Saturday, November 2, 2013

Outrage, Outreach in Logan Square

This morning, Logan Square Neighborhood Association and Grassroots Collaborative assembled a room full of activists-- most of them students-- to move forward in the face of the recent mysterious upheaval at Ames, which is either being turned into a military-themed school or not. It’s hard to tell but if WBEZ hadn’t been asking questions, it seems likely that the mayor and Alderman Maldanado would have pulled off the change.

I tagged along with Wendy Katten from Raise Your Hand to support the effort; it was an interesting morning. The group sent thirty teams of door-knockers out into the 26th Ward to raise awareness about the situation at Ames, sign petitions related to the TIF Surplus Ordinance, and register voters. The people were generally supportive.

It seems likely that the group will also pursue an advisory ballot referendum on Ames, which you would think the alderman would support, but I’m not holding my breath.

The students were amazing and avid-- they were certainly ready to go door to door for the cause. I heard the young man in the video above explaining the downside of replacing Ames with a selective enrollment school; he was articulate and passionate. I know there are a lot of apathetic people out there, but the kids in this room gave me a lot of hope.

I understand the Ames LCS is meeting this week and that they’ve invited the alderman.

I doubt we'll ever really know what transpired over the past few days, given that CPS tells a highly Becky Carrollized version of things. It wouldn't surprise me if they end up shutting Ames down as a community school; we live in a city where the mayor's friends pay fake protestors, and buildings get bulldozed under cover of darkness.

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