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#Whittier
#‎LaCasita‬!

UPDATED DIARY
La Casita Demolished Saturday Morning By Rahm
In a brazen fascist move reminiscent of the midnight destruction of Meigs Field, Murder Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Schools CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett have dispatched the Chicago Police to protect a demolition crew ordered to tear down La Casita community center on Friday night August 16, 2013. La Casita is on the grounds of Whittier Elementary School, located in the 1900 block of W. 23rd St. in the heart of Chicago's Pilsen community. The community center was the focus a prolonged 43-day sit in by community residents when then CEO of Chicago Public Schools Ron Huberman attempted to demolish the community center.

CROSSPOSTED @
http://www.substancenews.net/...

Emergency community assemblia, 8:30 AM Saturday, ‪#‎Whittier‬ public school fieldhouse to ‪#‎savelacasita‬, 1900 W. 23rd St., Chicago. Be there!
Organizers on-site have asked for a call to action for anyone that can come to the site immediately to document and organize against this destruction of public property.
Organizers calling on supporters to text (not call as VM box is full) Alderman Danny Solis at 312-952-0581 to stop the demolition of La Casita at Whittier Dual Language Academy in Pilsen.
UPDATE: They have loaded the contents of La Casita onto a truck but the protestors have blocked all exits to stop the truck from leaving!
Currently, supporters are trying to prevent all the property that was confiscated from La Casita tonight from being taken away in the trucks that are on the premises. Organizer Gema Gaete gave an update that there will be a meeting between the parents and CPS and city officials tomorrow, but the parents have put CPS on notice that they cannot negotiate in good faith if their property (including hundreds of books that were donated from around the country to set up the community library) is taken away. In Gema's words, "How you gonna negotiate with us and rob us in the middle of the night?" posted by Sarah-Ji Fotógrafa
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LA CASITA DEMO ORDER BY NATALIE SOLIDARITY

"Whittier owned by Lansing Elem District 158" Something's wrong w demolition order Whittier = Pilsen #saveCasita RT pic.twitter.com/bg1oCPIuyx

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20130816_213803

The demolition of the Whittier Elementary School fieldhouse in Pilsen began under cover of night late Friday.

CPS insisted the crews, which they said arrived at 6 p.m., were just removing asbestos Friday — with demolition to follow.

“Among the district’s top priorities is ensuring that our students have access to a safe and nurturing learning environment. The Field House at Whittier Elementary School has been deemed unsafe for occupancy over the last three years due to its advance state of deterioration and threat of the roof caving in,” CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll said in a written statement, as the Whittier community learned the crew was on site.
Here are links to the history of this struggle

Word of the impending demolition spread quickly, and dozens of parents, students and community members began converging on the site. So did a virtual SWAT team of CPS-requsted police officers from several districts.

http://www.suntimes.com/...

brizard letter promissing no demolition june 16 2011.jpg-large
ceo brizard letter promissing no la casita demolition june 16 2011 ‪#‎whittier‬ ‪#‎lacasita‬! @gregrgoodman — by Greg Goodman.
LINKS TO THE LA CASITA STORY

Save Our Center
http://www.saveourcenter.com/

Whittier La Casita Fieldhouse Renovation
http://chicago.architectureforhumanity.org/...

A Sit-In Success Story
http://www.yesmagazine.org/...

Chicago’s Fight Over “La Casita” Reveals Rifts in School Reform
http://colorlines.com/...

Whittier: What Fanned the Flames
http://www.chicagoreader.com/...


 
 
 
 
 



USTREAM LIVESTREAM

Here is the background of this story from June 24, 2011
LA CASITA! La Casita sit-in resumes after Chicago Board of Education moves in against Whittier school
By John Kugler and George N. Schmidt
http://www.substancenews.net/...

The famous occupation of "La Casita," the little house, a building on the campus of Chicago's Whittier Elementary School, resumed by June 23, 2011, after Chicago Board of Education officials sent in construction crews to begin the destruction of the main building's special education classroom so that a library could be built, at a cost of more than $1 million, inside the overcrowded main Whittier building. Whittier parents and their supporters had created a library within the outside building during and following a 43-day sit in last fall. At the time, officials of Chicago Public Schools lied and threatened the community as the "Whittier Moms" occupied the small building 24 hours a day. By the time the occupation was over, donations from around the country had enabled the community to establish a library within La Casita.

But after the occupation was called off and the building was not demolished, several new struggles went on. During the course of the original occupation, the nation was told that Chicago's public schools — 15 years after the beginning of mayoral control and after nearly eight years of leadership under Arne Duncan — had 160 public schools without libraries. Most of those, like Whittier, were in Chicago's hyper-segregated African American ghettos and Latino barrios. The scandal of a hundreds thousand poor children without access to library books was the real result of mayor control and the "accountability" movement. Years of relentless propaganda on behalf of charter schools and corporate "school reform" (usually reported as "news" in Chicago's tightly controlled newspapers and other media) brought Chicago school officials (led by Duncan) into the cabinet of President Barack Obama. The Chicago Plan, contrived by the 21st Century version of the "Chicago Boys," is now national education policy, "Race To The Top."
But at Whittier, a small 19th century school in the midst of Chicago's huge Mexican and Mexican American barrio, the betrayals continued. While the Whittier Moms and their supporters complied with Board of Education suggestions that they plan their library, Chicago public schools officials planned not to refurbish La Casita, as the community demanded, but to increase the tight squeeze inside the main Whittier building by tearing out the space currently used to serve special education students and replacing it with a new "library" inside.

One of the clearest examples of corporate control of Chicago's schools — and don't forget, this is the "model" for the nation — came during the tumultuous months following the end of the 43-day sit in.

Whittier Moms worked with volunteer librarians to set up a working library within La Casita. Volunteer architects drew up comprehensive plans for the multiple uses of La Casita.

And the Chicago Board of Education, under two Board presidents (appointed by two different mayors) and three "Chief Executive Officers" (Chicago hasn't had a school superintendent since mayoral control began in 1995, pioneering the model for the USA long before New York City became its focal point) continued to block the community's wishes and plan to continue the corporate master plans that have governed Chicago school politics for more than 20 years. The Whittier community was not going to take part in decisions about the future of real public schools for the Whittier children.
The Whittier library struggle began in September 2010, when a former cop named Ron Huberman (who had been hyped in the media as a real "numbers guy" even though his training was in English and his abilities with numbers were quite limited) was "CEO" of CPS. Following the announcement by then Mayor Richard M. Daley that he (Daley) would not seek another term as mayor, Huberman abruptly resigned. (He was rewarded with a job at a Private Equity Fund).
The Whittier Moms continued their struggle to locate their library inside La Casita. At every meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, they protested against the Board's extensive and expensive plans to tear out the special education programs and put in a "library" within the overcrowded and aging building.
By December 2010, a new "Chief Executive Officer," a former not-for-profit executive named Terry Mazany, was heading Chicago's public schools, and the last Board of Education President appointed by Richard M. Daley (a former City Hall lawyer named Mary Richardson Lowry) was berating the Whittier Moms and ordering security to pull the Moms away from the microphones at each meeting of the Board of Education. While Mazany repeated a mantra scripted by city officials, Lowry sicced security on those who objected. Month after month that struggle went on.

In February 2011, Chicago elected former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to succeed Daley, following an election featuring the hopelessly divided opposition and the final appearance of the notorious former U.S. Senator Carol Mosely Braun in the race. While Braun was featured as the supposed "consensus candidate" of the supposed leadership of Black Chicago, Emanuel's well funded election machine won the majority of wards and precincts in Chicago's sprawling African American ghettos. No sooner was Emanuel poised to take office than he announced he was appointing a completely new school board and a completely new CEO (and executive staff). The controversial Rochester schools superintendent, Jean-Claude Brizard, was to become CEO of CPS, and all seven members of the school board appointed by Mayor Richard M. Daley were replaced by a new group, appointed by Emanuel.

The stage was set for the current confrontation.

Brizard continued to follow the corporate policies laid down for the future of Whittier, but with a new twist — the Rahm Emanuel media distraction machine.
On June 23, 2011, Rahm Emanuel announced that he was hosting a media event with Brizard at one of the many UNO charter schools on Chicago's southwest side. There, the two would devote a long time to explaining, again, why Chicago schools needed a longer school year and a longer school day. Charter school teachers and parents, carefully selected by Emanuel's media team, sung the praises of UNO and the longer school day at the anti-union charter schools that Emanuel had long praised.
Meanwhile, less than two miles away, heavy equipment and a dozen Chicago police officers (followed by CPS security teams) moved in on Whittier.

History repeats itself!!!!!! Two years later

MORE BACKGROUND ON THIS STORY

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

As we write this, police have assembled at Whittier School in Pilsen, and are trying to allow a construction crew to bring in a dumpster to the school to start construction. Whittier mothers and supporters are trying to block access. They may be arrested and they need help!

A group of the mothers went to try to meet w/ Ald. Solis, to request that he intervene, keep his promise to the community, and call of CPS and the police.

PLZ call CPS CEO Brizard's office (773-553-1500) right now (they are being flooded w/ calls). I just called, they told me that the CPS security chief was on his way to the school to "help the situation," but it was unclear what that meant. Ask Brizard's office to intervene, call off police, and KEEP HUBERMAN'S promise to the community!

If you can, GO TO WHITTIER and support the families! 1900 w. 23rd Street, Chicago.

Whitter families

UPDATE: CHICAGO TEACHERS UNION STANDS IN SOLIDARITY WITH PARENTS

Whittier Elementary families urgently need us at 5:00 a.m. Friday morning, June 24th. They need families and educators to defend their field house at 23rd Street east of Damen.

The Chicago Teachers Union has supported the families at Whittier Elementary ever since they drew citywide attention to the problem of unaccountable CPS facilities decisions last fall. At that time they occupied the school's field house (“la casita”) to prevent its demolition and demand a library in the field house due to lack of space within the main building.

At the time, they won an agreement from the Chicago Public Schools. Yet, just as they're doing with our raises, CPS is now going back on their word and using money for field house renovation to construct a library in the main building. This will cause the displacement of a special education classroom and ignores the months of work families and community allies have spent developing an award-winning, environmentally conscious design for the field house.

On Wednesday, as Whittier parents joined over 1,000 educators at the Board of Education meeting, construction crews arrived to begin demolition in the special education classroom. CPS was trying to establish “facts on the ground” to impose their own facilities plan over those of the parents. Rahm Emanuel has mouthed his support for parental involvement since the campaign trail. Now that his Board of Education is faced with truly involved families they choose to ignore it.

Please come tomorrow, Friday morning at 5:00 a.m.—when the demolition crew is expected—to show educator support for true parent involvement. The school is at 1900 W. 23rd Street, just east of Damen Avenue.

Jesse Sharkey, CTU Vice President

whittier reoccupation062311

Solidarity with Whittier Parents' struggle! facebook

FACEBOOK POSTS ASKING FOR HELP

POLICE ARE SAYING THEY HAVE TO ARREST US CUZ CPS FILED COMPLAINTS. CALL CPS AND TELL THEM TO CALL OFF THE POLICE NOW!!! 773.553.1500. FACING OFF W/ POLICE AS I TYPE!
YOUR CALLS ARE STARTING TO WORK. ONE OF THE UNION MEMBERS OF THE CONSTRUCTION CREW PUT THE FENCE BACK UP BLOCKING THE ENTRANCE THAT THE DUMPSTER TRUCK WAS TRYING TO GET THROUGH. THE WORKERS AND DUMPSTER TRUCK ARE LEAVING!! WE STILL NEED PEOPLE HERE; WE STILL NEED YOU TO KEEP CALLING SOLIS AND CPS TO CALL OFF THE POLICE. CPS SECURITY AND THE POLICE HAVE NOT BUDGED. WE ARE GOING TO MEET AT LA CASITA TO STRATEGIZE FOR TOMORROW'S ACTION SO PLEEEEEEEEEZE PEOPLE COME THRU. THIS IS CRUCIAL.
THE STANDOFF w/ POLICE CONTINUES. MOMS AND ALLIES ARE HOLDING THE LINE BLOCKING THE DUMPSTER FROM ENTERING. CALL SOLIS TO MEET W/ THE PARENTS NOW AND TO CALL OFF THE POLICE. 773.524.4100. HIS SCHEDULING ASSISTANT IS STACY RAKER 630.430.9323. CALL CPS TO CALL OFF THE POLICE NOW. 773.553.1500.
Confronting CEO Brizard Here are some pics of Lisa, Mateo, Martin and I confronting CEO of Chicago Public Schools Brizard who was at an event 5 blocks away from La Casita. As you can see, security was on top of us right away. Mayor Emanuel and CPS CEO Brizard reportedly spoke at a YMCA not far from the Whittier School on Thursday afternoon. A stop at Whittier Elementary was apparently not on their schedule.
UPDATE! WE ARE PICKETING TOMORROW MORNING AT 5AM HERE AT LA CASITA. UNION CONSTRUCTION WORKERS WILL NOT CROSS A PICKET LINE. WE NEED PEOPLE TO SHOW UP AND MARCH WITH US. COME AT 6PM FOR ALLIES STRATEGY MEETING TONIGHT, TAKE A NAP, DO A NIGHT SHIFT AT LA CASITA, THEN MARCH W/ US AT 5AM. WE NEED PEOPLE TO MAKE SIGNS AND BANNERS. UNION ALLIES, WE NEED YOU!!! THANK YOU!
THE ALLIES ARE WORKING HARD IN LA CASITA. IF ANYONE IS ABLE TO BRING/SEND FOOD (GLUTEN FREE VEGAN OPTIONS TOO) IT WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED. WE ALSO NEED POSTERBOARD AND STICKS AND SIGN-MAKING SUPPLIES. AND PEOPLE WHO ARE GOOD AT MAKING SIGNS. THANK YOU FOR ALL THE SUPPORT AND LOVE. IT MEANS SO MUCH TO THE PARENTS AND KIDS AND ALLIES. SEND US GOOD SIGN SLOGANS AND CHANTS!!
Okay everyone! Since Whittier parents decided to hold another sit-in to defend their space we will need for people to donate air mattresses. If you have one or two to spare please bring them through or chip in with a group of folks that you know and contribute that way! Please comment below if you are able to donate an air mattress. Thanks! And, as always, we are looking for volunteers for the night shifts! So, please come through if you can. Thanks, again!
La Casita - Why a school library is important - Whittier Elementary

BACKGROUND OF STORY

Whittier Library: Parents, Police In Standoff Outside Elementary School Fieldhouse
by Will Guzzardi
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 sweeping, system-wide changes, they face a bitter struggle over a very small-bore decision: the construction of a library at a neighborhood elementary school.

Police and parents faced off in a tense showdown at Whittier Elementary School in the primarily Mexican Pilsen neighborhood on Thursday morning, as a district-sent construction truck was eventually turned away to the cheers of the gathered protesters.

The debate over a library at Whittier began anew on Wednesday, as construction crews from CPS arrived at the school while parents and community activists were testifying at a Chicago Board of Education meeting. They prepared to convert a classroom on the school's second floor into a library; parents, meanwhile, are fighting for the field house affectionately known as "La Casita" to be converted into a larger, greener and more functional library space.

In the fall of 2010, mothers of Whittier children occupied La Casita for 43 days, as they learned that CPS was planning to demolish the building and replace it with a soccer field for use by the neighboring Cristo Rey private Jesuit high school.

They negotiated an agreement that the building wouldn't be destroyed, and that it would instead be leased to the parents, an agreement that ended the sit-in and one that new CPS chief Jean-Claude Brizard has supported.

Parents had always planned for that library to be put in La Casita, where they have set up a temporary one which they run and maintain. After collaboration with a non-profit architectural firm working pro bono, they came up with a design for renovating the space. The firm “worked for six months, day in and day out to develop a plan with input from the community, from parents and from students,” said Whittier Parent Committee organizer Evelyn Santos.

Part of the parent-created design for renovating La Casita.

Part of the parent-created design for renovating La Casita.
The plan includes energy efficiencies, vertical gardens, collaborative spaces and ideas for community engagement. And its cost, under $800,000, isn’t far from the money already set aside by the area’s alderman and state senator.

So when CPS, without meeting with parents, decided instead to install the library on the building’s second floor, displacing special-education students from their already overcrowded room, parents were outraged. And tensions escalated.

Thursday morning, a small group of parents and community activists stood in the school’s parking lot, forming a line to prevent a dump truck from approaching the school and getting to work. Shortly thereafter, police were called.

By 1 p.m., six officers stood in the parking lot, with a police van parked at its entrance. Several more officers were parked in a handful of cars lining 23rd street in front of the school.

Protesters said they’d been threatened with arrest, though officers were placid as the first reporters arrived. “There are a lot of shootings going on around here,” activist Gema Gaete called out to the assembled officers. “We’re not the criminals.”

Gaete and others said they’d be re-occupying the field house, in part as a result of a rumored city permit to demolish the building.

A spokesman for Chicago Public Schools responded to questions about this demolition permit with an emphatic email:

THERE IS NO PLAN TO DEMOLISH THE FIELDHOUSE.

The permit you are referencing was for pulled [sic] last year when the plan was replace the fieldhouse and replace it with an athletic field. We will ensure that the permit is cancelled.

AGAIN, WE ARE NOT PLANNING TO DEMOLISH THE FIELDHOUSE. We are prepared to honor the commitments we have made regarding the fieldhouse, all of which you have via our earlier communications.

There is NO PLAN to demolish the fieldhouse.

Parents, though, have apparently lost all faith in the district. Evelin Santos said that they'd seen this happen before, and that they'd continue their occupation despite CPS's denials. "Their actions speak louder than their words," Santos told Huffington Post Chicago.

State Rep Edward Acevedo Supports Whittier Parents                                                                                            

Whittier Elementary Battle Renewed

The deal reached between Chicago Public Schools and parents of Whittier Elementary School students over the proposed razing of the Pilsen school's fieldhouse while Richard Daley was still in office doesn't look as though it's going to be honored by Mayor Emanuel's School Board and new CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. The Whittier parents sent out "an immediate call to action" yesterday.

    While the Whittier Parents wish to work with the new administration to implement their agreement with CPS, the latter has made decisions regarding the future of the library at Whittier without the parents’ input. They have overridden the parents’ unequivocal dissent and decided to construct the library inside the main school building, something the parents have vehemently opposed due to the already overcrowded conditions. Such a plan would require the demolition of special education space, resulting in the displacement of students. This action threatens to throw everything the parents and allies have worked and fought for out the window. The Whittier Parent Committee in conjunction with students, community members and a design advocacy group has created an award winning design proposal to renovate La Casita into an accessible and green building for a library, but no one in the new CPS administration or Board of Ed has given the parents an opportunity to present their proposal. CPS may start implementing their plan to demolish the special education space in the next few days, and we must act quickly to ensure that students are not displaced and that the Whittier Parent Committee has their voices heard.

The parents held two banner making sessions yesterday but the more practical call to action would be to call Brizard's office at 773-553-1500 and urge him to support the plan to turn the fieldhouse into a library.

2010_10_6_AT13

http://chicagoist.com/...

CPS Renews the Battle Over Whittier Elementary's Fieldhouse

"CPS has not been consistent with us, and have most definitely not kept their word," said Carolina Gaete, an supporter and advocate of the Whittier Parent Committee. "With the change in administration, we keep getting shuffled from one person to the next, and no one is listening or allowing us a voice."

The Whittier Parent Committee had a chance to speak this morning at the monthly CPS board meeting, but as they found themselves downtown, they received word that CPS officials and the Chicago Police Department had arrived at the school.

One community member, who wished to remain unnamed, said parents and community members were told to stay off school property by CPS officials. Ed Ryan, a member of CPS Safety and Security, was one of those officials. He refused to comment.

"Clearly, they had no intention to wait," she said. "As we left to testify at today's board meeting, CPS officials were arriving with construction crews to begin preparing for construction. CPS did not uphold their promise, and instead waited until no one would be at the school and showed up to begin the stages of construction."

The Whittier Parent Committee, with the help of elected officials and TIF funds, has raised $564,000 to go to the renovation and construction of the a new library and community center.

"We found our own money," Santos said. "We don't need CPS money. They [CPS] can cry all they want about the $720 million deficit, but it is their own fault and it can be attributed to the way they wastefully spend money."

New Chicago schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard is refusing to allow parents to spend money which they raised to create a library. Instead, Brizard wants to create the library inside of the school. This would displace the special ed students.

The parents are having a prss conference tomorrow and need people to show up if they can

Press conference to demand parents get to use their money the way they see fit

PRESS CONFERENCE: Friday, June 17, 9:30 am, 1900 W. 23rd St

http://www.facebook.com/...

Dear Friends and Allies,

Many of you stood with the Whittier Parents this past fall when we spent 43 days and nights in the fight for the parents' demands to save La Casita and to have it renovated into a school library. Some of you heard about the struggle and joined us more recently. The fight continues to keep CPS accountable to its agreement with the parents, and we need your continued solidarity and support.

We are currently facing a new CPS Chief Executive Officer as well as a new Board of Ed. While the Whittier Parents wish to work with the new administration to implement their agreement with CPS, the latter has made decisions regarding the future of the library at Whittier without the parents' input. They have overridden the parents' unequivocal dissent and decided to construct the library inside the main school building, something the parents have vehemently opposed due to the already overcrowded conditions. Such a plan would require the demolition of special education space, resulting in the displacement of students.

This action threatens to throw everything the parents and allies have worked and fought for out the window. The Whittier Parent Committee in conjunction with students, community members and a design advocacy group has created an award winning design proposal to renovate La Casita into an accessible and green building for a library, but no one in the new CPS administration or Board of Ed has given the parents an opportunity to present their proposal. CPS may start implementing their plan to demolish the special education space in the next few days, and we must act quickly to ensure that students are not displaced and that the Whittier Parent Committee has their voices heard.

Here are two immediate actions you can do to support the Whittier Parents.

1) Call CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard TODAY at 773-553-1500 and tell him to support the Whittier Parent Committee's award-winning plans for a library and to halt CPS's plans to remove the special education space in Whittier School. We need to get as many calls in as possible so CPS knows we are serious and have support.

2) Come out to La Casita (1900 W. 23rd St) today (Thurs 6/16) for a day of sign/banner making. There will be two sessions: 11am-3pm and 6pm-10pm. This will also be a good time to ask questions and to get caught up on what's been going on at La Casita.

If you have any questions, please call Gema Gaete at 773.431.1431.

La Casita - Whittier Elementary Parents Denied Entrance at CPS

Letter to CPS CEO Brizard from the Whittier Parent Committee

LaLuchaSigue-300x199

Jean-Claude Brizard
CPS CEO
125 S. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60603

June 13, 2011

Dear Mr. Brizard:

We are writing to inform you of the current status of the ongoing matter with the Whittier Parent Committee and CPS. As you may have already been informed the Whittier Parent Committee has been advocating for more than 8 years for improvements at John Greenleaf Whittier Elementary School. Although the persisting advocacy of the parents at Whittier elementary has lead to some improvements at the school there are still a handful of issues that have been left on the table that your predecessors did not get a chance to attend to before their departure.

The Whittier Parent Committee was formed because of major concerns by parents of the facilities at Whittier Elementary. The main mission for this committee is to get the best possible quality public education for their children as well as the rest of the children from across the city of Chicago. We stand behind the concept of fairness and transparency when it comes to making decisions for facility improvements and the quality of education for children. Since most of our families at Whittier Elementary are low income we understand the concept of spending smarter so that we can get the best value for our money. Therefore, we ask that you please pay close attention to our following statement.

In the fall of 2010 the CPS administration decided that it would be a good idea to take $364,000 from Tax Increment Funding that the Whittier Parent Committee had manage to secure from their Alderman for facility improvements to the building and use it to demolish a well used community center housed in the Whittier elementary field house. The former CEO of CPS Ron Huberman had made a decision without getting the thoughts of the parents, students and community members from Whittier Elementary. But after much advocacy and a 43 day sit-in Mr. Huberman finally met with members of the Whittier Parent committee. After a series of three meetings between the Whittier Parent Committee, district representatives and Mr. Huberman we came to some commitments which are the following:

1.      The Whittier Field house will not be demolished.

2.      The Whittier Field house will be leased to the Whittier Parent Committee.

3.      The $364,000 will be reallocated for the renovations of the Whittier Field House.

4.      $200,000 from State funding will also be use for renovations of the Whittier Field house.

5.      Whittier Elementary will get a library (the location was not determined).

In addition, the Whittier Parent Committee declared an end to their sit-in because of these agreements. After the declaration by the committee, the former CEO of CPS Mr. Huberman left his position at CPS and had a temporary CEO replace him which was your predecessor Terry Mazany. The Whittier Parent Committee never had an opportunity to meet with Mr. Mazany to finalize arrangements for the commitments made by Mr. Huberman. Therefore, CPS administration made an informal decision without the Whittier Parent Committee and district representatives to house the much needed library at Whittier in the main building.  This decision is something that the Whittier Parent Committee never agreed upon do to the lack of space in the main building at Whittier Elementary.

Moreover the Whittier Parent Committee never had an opportunity to showcase their proposal for the location of the library and renovations to the Whittier field house to the CPS CEO and board members. As you might be aware CPS plans to move forward with their plan to house a library in the main building of Whittier Elementary. But these plans will only cause more problems to the students, parents and community at Whittier Elementary because it is displacing children and wasting money on a plan that is not well thought out for the future and causes more problems rather than solutions.

In contrast the Whittier Parent Committee has been working with a nonprofit design advocacy organization that provided probono architecture services and together we have an extraordinarily eco-friendly design for the renovation of the Whittier Field House. This design has also been awarded for being educational and environmentally friendly. This design was a collaboration of ideas from students, parents and community members from Whittier Elementary. We are prepared to present this design and budget to you Mr. Brizard and the rest of the CPS board members.

Furthermore, we ask that you please give us an opportunity to sit down with you and the new administration at CPS to form a dialog that has disappeared since the departure of former CEO of CPS Ron Huberman in order to better serve our children at Whittier Elementary and to save money. We also ask that you please put a hold on the plans for the construction of the library inside the main building of Whittier Elementary until you have had a chance to hear our proposal.

We look forward to hearing from you and your administration by Wednesday June 15, 2011.

Sincerely,

The Whittier Parent Committee
1900 W. 23rd St.
Chicago, IL 60608
(773)431-1431

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

Whittier parents to hold Friday June 17 press conference to push demand that La Casita house the Whittier library

CPS Renews the Battle Over Whittier Elementary's Fieldhouse

Originally posted to Hyde Park Johnny on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 09:21 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Chicago Kossacks, Your Government at Work, Occupy Wall Street, and In Support of Labor and Unions.

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