President Cuomo. President O'Malley. President Warner. President Beebe. It may seem strange in the middle of the 2012 presidential contest to be look...
Policing in Chicago's schools arguably diminishes the quality of life, and more to the point, the educations of thousands of kids who get on the wrong side of the law.
Many friends and acquaintances have told me, "In the private sector, we don't get to roll over our sick days like teachers do." We tend to aim for the lowest common denominator in what we consider proper working conditions.
And so it goes, the revolving door between government service and big money in the private sector spinning so fast it becomes an irresistible force hurling politics and high finance together so completely it's impossible to tell one from the other.
Recently the City Council voted to approve Mayor Emanuel's new protest ordinance. These restrictions are not only excessive, but they will also serve to prevent citizens from protesting and exercising their civil liberties.
I voted yes on the NATO/G-8 Ordinance, proposed by Mayor Emanuel, today. While my original position was to vote against this ordinance, my opinion changed over the last two days, because of the changes made to the original proposal.
Like any good parent, our mayor probably went home Monday night and checked to make sure that each of his three kids spent at least part of the day learning something new about Dr. King and his life's work.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. marched, and led historic marches of thousands, through the streets of city after city. Mayor Emanuel's proposed changes to the ordinances governing our right to protest fly in the face of Dr. King's legacy.
I believe the solutions the country is so desperately looking for are going to come at the local level -- from our mayors and engaged citizens working with their communities. It's our cities, not the nation's capital, that are the real idea factory of our country.
Even if you have no plans to protest May's G8 & NATO summits, if you want to oppose a school closing, a greedy employer or a clinic shut-down, your rights are in the cross-hairs.
The Chicago City Council has tended to suffer from a rather poor reputation. With that in mind, it seems appropriate for Chicagoans to put forth a modest proposal for reforming our city government.
Emanuel campaigned on a pledge to create "the most open, accountable, and transparent government that the City of Chicago has ever seen." Even his most ardent critics would concede that he has delivered on some part of that.
In this case, here in Illinois, we've already proven them wrong. Coal plants in Illinois had to cut their mercury pollution by 90 percent (the same cut EPA is now calling for) back in 2009.
If Mayor Emanuel wishes to foster a more transparent Chicago, he must not only continue the release of city data, but ensure that it is put to creative uses that serve the public.
Cheri Bustos would be an exciting candidate in any election cycle, but the current state of affairs in Congress elevates her candidacy (and many others) to more than exciting; it makes it important.
Just what kind of bump in Collins Academy's test scores was needed to get this "success story" back in "good standing?" The answer might surprise you. Buckle up and join me as we enter the upside-down world of big-money school reform.