A wave of press conferences before the full Council meeting kept the 2nd floor lobby humming. A half dozen competing press conferences and demonstrations overlapped, and at one point a group opposing the Herbalife multi-level marketing company got into a chanting match with protesters urging improvements to shuttered Dyett High School.
CHA Residents Back “Keeping the Promise” Ordinance
Members of the Chicago Housing Initiative, a Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) accountability group, gathered to back Ald. Joe Moreno’s (1) “Keeping the Promise” ordinance, which co-sponsor Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26) says “urges CHA to properly utilize its federal funding for those in need of housing and phase-in 3,000 additional vouchers/year over 3 years.” The ordinance would strengthen City Council oversight of the CHA by requiring that the department issue quarterly reports to the City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate. Attending aldermen also included Susan Sadlowski-Garza (10), Toni Foulkes (17) Ricardo Munoz (22), Walter Burnett (27), James Cappleman (46) and Ameya Pawar (47). Press materials. Draft ordinance.
Stop and Frisk, Police Brutality Targeted by #ChiStops
Youth organizers with #ChiStops gathered with Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26), Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6), and a tardy Ald. Joe Moreno (1) to call for passage of the STOP Act ordinance. The ordinance aims to end stop and frisk in the city by requiring CPD to collect and share data for all stops it performs, including demographics, badge numbers, location, reason, and result of stop. Cops would also have to give a receipt for every stop, and make data collected publicly available on a quarterly basis. The ordinance has support from more than 30 community groups, including the ACLU of Illinois, Chicago Votes, and Black Youth Project 100. Press materials.
Dyett Defenders Block Elevators, Disrupt Other Press Events
Protesters gathered to support saving Bronzeville’s Walter H. Dyett school and turning it into Dyett Global Leadership and Green Technology High School. Their action caused the biggest stir Wednesday morning as protesters sat down with a sign reading “Save Dyett” and blocked the bay of elevators that open into the 2nd floor lobby, forcing some to climb over, and others to take the elevator up a floor and walk down the stairs just a few minutes before the Council meeting was scheduled to begin. The volume of their chanting overtook several press conferences scheduled in the lobby, some who refused to remove were arrested, and others were still in their spots more than an hour after conferences had wrapped. Press materials.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice Speak Out Against Deportation Threats
Perhaps the most sidelined presser of the day, Asian Americans Advancing Justice held a conference supporting an amendment to Chicago’s Welcoming City ordinance preventing city employees, including police officers, from using coercion and threat of deportation against community members. Andy Kang, Legal Director of Advancing Justice, Chicago, tried his best to speak over Dyett protesters, and tell the story of Jessica Klyzek, an American citizen who was threatened with deportation in a police run-in last year. Ald. Scott Waguespack (32) introduced the amendment at Wednesday’s meeting. Press materials.
Protesters Demand A.G. Madigan Take On Pyramid Scheme
Latino protesters held the last presser of the day, competing with Dyett chants with their own against Herbalife, a global nutrition and weight loss company that relies on multi-level marketing. The group called for Attorney General Lisa Madigan to wrap up an investigation into the company, which they say is a get-rich-quick pyramid scheme that targets Latino consumers. Ald. George Cardenas (12), supports a resolution calling for an end to an investigation. Press materials.