February 25, 2011 § Leave a comment
Does this sound familiar?
St. Louis is losing residents, according to U.S. Census figures released Thursday, and the population decline goes deeper than being another blow to the proud city’s image. The drop will mean a financial loss that could cost the already cash-strapped Gateway City millions of dollars.
Figures from the 2010 census were a bitter disappointment, as the city’s population dipped to 319,294.That’s down more than 29,000 – a staggering 8 percent – from 2000.
But wait, there’s more:
The mayor said the ongoing struggles of the city school district are a big part of the problem.
“A lot of families are leaving the city for better educational opportunities, especially public education opportunities,” Slay said.
Increasingly, they’re moving further and further out.
Why yes. Yes, that does sound familiar.
We have the change the way we do things as a city. Change the way we look at problems and potential solutions. We’re $27 billion in debt, have high taxes, bloated social programs, failing schools, corrupt politicians, and criminals running around loose in the streets.
These problems exist as all levels: local, county, state, and federal. We need comprehensive reform nationally in order to survive.
February 18, 2011 § Leave a comment
A study by two University of Illinois at Chicago professors Thursday dumped on the idea of a Chicago Public Schools “miracle’’ under Mayor Daley and pushed for an elected — rather than appointed — school board to move city schools forward.
The disparities between black and white students, and between Latino and white students, have only grown larger under Daley, creating a “two-tier” public education system, according to the analysis by Pauline Lipman and Eric “Rico” Gutman.
Well the UIC professors just proved what many of us already knew.
February 8, 2011 § Leave a comment
The following email is scheduled to go out at 5:00AM CT 02/09/2011
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I don’t like being over-dramatic but this may be one of the most important emails you’ll read this month. Please give me 1 min of your time on two topics concerning the upcoming aldermanic race.
First Topic: Genita Robinson, the “Machine’s Candidate”
It has come to my attention that Ms. Robinson is the machine’s candidate for alderman of the second ward. And trust me, I do not make the accusation lightly. Yesterday it was disclosed that a secretly funded organization connected to Mayor Daley just gave Ms. Robinson $10,000. But that only tells part of the story.
After a quick review of Ms. Robinson’s campaign committee filing it turns out that of nearly $40,000 raised, $7,020 (17.8%) of it is in “not-itemized” or anonymously donated funds. So much for transparency.
Further, of the $32,400 which was disclosed, only $1,800 (5.5%) comes from within the 2nd Ward. In fact, nearly 5 times as much money, $9,050 (27.9%) comes from OUT OF STATE! That’s right, Ms. Robinson raised $1,800 in the ward but $3,000 from New York state.
Additionally, the Sun-Times has reported that while Ms. Robinson was working at Chicago Public Schools she admitted knowing about “a secret list of politicians, businessmen and others with connections who were seeking to help kids win admission to the most coveted Chicago Public Schools” and did nothing about it. This is not transparency. This is not accountability. This is nothing but old school Chicago politics.
Something is wrong with this picture folks. Please educate yourselves. Every man, woman, and child is carrying city debt equal to $10,000 per person. We cannot afford any more machine politicians.
Second Topic: Please Vote Sciammarella
You read that right. I realize that I cannot win and this election is too important to be left to chance. I’m asking that you please vote for Federico Sciammarella. You may not know this but Federico has been working hard on educational issues and trying to bring new businesses and jobs to our ward. Further, Federico has pledged to work with myself and several other people in the area (like David Askew) to make sure that our neighborhood gets treated fairly in the ward.
Say NO to machine politicians, please vote Sciammarella.
The machine has nearly bankrupt our city and burdened all of us, and our children, with crushing debt that will have to be repaid. The city is stuck with onerous long-term labor contracts that call for annual raises for city workers above and beyond the rate of inflation. We’re getting taxed to death, our housing market collapse continues, and our middle class is getting ready to flee to the suburbs.
We get the elected representatives we deserve. We deserve the best. Only you can make that happen. It’s up to you. Vote for Sciammarella.
Lastly my friends, we are all in this together. I humbly ask that you share this information with someone else you know. Knowledge is power; and if we work together we can take back our city from the machine that has spent our future and our children’s future. Please pass this on to a friend.
As always, please feel free to contact me directly with any questions.
February 5, 2011 § 2 Comments
I realize this is now old news but it is worth mentioning that the decision of the Illinois Supreme Court placing Rahm on the ballot is going to have far reaching consequences. Justices Freeman and Burke appear to be the only members of the court with any vision:
Suffice it to say, therefore, that this court has not always spoken clearly on what is meant by residency, and the majority should acknowledge this fact. This is why both sides in this dispute can contend that their respective positions are supported by decades of precedent. Indeed, contrary to the majority’s assertions, the only thing that is well established in this case is the confusion that has existed on this subject. The majority today now makes clear that residency for all purposes is the equivalent of domicile. The majority, therefore, should overrule those portions of Pope, Park, and Clark which hold to the contrary. …
Finally, it should be noted that today’s decision will raise questions beyond the facts of this case. Because the court holds that residency has one settled meaning, and that meaning rests on a person’s intent, today’s decision will have implications for residency requirements for in-state tuition, residency requirements for municipal employees such as police officers and firefighters, residency requirements for school districts and other similar situations. This court should be prepared to address those issues as firmly and expeditiously as we have done today.
I can tell you that the police officers I know are already moving forward, with or without, the FOP to begin taking advantage of this decision. Chicago police and firefighters will no longer have to live within the city limits as long as they express any intent to someday return. I’m sure that was not the intent of this decision, but that’s where we stand.
So, what’s going to happen now? Sometime over the next few years a police or firefighter residency case will wind its way through the courts. And when it gets to the Illinois Supreme Court, my prediction is that it will find some way to reverse itself on this decision.
This decision is for Rahm and Rahm alone. This decision will forever be know as Rahm’s law. It applies to no one else.
This is the sorry state of politics in Illinois. Someday I’ll write more about why judges should not be elected. I will use this case as the starting point of the discussion.
February 5, 2011 § Leave a comment
Yes, I realize that it has been several days — and a lot has happened — since my last posting.
About a week before snowpocalypse I ran into a buzz saw and I’m just getting caught-up. Everyone gets busy from time to time and this blog on occasion takes more time that it should. But I’m going to try to put up some additional posts over the next few days.
I thank you for your patience.