Friday, June 26, 2020

Chicago Board of Ed. continues CPD contract

Ald. Roderick Sawyer (Ward 6) discussed this issue last week and I would say he made some good points as far as why police are in CPS schools and what CPS could replace police with in their schools. It's interesting that even the 2nd City Cop blog seemed to support removing police from CPS schools at one point.

Then Wednesday's Board of Education votes and the contract continues [VIDEO]
And 2nd City Cop discusses this some more
The obvious answer is that the four votes don't want to face the political fallout when schools become uninhabitable for the good kids along with the three or four hundred teachers who would resign instantly should their last modicum of safety was removed. That makes them reasonably intelligent....for public school employees that is.
Also from the above video, Miguel del Valle noted that LSCs can make the decision as far as whether they want police officers or school resource officers in their individual schools. I suppose if each school can make that choice then so be it as opposed to making this a system wide mandate. It was noted in this article that Minneapolis' schools made their decision to end their contraction with Minneapolis police. They also voted to abolish their police department.

I wanted to show you this video of the protest on Wednesday in downtown Chicago. I drove right through it at least before Dearborn Street got shut down. Even saw a car with "Defund the police" in big letters and a huge figure of a pig on top of it - fill in the blank on that one though no need in this case I know their point. In this 1 min 30 sec video I don't see that car but we do see the protest. [VIDEO]

Friday, June 19, 2020

Tribune: CTA and Pace buses will begin collecting fares again, as riders slowly return to public transit

If you've gotten used to boarding the rear of a CTA bus during the course of this coronavirus pandemic, that time is ending. If you enjoyed avoiding paying your fare, especially for those of you who prefer to pay with cash as opposed to using a ventra card those days are about to end.
In another sign that things are getting closer to normal in the Chicago area, the CTA and Pace will start collecting bus fares again, and the CTA will end rear-door boarding.

The CTA will require customers to enter buses via the front door and pay fares starting Sunday, while the Pace suburban bus service resumes fare collections Monday.

Both agencies had waived fare collection as a way to protect operators and passengers from the coronavirus. But since the agency started rear-door boarding in April, the state and the agency have adopted other ways of keeping people safe, including providing masks for all drivers, requiring that passengers be masked, and implementing new cleaning technology, said CTA spokesman Brian Steele.

The agency limits the number of passengers on buses to no more than 15 people on a 40-foot bus and no more than 22 on a 60-foot bus. The CTA also has a ridership information dashboard on its website that shows when buses are the most crowded to help people choose a better time to travel.

Keith Hill, president of the bus drivers’ union, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 241, said his group agreed with the resumption of front-door boarding. Hill noted the CTA had agreed to increase the “standee line,” or how far passengers have to stand back from drivers, to more than six feet.
In addition to outdoor dining, opening the lakefront, even allowing businesses that provide such services as barbers, pedicures, tatoos, etc to reopen it's a start!

Mr. Beat presents Illinois & Indiana compared

[VIDEO] As I type this the above compared video of both Illinois and Indiana is set for premiere by the edutuber Mr. Beat. This should be fascinating and I'd say in some respects Illinois and Indiana are two roughly evenly matched states even if one state is more important than the other.

Do you think Mr. Beat is correct in his comparisons.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

CapFax: CTU slammed for “clearly racist” tweet

I found out about this tweet from the Chicago Teacher's Union at Capitol Fax today. He's noted what if Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police had tweeted this out. And I'm guessing the police would be universally condemned for this.
EDIT 7:53 PM: That tweet has since been taken down so therefore I was prepared with this below screencap. 



Rich Miller further notes: "According to Chalkbeat, more than half of Chicago public school teachers are white. The CTU’s president is a wealthy white man."

Bad optics on all fronts. I get that the CTU and Mayor Lightfoot had been at odds since the strike late last year. However, this seems very incendiary. Further more I'm glad the mayor had a response to this noting what the response would've been if a right wing group had put this out. The condemnation should be no less if it was police, right-wingers, or even the teachers.
She's been taking a beating for her response to the unrest, however, she's not wrong in her comments.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Does CPS need police officers at their schools?

[VIDEO] Alderman Roderick Sawyer (Ward 6) speaks with WGN on a proposal to remove Chicago Police from CPS schools.

A couple of things that resonate with me from this discussion. First, should students be concerned that some minor mischievous actions could quickly turn into a police situation. Ald. Sawyer noted that a student spent a night in jail for mouthing off to a police officer. One shouldn't get smart with police anyway, however, was it worth a night in jail?

Second, while police were stationed at schools initially to keep out bad influences could the schools find other resources to help students. Let's say CPD or CPS ended the contract for police at the schools, perhaps they could find a way to bring in resource officers. We've heard a lot about bringing in nurses, psychologists, social workers, etc into our schools. So let's say we do take police out of our schools, we can replace them with resources for our students.

What do you think?

Friday, June 12, 2020

"Say His Name" Protest, June 7, 2020 #GeorgeFloyd

[VIDEO] A protest in Lake County regarding the case of the late George Floyd. I'll allow artistmac to describe (SIC) what we're watching here.
On June 7, 2020, in light of the recent killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman, citzens of north suburban Lake County, IL participated in a peaceful protest, "Say His Name", along Route 83 from Antioch on the north to Rollins Road on the south.

Patrick Krook, one of the organizers, explains the inspiration for this protest.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

CBS Chicago: Some Aldermen Call For Defunding Police

[VIDEO] In light of the recent unrest and the spark that caused it the death of George Floyd in police custody many cities around the nation are looking into possible solutions. Minneapolis, Minnesota is looking into abolishing the Minneapolis Police Department. Cities such as New York, New York and Los Angeles, California have already started to "defund" their police into other initiatives with their cities.

To abolish a police department I think of as a knee jerk reaction to systemic issues within policing. I know there are people out there who doesn't like police and that's fine. At the same time we need the police and when there is a real crime wave or more civil unrest we might want to know who'll be there for the public.

In this story from CBS 2, we see some possible things worth discussing. Issues with homeless people and issues of mental health. It causes me to wonder in what ways can we remove the police's role in handling those issues. Hopefully we can find out city alderman plans to do with whatever funds - $1.78 billion for Chicago Police - they plan to divert.


Monday, June 1, 2020

State of the world

CTA bus hit with graffiti
On Saturday, it was hard to get home. I was about to take a bus downtown from my job to get the red line and the bus just stopped with our driver getting off the bus to take a call. He never said anything to us until another bus passed us up and other riders tried to catch that one. Our driver finally noted that a demonstration was taking place in the Loop and that bus service was disrupted.

I just walked and I was loathe to back towards downtown hoping to catch a train home. Found out there was no train service into the Loop. I had to walk into the outskirts of downtown and call for a ride home. It was an interesting adventure to get away from the action and my feet hurt when I sat down.

At an L station I got tired of waiting as riders got frustrated waiting another rider was frustrated with someone who was with her. I got tired of that and decided to see if there were any alternatives a customer assistant at the station said there was rioting downtown. Even noted that people were being pushed onto the tracks disrupting L service.

There was a lot of noise from protestors mouths and drivers heavy on their car horns. I saw a lot of boarded up businesses and unfortunately graffiti also on the streets, on buildings and on CTA buses.

As I walked toward downtown I witnessed a couple of young women who were walking away from the demonstrations try to throw water on a line of police cars heading towards the commotion. It lets me know how fired up seemingly the world is right now.

Without a doubt I think that police officer in Minneapolis is guilty of what he did to George Floyd when they arrested him. That former police officer lost his job and he's in jail as I type this post. It seems it has caused a serious debate of police interactions with citizens more broadly. And definitely police interactions with Black citizens more specifically. It's a necessary discussion.

Unfortunately with what happened this weekend in Chicago I connect this with the stay at home order and the ongoing pandemic. People were already restless, especially once the weather warmed up and all it took was that incident in Minneapolis. I opined looking at the graffitti downtown that perhaps we've been locked down for too long.

What I've been seeing unfolding over this weekend let's me know it's gone beyond the death of George Floyd. It's less about justice and now we've arrived at the destruction phase. It's not enough that downtown became a warzone, the neighborhoods have been looted. Parts of Chicago that could ill afford this activity to their business areas are experiencing it and unfortunately there's a possibility these businesses might get shut down in the future.

It absolutely disgusts me what's been happening around the city and the nation this past weekend.

When Barack Obama got elected president I pledged as an older student at Morehouse College that I wanted to be more involved. Then life took over, it was time to go to work. With this chaos in the world right now it's time to go to work making the world a much better place.

I just don't know where to get started, but now is the time to do so. Hopefully some of you are out there looking to do the same.