Today the Chicago Republican Party proposed letting parents take over closing Chicago public schools, and giving vouchers to kids who are displaced by the closings.
Under the "takeover plan" parents may submit proposals for taking over a closing school and turning it into a charter school. The process would be similar to the existing process for creating new charter schools.
If a school is not taken over, then the children should receive vouchers to attend any school, public or private, of their choice.
"Parents should be given a choice. If CPS can't turn a school around, then let the parents take over. If enough parents step up to the plate, they should be given a chance to keep their neighborhood school open," said Chris Cleveland, spokesman for the Chicago GOP.
Similar plans exist in several states. Seven states have "parent trigger" laws that allow parents to take neighborhood schools private. Parent trigger laws are under consideration in several more states.
In 2010 the New York Times reported that "Mayor Rahm Emanuel has promised to introduce similar regulations in Chicago if he wins his bid for mayor there. "
The Chicago GOP calls on the Mayor to follow through on his promise and let the parents have a say in their children's education.
In today's remarks from Hyde Park Academy, President Obama barely touched on the epidemic of violence plaguing Chicago. Despite 1,917 homicides in our city since President Obama took office, 1,594 from gun violence, the President provide only vague proposals with no specific details to help the city deal with it's crisis.
Why didn't the President propose a specific set of solutions to deal with the criminal street gangs that perpetrate most of Chicago's murders and senseless gun violence?
Why didn't the President, Governor or Mayor acknowledge that public policy failures created the poverty stricken communities that fuel most of the city's violence and foster a criminal street gang culture?
Why does the President ignore the fact that current gun laws are not being effectively enforced and many Cook County judges release career felons long before their sentences expire?
Why did the President bail out Wall Street, auto makers and politically connected green energy companies but has no specific proposal to beef up resources to help the Chicago Police Department and the FBI in their anti-gang/anti-drug trafficking efforts?
Why didn't the President use the State of the Union to talk directly to the nation's at-risk youth, urging them to stay in school and go to college, avoid drugs and gangs and get involved in community development projects?
1,917* people have been murdered in Chicago since Barack Obama was officially inaugurated.
1,594* of those murders were committed with a firearm.
Why did it take 4 years, 26 days for the President to address the ongoing crisis in his own hometown?
*Data derived from the Chicago Tribune's RedEye homicide tracker: http://homicides.redeyechicago.com/. According to their site the detailed tracker is updated regularly with information from the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office, the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Breaking News Center.
Three Republican candidates for Illinois' Second Congressional District debated last night before a large crowd on the far south side. Republicans Lenny McAlister, Paul McKinley, and Eric Wallace spoke for an hour and a half about crime, taxes, corruption, and a host of other issues. The debate was moderated by WVON's Cliff Kelley.
Several television stations, radio stations, and print reporters covered the event.
The full debate can be seen at http://www.cantv.org/watch
The Chicago Republican Party is deeply grateful to all who participated and made it happen.
The Republican candidates in the Second Congressional District are starting to get a lot of attention. Come hear them debate this TONIGHT.
Sponsored by: the Chicago Republican Party
Moderated by: WVON 1690 talk show host Cliff Kelley.
The debate will be broadcast on live television.
When: TONIGHT from 7:30 to 9:00 pm
Where: Unity Hall @ The Café
(formerly known as the Peninsula Café)
13350 South Halsted Street
Riverdale, IL 60827
Lenny McAllister of Maywood
Paul McKinley of Chicago
Dr. Eric Wallace of Flossmoor
Questions will come from our Republican committeemen in the district: Emil Coccaro (Ward 5), Juan Antonio Diaz (Ward 7), Wayland Johnson, Jr. (Ward 9), Tom Malesh (Ward 10), and Percy Coleman (Ward 34).
The candidates seek to fill the seat left vacant by Jesse Jackson, Jr. The primary is February 26 and the general is April 9.
The debate is open to the public and free of charge.
Hope to see you there!
The Chicago Republican Party Internship Program will provide students and recent graduates with a hands-on learning experience. Each intern will participate in the political process and earn valuable hands-on experience. In addition to experience, those who complete the required hours will receive a letter of recommendation from Chairman Adam Robinson, you may also earn school credit*.
Corrupt hiring practices are a fact of life for Chicago Democrats. They have used it for decades to cement their personal political positions.
Incoming Cook County Recorder of Deeds, Karen Yarbrough, has taken the patronage hiring practice to a whole new level. She had the audacity to interfere with the current hiring of positions in the Recorder of Deeds office that are strictly prohibited from being passed out to political pals.
"This is continued evidence that the voters of Cook County are under-served by the Democratic machine," said Sherri Griffith, 2012 Republican candidate for Cook County Recorder of Deeds. "Allowing politicians like Karen Yarbrough to serve in elected office without prosecution for current and past offenses is shameful."
The Chicago GOP thanks Fox 32 Chicago, the Better Government Association and the federal monitor who brought Yarbrough’s actions to light.
We look forward to Cook County Inspector General Pat Blanchard’s full report on the matter and expect Yarbrough to offer her resignation if the allegations are proven to be true.
In a Washington Post editorial, Rahm Emanuel states he has the prescription to rebuild America; yet, he has failed to fix the city he was elected to lead.
Why should America trust a Mayor who has no answer for the gang violence that continues to haunt his city streets? There were 4 more deaths and 19 injuries from shootings this holiday weekend.
Who should take advice from a Mayor who gave up on taxpayers when a teacher's union threw a tantrum?
Why is the Mayor who has no answer for his own public sector pension problem, giving advice to the nation on where to spend money?
We look forward to seeing an Emanuel editorial in Chicago newspapers that details his plan on solving Chicago's biggest problems: violent crime, inequality in public education, unsustainable long term public debt, population loss, foreclosures and increasing urban poverty.
It's clear that Rahm's aspirations for higher office are driving his recent national PR tour. Emanuel should focus on Chicago problems and leave national policy to those better positioned to talk about it.
I want to thank you for everything you've done to help elect Republicans this year.
We're come so far as a political organization these past 6 months. Thanks to the passion and efforts of volunteers like you, we've grown our volunteer base to nearly 1000 strong. Because of the time you've generously given, our combined Chicago GOP/Victory HQ made more calls than any other center in the state. With a coalition effort to recruit election judges, we vetted and placed more Republican election judges than any other cycle in decades. And as a result of your financial contributions, we've broken fundraising records.
I have never been more optimistic about the impact that Chicago Republicans can have on Illinois politics. With our state's constitutional officers and a US Senate seat all on the ballot in 2014, the Chicago Republican vote will be a difference-maker, and because of the groundwork we've laid together, we'll be organized, funded, and ready to go.
To our candidates, thank you for putting yourself out there and fighting for our principles. To our Committeemen, thank you for all that you do.
Last night was a tough one. Be proud of what we've accomplished.
The fight for the future of Illinois starts today.
Long lines and frustration at a polling place at the Newberry Elementary School at 700 W Willow were caused by the new teacher's contract, according to officials there.
When poll workers showed up at 5:00 am to open, they were told by Newberry staff that they couldn't use the school gym, where the polling place had been located been located for many years. They were instead cramped into a side room, where tight conditions made it difficult to erect all of the polling booths. Lines stretched out the door and down the block as people struggled to vote. Booths were placed an inch apart. The single polling location was shared by two different precincts.
Linda Foley-Acevedo, the principal, said the gym was unavailable because it is where students have lunch. On election day, students are normally directed to have lunch in their classrooms under teacher supervision, but under the new teacher's contract this was not allowed, because teachers are entitled to a break without supervising children. There was insufficient flexibility in the contract to allow exceptions.
Irritated voters, struggling to vote and get to work on time, didn't think much of the contract.
"This is yet another reason that inflexible public union contracts, with absurd work rules, cause problems for the taxpayer," said Chris Cleveland, spokesman for the Chicago Republican Party. "Can't we use common sense for one day?"