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Will Guzzardi
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Entries by Will Guzzardi

'We Have Been Respectful. Now, Let Us Be Clear'

(1) Comments | Posted March 4, 2013 | 2:26 PM

To whom it may concern at Chicago Public Schools:

We, the parents, teachers, neighbors, and community members of Logan Square United for Brentano -- we have been patient. We have been respectful. We have been polite, measured, and reasonable.

We have presented you the data. In December, when...

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Corruption, And What to Do About It

(8) Comments | Posted February 3, 2012 | 12:16 PM

Too many of us, when we think about politics here in Illinois, roll our eyes and throw up our hands. The system is too far gone, it seems. Corruption is endemic to the way Springfield works -- not just in the high-profile cases involving former governors, but in the everyday...

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Shared Sacrifice? Well, Not Quite

(2) Comments | Posted January 10, 2012 | 12:40 PM

This past holiday season, elected officials in the Illinois General Assembly gave a giant present to some big corporations -- hundreds of millions of our tax dollars -- while most of the families in the district where I'm running for State Representative and across the state struggled just to get...

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The Right Thing to Do

(0) Comments | Posted January 5, 2012 | 2:50 PM

If any of us needed a reminder that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in our state are still not fully equal citizens -- that bigotry and discrimination and hate still face so many of our friends and neighbors -- we got a rude awakening in December. The Archbishop of...

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Upholding the Promise of Government

(14) Comments | Posted August 24, 2011 | 2:13 PM

This week, for the first time in a long time, I didn't wake up Monday morning to scan the Web and the papers and the TV stations and blogs for the most interesting Chicago news stories to summarize and analyze. I didn't call sources for the latest story I was...

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'We Are Wisconsin' Book Launch: Editor Erica Sagrans Collects Madison Protest Stories

(5) Comments | Posted August 15, 2011 | 4:56 PM

Erica Sagrans wasn't in Wisconsin for Wisconsin. After working in D.C. politics -- for former Speaker Pelosi, for Organizing for America, for the DNC -- she was disheartened by the results of the midterm elections, and found herself in London this winter. There, she fell in with the leaders of...

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Nice Cream, Kris Swanberg's Handmade Ice Cream Company, In Peril Over Dairy Regulations

(11) Comments | Posted August 11, 2011 | 4:18 PM

In many ways, Nice Cream is the quintessential small-business success story. Laid off from her job with the Chicago Public Schools, Kris Swanberg decided to try her hand at artisanal ice-cream making. Using hand-picked fruits, organic local milk, and a certain culinary genius, Swanberg started making tiny batches of inspired...

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Chicago Vacant Buildings Ordinance: Foreclosure Fighters Take On Banks Over Decaying Properties

(126) Comments | Posted August 10, 2011 | 5:46 PM

Marsha Godard is an outspoken, 52-year-old woman from the Lawndale neighborhood on Chicago's West Side and a customer at Bank of America. On the morning of Tuesday, August 9, she walked into a downtown office of her bank with a handful of fellow members of Action Now, a grassroots community...

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Chicago Charters Ask Public Schools For More Money, And A Debate Takes Shape

(161) Comments | Posted August 1, 2011 | 9:43 AM

There's a debate smoldering, just out of the media spotlight, behind the scenes of Chicago public policy. It's one that pits some of the city's wealthiest individuals and most powerful political interests against a larger but more disparate group of activists, organizers and union workers. At stake, at least according...

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Chicago Fire Department Hiring: Women Face Discrimination, According To Samantha Vasich's Lawsuit

(99) Comments | Posted July 19, 2011 | 11:34 AM

Five years ago, Samantha Vasich decided that she wanted to be a firefighter.

Sure, there aren't a lot of women in the Chicago Fire Department -- 116, to be precise, or just over two percent of the department, according to a recent story in the Chicago Tribune. But...

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Illinois State Police Racial Bias: New Studies Show Trend Of Discrimination Continued Last Year

(16) Comments | Posted July 13, 2011 | 3:12 PM

A new set of data from the University of Illinois at Chicago confirms a pattern of racial bias in traffic stops that has focused scrutiny on the Illinois State Police.

The new report [PDF] shows that a trend seen throughout the last decade continued in 2010, as African-American...

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Jonah Edelman On Illinois School Reform: Stand For Children Head Talks Political Maneuvers

(20) Comments | Posted July 12, 2011 | 5:43 PM

Jonah Edelman, the founder of the influential and cash-heavy education advocacy group Stand for Children, has issued an apology after a video surfaced in which he gives a cold-blooded analysis of his organization's political maneuverings.

In the apology, he described various moments in his talk as "blunt," "presumptuous," and "arrogant."...

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Whittier Elementary Stand-Off: CPS Cancels Construction Plans For Summer

(8) Comments | Posted July 1, 2011 | 4:01 PM

Administrators at the Chicago Public Schools have, for the moment, conceded to a group of parents at Whittier Elementary in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood, stopping construction of a library in the school that parents argued would have displaced special-ed students and gone against the wishes of the community.

Though the immediate...

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Emanuel, Unions Set For Clash: Chicago Mayor Issues Ultimatum, Threatens Layoffs

(740) Comments | Posted June 29, 2011 | 3:28 PM

CHICAGO -- Known for a style that might politely be described as "no nonsense," Mayor Rahm Emanuel lived up to his reputation Wednesday, issuing an ultimatum to the city's labor unions: Go along with the proposed changes, or face hundreds of layoffs.

It's the first shot Emanuel has fired in...

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Whittier Library: Parents, Police In Standoff Outside Elementary School Fieldhouse (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

(5) Comments | Posted June 23, 2011 | 1:25 PM

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel was swept into office on a popular mandate, and he made it clear from inauguration day that he would be expending a great deal of that political capital on reforming the Chicago Public Schools.

But as he and his new schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard prepare for...

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Gery Chico Save A Life Foundation Connection Delays His Appointment To State Board Of Ed

(1) Comments | Posted June 23, 2011 | 12:03 PM

Questions raised by state legislators about former Chicago mayoral candidate Gery Chico's connections to a scandal-plagued and now-defunct charity have delayed his appointment to a statewide education post.

Two weeks ago, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced that he'd picked Chico to chair the Illinois State Board of Education. But Republican...

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Whittier Library: CPS, Brizard Proceed With Construction Plan, Ignoring Parent Requests

(28) Comments | Posted June 21, 2011 | 4:35 PM

Last fall, a group of mothers in a largely Mexican neighborhood in Chicago made national headlines in their fight to save the fieldhouse at their children’s elementary school.

Chicago Public Schools had planned to raze the building to put in an athletic field. But after students' parents organized...

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Fresh Moves Mobile Grocery Store An Innovative Solution To Food Deserts (PHOTOS)

(54) Comments | Posted June 16, 2011 | 2:36 PM

In a move that exemplified Rahm Emanuel's approach to Chicago's most intractable problems, the city's new mayor sat down on Wednesday with the leaders of six major grocery-store chains to address the crisis of the city's so-called "food deserts."

For hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans, the nearest fresh fruits and...

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Chicago Pollution: Pilsen Students Protest Coal Plants And Smelter After Grim Air Quality Report (PHOTOS)

(7) Comments | Posted June 16, 2011 | 12:09 PM

As spiking levels of lead and other pollutants choke the air in a residential community on Chicago's Near Southwest Side, residents continue to press for change, while the Environmental Protection Agency underscores continued environmental hazards.

In the mid-morning rain on Wednesday, a group of high school students and community members...

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Illinois State Police Racial Bias: Quinn Calls For Inquiry, ISP Denies Claims

(22) Comments | Posted June 15, 2011 | 11:49 AM

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is calling for an internal inquiry into the way the Illinois State Police approach searching drivers, following an ACLU report claiming "dramatic" racial discrimination.

But the ISP is standing its ground on the so-called "consent searches," claiming that "raw data alone cannot fully explain" its officers'...

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