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Empty Rhetoric or Will President Obama Propose Legislation to Strengthen Social Security?

by , posted on Wednesday, June 8th, 2016 at 11:54 am

Mr. President where is your legislative proposal to increase and strengthen Social Security?

As the National Democratic Party Attempts to steer their corporate candidate into the white house, they are now openly wooing progressive voters with empty rhetoric.  The first salvo of false promises comes from the sitting president.  Sandwiched between 2008 and 2016 rhetoric promising to increase Social Security, the president actually proposed cutting Social Security as part of a “grand bargain.”

Please sign my petition that calls on President Obama to introduce legislation that would back up his campaign rhetoric.  Watch this video of Bernie Sanders defending Social Security after proposing legislation that accomplish President Obama’s rhetorical goals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxPesrGOEcc 

 

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School Board President Annette Johnson verbally abuses District 131 Staff

by , posted on Monday, April 18th, 2016 at 5:48 am

This is an audio file of District 131 President Annette Johnson verbally assaulting and threatening district employees.  When I was elected, I had heard rumors of this kind of behavior, which Annette’s supporters call, “passionate.”  But, this smoking gun proof is downright scary.

There should be no room for bullying – students bullying each other, teachers bullying students, administrators bullying staff and, the board bullying either staff or administration.

Please sign my petition calling for Annette Johnson to resign.

Sadly, District 131 has had enough bad ink spilled over Ms. Johnson’s antics.  And, my preference was to resolve this issue quietly.  I asked Ms. Johnson to resign.  She said that she would not. So, our only hope now is that we put enough community pressure on her to vacate her position on the board.

Annette is a lawsuit waiting to happen.  Worse yet, if District 131 board members are serious about finding a new administrator that can move the district forward, they need to recognize that it will not happen as long as this reckless behavior is driving the district’s decision-making.  For the good of the district, I will happily remove this post when she resigns.

People gave me a hard time when I called on Denny Hastert to resign in 2006 after he covered up sexually inappropriate behavior between Representative Mark Foley and a young male page.  I know that where there is smoke, there is typically fire.  It turns out that I was right about Denny Hastert.

And, I am confident that the tape recording of Ms. Johnson is not an isolated incident.  If you have witnessed this kind of behavior with Ms. Johnson, feel free to leave an anonymous post.  If you have the courage to share it with the rest of the board, better yet.  I recognize that Johnson uses terror-tactics to drive fear into those she seeks to control.  Indeed, she verbally assaulted me one night after I voted against her wishes over the expulsion of a kid.

Or, feel free to contact me or any other board member if you have experienced this kind of behavior – 630.878.7454.

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Oswego RTW: Rauner’s right-to-poverty zone

by , posted on Monday, March 30th, 2015 at 1:55 pm

The Illinois AFL-CIO received notice that the Oswego Village Board will consider a Bruce Rauner initiated resolution supporting the creation of a Right to Work Zone in Oswego. Besides being illegal under the National Labor Relations Act, right to work zones create a “race to the bottom” pitting community against community and further erode the gains made by the Illinois middle class.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has issued an opinion explaining that Illinois law does not authorize or recognize right to work zones created by any unit of local government in Illinois.

Please contact the members of the Oswego Village Board today (phone and email below) and let them know that Right to Work in any form is wrong for Illinois.

Call To Action! Please pass along this message to people who can attend this Tuesday night’s Oswego Village Board Meeting.
The Oswego Village Board, under the President’s Report, will be presenting a resolution in support of the Rauner “turnaround plan”, known also as “enterprise zones” or “right-to-work zones”, for review and discussion this Tuesday, March 31st , @ 7 pm immediately following the Committee of the Whole, which starts at 6 pm. Oswego Village Hall, 100 Parkers Mill, Oswego, IL.

PUBLIC FORUM IS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MEETING. YOU MUST SIGN IN TO SPEAK.

http://www.oswegoil.org/PDF/2015.03.31regvb.pdf .

If you cannot attend, call Steve Jones @ 630-551-2360 and ask him to remove this resolution from Tuesday’s agenda.

Oswego Village President:
Brian LeClercq
bleclercq@oswegoil.org
630-554-1555

Oswego Village Board of Trustees:

Tony Giles
tgiles@oswegoil.org

Terry Michels
tmichels@oswegoil.org

Gail Johnson
gjohnson@oswegoil.org

Pam Parr
pparr@oswegoil.org

Judy Sollinger
jsollinger@oswegoil.org

Scott Volpe
svolpe@oswegoil.org

To leave a voicemail for any of the Village Board of Trustees, please call the Village’s main number at 630-554-3618.

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Two January Events Focus on Charter Proliferation/Privatization

by , posted on Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 at 3:16 pm

dont-privatize In Chicago Rahm Emanuel has closed 50 “underutilized” public schools and is rapidly replacing them with charter schools.  The unelected board of education (CPS) will consider 21 total charter applications on January 22nd.

Additionally, a stacked, special “charter school funding task force” put together by Springfield lawmakers and led by State Rep., Dan Burke, will come out with their “findings” prior to the general assembly returning to session (Jan 28th).  We expect that Dan Burke will be recommending more money for charter schools – big surprise (possibly at a Jan 13th task force meeting).  And, what a waste considering that the “too broke to pay the bills and pensioners” general assembly gave UNO (in Dan Burke’s district) $98 million dollars that was wasted on scandal-riddled construction projects.

The hedge fund managers and their politicians (Rahm, Rauner, Madigan, etc.) are not going to stop their privatization assault on public schools so we need to push back. You can help by attending and bringing a friend to either the Jan 14th event in Chicago, or the second event in the suburbs scheduled on Jan 23rd.

Event details and flyers are below the fold. (more…)

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Thanksgiving Walmart Solidarity Action at Aurora Walmart – Pay a Living Wage

by , posted on Friday, November 29th, 2013 at 8:20 am

Low Wages = food stamps About 35-40 activists braved the cold on Thanksgiving evening at the Walmart on the corner of Butterfield Rd. and Kirk Rd. in Aurora, IL.   Thanks to the Northern Illinois Light Brigade (NILB), we had beautiful, lighted signs that shoppers and ongoing traffic could see.  The signs read, “Living Wage Now!” and “Fight for $15”  You can check out some of the photos that will eventually be loaded to the NILB Facebook page.

The action was peaceful and our really cool lighted signs earned a number of honks from holiday travelers.  There was a bit of controversy when we approached the Walmart store.  A number of security guards attempted to stop us from taking up a spot in front of the store and told us that “we had to leave now or they would call the police.”  We stayed for 3-5 minutes and chanted, “Low Pay is not OK” and “hey-hey, ho-ho, the poverty wages have to go!” living-wage-5

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Chris Lauzen at Odds with the Pope Francis on Economic Issues

by , posted on Thursday, November 28th, 2013 at 7:16 pm

It is Thanksgiving and I can’t get over the conversation I had with Chris Lauzen last week over the topic of a living wage ordinance. Even though I was born and raised on the mission field in West Africa, I don’t think that a politician’s faith should matter, unless that politician makes it part of his or her campaign. Chris Lauzen has put his faith front and center in most of his political endeavors – his political views as one who professes very publicly to be Roman Catholic are fair game. And, if you read the press release linked above you will notice that Lauzen doesn’t mind criticizing the Pope when the Pope admonishes Republicans. Maybe Chris is more in tune with God than the Pope is? living-wage-now

This morning I read a recent speech by Pope Francis who condemned the idolatry of cash in capitalism and called for a society with people, not money, at its heart. “It is the consequence of a global choice, an economic system which leads to this tragedy; an economic system which has at its center an idol called money.”

It made me think that the phone conversation Chris and I had should be made public and I should let readers decide if they think Lauzen is a man of faith or another hypocrite.

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Quinn Picks Republican Running Mate

by , posted on Saturday, November 9th, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Who will you vote for on Nov. 5, 2014 if you are given the choice between voting for a Republican (pick one) and a Republican (Paul Vallas)?  Yep, Pat Quinn picked a Republican as his running mate, further alienating working people, minorities and women from the Democratic Party.

quinn_vallas

Four years ago, Vallas told host Jeff Berkowitz on the Public Affairs cable TV show that he’s now a Republican.

VALLAS: “I would take a Republican primary ballot.”
BERKOWITZ: “Do you think of yourself as a Republican?”
VALLAS: “I’m more of a Republican than a Democrat.”
BERKOWITZ: “If you run again for office you’d be running as a Republican?”
VALLAS: “I would, yes, yes.”

It gets better

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When did it become acceptable to take money from old people?

by , posted on Monday, April 8th, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Pat Herrmann I first heard Pat Herrmann, a retired art teacher from Wheaton, Illinois, ask the question, “when did it become acceptable to take money from old people?” during a public pension discussion hosted by the DuPage Coffeehouse.  Herrmann is a deep-thinking activist.  The multiple messages on her signs reflect her ability to conduct careful research and see the bigger picture.  Her question about taking money from old people reflects her ability to see the human impact; something lawmakers don’t see.

As the Illinois General Assembly debates how much money they will strip from Illinois teachers’ pensions and President Obama puts deep cuts to Social Security on the table, I was reminded of Hermman’s important question.  If you have not signed the petition to tell President Obama to take Social Security cuts off of the table, now would be a good time to do it by following this link.

Of course those reaching into the pockets of old people don’t want to talk about how this will impact living, breathing human beings.  They want to talk about numbers, budgets and other inhuman things.  Consider Tom Cross’s recent letter to the Chicago Tribune that makes this all sound like a tragic math problem.  Cross, after 20 years in Springfield, takes no responsibility for the state’s past 40+ years of delinquency.  I am not giving Democrats a free pass on this either.  The primary drivers of pension reform in Springfield are Mike Madigan, Pat Quinn, Elaine Nekritz and Dan Biss (all Democrats).  All of them, Democrats and Republicans, are singing from the same sheet of music.  Watch the video of Bernie Sanders below the fold.

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When will the 18 school districts vote for or against K12 Inc.?

by , posted on Sunday, April 7th, 2013 at 8:03 am

Pam Verner took the time to contact all 18 school districts and ask when the school board planned on voting for or against the K12 Inc. application for a charter school.  Thanks to Heather Steans, Stand for Children, and wealthy charter school backers, the law (SB79) requires school districts to vote 30 days after the public hearing. stop-k12-450

While the public comments section is officially closed, we are still encouraging people to attend these hearings, add your comments of opposition at the beginning of the meeting and have your voice heard.  Here are the dates that school districts said they anticipated a vote:

April 8, Monday

Naperville District 204 @ 7:00 p.m.
Crouse Education Center
780 Shoreline Drive
Aurora, IL 60504
630-375-3000

West Aurora District 129  @ 6:00 P.M.
West Aurora High School
1201 West New York Street
Aurora, IL 60506
– Meeting will be held in the Library.
Closed session first, then “may” vote on K12.

Geneva District 304 @ 7:00 P.M.
Williamsburg Elementary School
1812 Williamsburg Avenue
Geneva, IL 60134
630-463-3010

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K12 Inc., “The Dog Ate My Data” in Valley View Too

by , posted on Monday, April 1st, 2013 at 10:55 am

After making 16 similar presentations at public hearings over the course of 10 days in the Fox Valley, and receiving hundreds of tough questions, K12 Inc. finally showed up with a panel of executives.  I counted seven K12 Inc. executives, one attorney, and three board members from Virtual Learning Solutions.  They were all nicely dressed in business attire, their PowerPoint had new graphics, and their data was still non existent. K12 Inc. had 10 days to do their homework and once again failed to produce any substance.

Photo from D356U K12 Inc. Public Hearing - March 27, 2013

For almost three hours the D365U School Board kept pushing for data, substance and explanations about K12’s questionable history of grade doctoring, cover-ups, lawsuits, scandals and investor settlements.  The board was phenomenal, and Dr. Vince Gaddis (NIJwJ Steering Committee member) drove it home in a “worth the watch 12 speech” below the fold.

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