CHICAGO – The day after the Chicago Board of Education blindly voted to shutter 49 neighborhood schools, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis will host the first in a series of deputy registrar trainings at Bethel AME Church in the Bronzeville neighborhood on Thursday. More than 200 people have already pre-registered.
The workshop, conducted by the Cook County Clerk’s office, is the first in a citywide political education campaign where those who opposed school closings can channel their energy into a positive, organizing effort to return democracy to the city. Lewis will talk about the disaster mayoral control has had on public education since 1995 and why taxpayers should advocate for a representative, elected school board. The CTU and a coalition of organizations have also committed to raise money to assist candidates interested in running for political office.
“The true political strength of parents, teachers, students, and community will be galvanized to put the public back in public education,” she said. “We will continue to organize to change this equation by putting 100,000 new voters on the rolls. We must return democracy to our city and use our vote to hire elected officials who will be responsive to our needs and not just the needs of corporate interests.
“What the mayor and his hand-picked school board have done is reprehensible,” she continued. “Destroying schools is not good education policy. It is a scorched earth tactic used by people who have simply given up. Our students are not pawns on a school reform chessboard. They deserve investment, schools where they live and supported educators. The economic viability of our communities is not expendable. This fight is far from over.”
WHO: CTU Officers: Karen Lewis, officials from the Cook County Clerk’s office, others
WHAT: Will train those interested on becoming deputy registrars in the first of a series of workshops designed to reform City Hall and the Illinois General Assembly; and will talk about the upcoming massive voter registration and political education campaign
WHEN: Thursday, May 23, 2013
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Bethel A.M.E. Church, 4440 S. Michigan