite what we're up against in terms of racism and poverty and the pressure of capitalism on our daily lives. we need to understand that. but also know that folks have -- we have major incredible agency despite all of that and resiliency. it's about how do we create the spaces for people to step in and take action and build real connections and relationships along the way. i think a lot of that is happening on the ground. how do we get it to scale? i think there's good work happening. how do we get it to scale? how do we move the labor movement with us? because it isn't a monolithic place and there's a lot of tension. but there's all possibilities. and i think there's an incredible spark that the is rers and many folksha that teachers and many other folks have shown that it'sbl isy actually possible. the last thing i would say is you should join our e-mail list,
like us on facebook and get engaged and we are trying to take back chicago. we hope that he will continue the conversation to plug in. [applause] >> well, you know, just to defend my wounded pride here, i'm not quite as cynical as brandon and amisha what have you believe, but i believe and this is my own naivete that what amisha said was true that when they have that vote on wednesday to come in just the fact that the chicago city council have something resembling the debate on this unbelievable scam was a triumph of sorts, and i appreciate that you had a ban on
the orders and make a lot of phone calls to get even that. and the the fact that they got 11 i'm not quite sure if one of those 11 new how, but he voted the right way so i'm counting him as a yes. i think that he got confused and voted the wrong way. but what ever. so they had the discussion, they had the vote, and so i do believe that it is possible in the city of chicago to get people to entertain a complicated thoughts, ideas, and to try to examine how their city is governed. but i think the greatest challenges to try to overcome this sense that is so chicago that you can cut a deal and get your way when you want by sort of making your own private agreement with a person in power. that is so pervasive and one
thing i learned in moving to chicago so i feel there is a cynicism that is in the people of chicago in the electorate and that's very easily manipulated by powerful candidates like rahm emanuel so i suppose your challenge is to sort of cut through all of that in my opinion. [applause] thank you for all the hope that you bring to chicago. [laughter] but seriously no one quite articulates what i'm thinking in such a smart way, so one of the things i think that was missed during the chicago teachers union strike is that it set off a wave of strikes across the state of illinois and quite frankly across the world. and so if there is any glimpse of hope that you can actually beat back these awful policies
that the mayor here in chicago embodies that even teachers to make a hundred thousand dollars a year say we want 102,000 i'm not mad at him. if we do maybe we will be in the book about being the 1% we have strikes in mexico, strikes and brazil we have something in the globe that chicago can take some credit for actually pushing. so if the country quite frankly of the world is going to make sure that we have a fair tax and that the rich aren't paying their fair share and that you actually have an education system that works for all children and not just those who can afford the quality education, if that is going to happen, it is going to happen because the brothers and sisters in this room make it happen and so the only thing i can leave you with is that we organize. we knock on doors and have house
meetings. we have meetings in church basements and we do it the way that we know how to and that is connecting with people and then let the chips fall where it may and if we do not defeat them this time, jim crow didn't come down after one below. we live in a country that has stretched the lead car sparked some of the greatest transformation the world has seen and it was regular ordinary people which i hope this isn't derogatory, but regular ordinary people like kari. [laughter] and the folks in this room that are brave enough to stand up and say what is right and in very difficult times. i am encouraged because i'm looking around the room and all of us represent a different segment in the cities of the charges to leave here and begin to organize the communities and churches, fraternities, sororities to make sure that the issues are eliminated and when the candidate emerges they will have a platform to run on and not ju