Five Chicago aldermen want to surplus funds from a tax increment financing, or TIF, district located in their wards and use the money to help "alleviate the budget crisis" at the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools.
A group of Chicago aldermen proposed a package of ordinances Wednesday to generate revenue for the city's cash-strapped public schools.
The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district has a $300 million budget gap, and schools are reportedly facing a 7 percent funding cut in the upcoming academic year.
"We've received some money from the state, but it's just not enough," Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) said at a press conference before the council meeting with fellow aldermen, the Chicago Teachers Union and other education advocates.
"We need to find more progressive and more viable solutions to increase revenue so that all of our schools can be adequately financed, so that we can give quality teachers an opportunity to teach in our schools," he continued. "When I had a conversation with a principal yesterday, she was perplexed that she could not hire a 20-plus year veteran school teacher because she could not afford it. That's not right."
The voices of the displaced were heard throughout Logan Square on Saturday as demonstrators shouted and chanted over a bed of drums and shakers, calling on Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) to stop the gentrification of the neighborhood.
Local advocacy groups Somos Logan Square, Centro Autonomo and Grassroots Illinois Action came together for an action titled, "Our Neighborhood is Not for Sale."
The march started outside Moreno's office, located at 2740 W. North Ave., and eventually moved on to the nearby Twin Towers development.
Antonio Gutierrez, development coordinator of Centro Autonomo's housing project, says such actions are necessary because the alderman refuses to establish a dialogue with advocacy groups.
"We have tried to set up meetings, as we saw today [when] we went to his office," said Gutierrez. "They just looked out, locked the door. They didn't invite us in. That's what we're seeing with Joe Moreno, a closed-door policy."
Progress Illinois previews the Democratic primary race between Angelica Alfaro and Omar Aquino, who are competing for the Illinois Senate seat being vacated by retiring state Sen. William Delgado (D-Chicago).