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CPS LockersThe standard Republican meme, that everything is better done by the private sector, has been debunked in almost every way imaginable (more on that in a bit), but there’s perhaps no more graphic an example of the private sector being much, much worse than the unionized public sector than the Chicago Public Schools janitorial staff.

One Southwest Side elementary principal — who along with others did not want her name printed for fear of retribution — said in a telephone interview that since Aramark took over the school, it has developed a problem with bugs and rodents that are feasting on garbage and on spilled drops of milk on floors that aren’t being cleaned enough, she said.

She’s yet to visit classrooms this year because she has been dealing with too many cleaning issues. The exterminator she called in told her he’s seeing pest problems in lots of schools because their classrooms aren’t being thoroughly cleaned.

Her school used to be spotless. Now, she said, “it’s a nightmare. What bothers me the most is my children, many of them come from environments that are not in the best shape…This is the only welcoming place they get, and I put a lot of time painting classrooms and making things look very friendly or cozy.”

Source: Chicago Sun Times

Aramark was awarded the three-year, $260 million contract in March of this year. A second contract, with Sodexmagic is worth $80 million. The promise was that the schools would be “significantly cleaner” and would save between $40 and $54 million over three years, which seems to have come from cutting janitorial positions, scrimping on supplies and trimming overtime.

The contracts will provide “measurable benefits that will make our schools significantly cleaner while also saving the district tens of millions of dollars,” CPS spokesman Joel Hood said in a statement. “… Currently, CPS utilizes over 1,000 suppliers for various facility management functions, and this contract will allow us to consolidate, modernize and improve the quality of service across all schools.”

CPS officials have said the contract will save the district between $40 and $54 million over three years through increases in productivity, reduced capital maintenance and energy efficiencies. CPS did not give more specifics on how the savings will be reached.

Already, CPS documents say the district has saved $50 million by cutting janitorial positions, saving money on supplies, making other unspecified “custodial reductions” and trimming overtime.

Source: DNA of Chicago

One of the biggest myths in the Republican/libertarian war against government is that the private sector does things better and cheaper. It’s simply not true. In fact, the city of Chicago should have learned that lesson in 2009 when they signed a 75-year agreement to privatize the city’s parking meters. The meters soon began to malfunction, rates increased, people began to shy away from the city and merchants lost business.

Chicago’s neighbor, Gary, Indiana, experienced its own nightmare with privatization. In 2010, they cancelled a contract with United Water, who was literally poisoning the city with inadequate water filtration.

One Chicago principal is furious about the situation in his school and he is doing something about it. The Washington Post reprinted an email that Troy LaRaviere, principal of Blaine Elementary School and chairman of the activist arm of the Chicago Principals and Administration, sent to fellow school principals:

“They don’t have enough custodians as it is and now this private company wants to lay off nearly 500 more in order to decrease their payroll and increase their profit margins at the expense of our schools and our students.”

Read the rest from the Washington Post

Aramark has responded by saying that they have heard the concerns and that they have not delivered. They plan to hold meetings.

Link to original article at Proud to Be Filthy Liberal Scum

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This Is What Happens When Chicago Privatizes School Janitorial Services

This Is What Happens When Chicago Privatizes School Janitorial Services

The standard Republican meme, that everything is better done by the private sector, has been debunked in almost every way imaginable (more on that in a bit), but there’s perhaps no more graphic an example of the private sector being much, much worse than the unionized public sector than the Chicago Public Schools janitorial staff. One Southwest Side elementary principal — who along with others did not want her name printed for fear of retribution — said in a telephone interview that since Aramark took over the school, it has developed...

Justin Rosario | Proud to Be Filthy Liberal Scum 17 Sep 2014 Hits:560 Illinois

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Rauner Says Don’t Invest in Mom-and-Pop Businesses

Rauner Says Don’t Invest in Mom-and-Pop Businesses

“Family run businesses are a great investment.  They are part-and-parcel of a community. Corporate raiders like Bruce Rauner will never understand that,” said Dr. Dupuis, co-owner of Wheatland Animal Hospital. Dupuis employs more than two dozen residents of DuPage and Will counties. The billionaire GOP candidate who pledged to run Illinois ‘like a business,’ will put the interests of his Wall Street pals ahead of Illinois’ main street small businesses  Chicago, IL – Last week, billionaire gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner advised a group of business students at Northern Illinois University to avoid...

Staff | Illinois Freedom 14 Sep 2014 Hits:280 Illinois

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'Whose Schools? Our Schools': Chicago Students Rise Up

'Whose Schools? Our Schools': Chicago Students Rise Up

Over one hundred Chicago public school students, parents, and community members marched to the city's Board of Education on Monday to demand an end to the school closures, mass lay-offs, and undemocratic political deal-making they say are devastating one of the largest public education districts in the country. Organized by the Chicago Students Union, which spans 25 of the city's schools and boasts over 200 student participants since it launched last year, the crowd held a mid-day press conference then marched to the headquarters of the Chicago Board of Education. At...

Sarah Lazare | Common Dreams 28 Aug 2014 Hits:311 Illinois

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Petcoke firm threatens lawsuit over city rules

Petcoke firm threatens lawsuit over city rules

Escalating a fight with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a company that stores enormous mounds of petroleum coke on Chicago's Southeast Side is threatening to sue unless city officials allow the gritty piles to remain uncovered for another four years. KCBX Terminals, a firm controlled by industrialists Charles and David Koch, is pushing to delay the construction of storage sheds for two years past a 2016 deadline imposed by the Emanuel administration in response to complaints about black dust blowing into surrounding neighborhoods. The company also wants to raise the maximum height of its...

Michael Hawthorne | Chicago Tribune 03 Aug 2014 Hits:412 Illinois

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The New Machine: Charter Schools

The New Machine: Charter Schools

Charter school operators aren’t the only one’s not being held accountable—a major complaint of the Chicago Teachers Union—it’s the machine politicians angling for electoral support and continued political power.  The War on Independents Wages On Battle lines were once again drawn between Chicago’s machine democrats and independent democrats when Ald. Toni Foulkes was remapped out of her Southside 15th Ward that changed from a majority of African Americans to 68.3 percent Hispanic. There may be numerous candidates campaigning for the open 15th Ward aldermanic seat but there is certain to be one...

RA Monaco | Sheffield Gazette 29 Jun 2014 Hits:381 Illinois

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Senate Democrats look to revive dormant Equal Rights Amendment

Senate Democrats look to revive dormant Equal Rights Amendment

Senate Democrats plan to make an end-of-session push this week to “rectify an historical wrong” -- and perhaps give women a strong reason to go to the polls this fall -- by putting Illinois on record in support of an Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The bid to revive the Equal Rights Amendment, which was the subject of an epic Statehouse battle in the early 1980s that helped kill the feminist push to amend the U.S. Constitution, comes from state Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago and could be a vehicle for...

Dave McKinney | Chicago Sun-Times 19 May 2014 Hits:535 Illinois

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Illinois legislator wants state to revisit Equal Rights Amendment

Illinois legislator wants state to revisit Equal Rights Amendment

More than 40 years after the Equal Rights Amendment was first passed by the U.S. Congress, an Illinois state senator is taking another crack at getting her colleagues in Springfield to adopt the provision that would enshrine in the U.S. Constitution the idea that rights can't be abridged on account of sex. Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, said the proposed amendment is still relevant today given the ongoing debates about equal pay, abortion rights and other issues on which women are fighting for equality. And she said it's symbolically important to "get Illinois...

John Byrne | Chicago Tribune 19 May 2014 Hits:448 Illinois

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Illinois becomes 16th state to legalize marriage equality

Illinois becomes 16th state to legalize marriage equality

It’s official: Illinois on Wednesday joined 15 other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing same-sex marriage. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, accompanied by state Rep. Greg Harris, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and several other dignitaries, signed into law a measure allowing gay couples to begin marrying on June 1. “It’s a triumph of democracy, a triumph of government by the people,” said the governor, shortly before signing. “We want to have a new birth of freedom across America, and love is not relegated to second-class citizen status.” The historic nature of...

Emma Margolin | MSNBC.com 21 Nov 2013 Hits:487 Illinois

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Progressive Democrats of America and AFSCME Retirees Hosted …

Progressive Democrats of America and AFSCME Retirees Hosted                                                        Rally to Stop Cuts   to Social Security

On Monday, November 18 at noon almost 100 voters rallied in Springfield to ask Senator Richard Durbin to keep cuts to Social Security off the table. Senator Durbin has proposed possible changes such as lifting the Social Security eligibility age and implementing “Chained CPI” for individuals that earn more than $24,000. After an informational picket along Edwards Street the group followed lead organizer JoAnn Conrad retired AFSCME, IEA-NEA, chair of the Progressive Democrats of Greater Springfield, led the rally across Edwards to the senator’s office. The message was “Scrap the...

JoAnn Conrad 18 Nov 2013 Hits:555 Illinois

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Food stamp cuts to hit 2 million Illinois residents today

Those who rely on food stamps will have to make do with a little less beginning today as a boost in funding from the federal stimulus package is set to expire. The change will affect more than 2 million low-income residents in Illinois who are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, according to the Illinois Department of Human Services. Nationally, about 47 million people are expected to feel the pinch. The move marks the end of an extra $45.2 billion the federal government funneled into the food stamp program beginning in...

Monique Garcia | The Chicago Tribune 03 Nov 2013 Hits:447 Illinois

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Illinois' Teachable Moment: The True Cost of Coal, Slavery and Historical Markers

Illinois' Teachable Moment: The True Cost of Coal, Slavery and Historical Markers

As another coal train derailed in southern Illinois last weekend, the Illinois State Historical Society teamed up with the Illinois Coal Association on Saturday for their own collision with history during the installation of a historical marker for the state's "First Coal Mine." The real train wreck: Among numerous errors, the Illinois State Historical Society marker fails to mention that other coal mines abounded in southern Illinois, thanks to enslaved African American labor -- including the so-called "first coal mine" -- while the Illinois Coal Association took the occasion...

Jeff Biggers | The Huffington Post 28 Oct 2013 Hits:504 Illinois

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How to irritate Mayor Emanuel and do some legislating in one easy step

How to irritate Mayor Emanuel and do some legislating in one easy step

The pinnacle of last week's Take Back Chicago rally at UIC came near the end, when the 11 aldermen onstage were asked point-blank whether they support pending proposals to slow privatization and tax increment financing deals. Yes or no? As more than 2,000 of the city's most dedicated activists looked on, the aldermen all said yes—even though a couple of them are among the most consistent council supporters of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. They then sat there smirking, as if to say, you can't trap me, because I'm too slick. Things got so absurd...

Ben Joravsky | Chicago Reader 23 Oct 2013 Hits:479 Illinois

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Pro-Coal Kids' Pages Pulled from Government Site as Public Pressure Increases

Pro-Coal Kids' Pages Pulled from Government Site as Public Pressure Increases

Two sections that essentially told kids that coal was safe and good for the environment disappeared today from the website of a state agency in Illinois.  The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has removed coal-related educational sections from its website, less than two weeks after the launch of a grassroots campaign demanding that the pages be taken down. The website sections were supposed to educate children about energy, but had been widely denounced because they focused on misleading pro-coal messages. It wasn't just environmentalists who objected to the way Illinois was...

Jeff Biggers | Yes Magazine 14 Oct 2013 Hits:586 Illinois

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What Would Aldo Leopold Do? Key Illinois Groups Send Fracking Rule Standards to State Offi…

What Would Aldo Leopold Do? Key Illinois Groups Send Fracking Rule Standards to State Officials

As absentee oil and gas companies register with the state of Illinois this month, downstate citizens groups are taking the lead among statewide environmental groups and laying out scientific and legal standards for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to consider prior to drafting the controversial horizontal hydraulic fracking rules. In a letter sent this week to the key legislative committee and state IDNR agency officials, the groups representing rural communities targeted for fracking operations cite "several new scientific studies and academic research papers that...

Jeff Biggers | Huffington Post 08 Oct 2013 Hits:739 Illinois

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In the Spotlight: A few health care questions for Congressman Schock

In the Spotlight: A few health care questions for Congressman Schock

Dear Rep. Schock, I am a constituent, writing in my role as coordinator of the Greater Peoria Chapter of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA). I and other PDA members were at your town hall meeting in Heyworth, where some of your constituents encouraged you to vote to shut down the government unless the Affordable Care Act is defunded. In reply, you made the sensible point that ACA can't be defunded through the budget process, and that shutting down the government would bring extremely negative political consequences for Republicans. You also stated that...

Larry Jones | Journal Star 29 Sep 2013 Hits:674 Illinois

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Each team hosts a monthly conference call. Calls feature legislators, staffers and other policy experts. On these calls we determine PDA legislation to support as well as actions and future events.

IL Legislators with ALEC Ties

House of Representatives

Senate

Former Legislators

  • Rep. James H Meyer [21]
  • Rep. Ed Petka [21]
  • Sen. Dave Barkhausen [21]
  • Sen. Karen Hasara [21]
  • Rep. Steven J. Rauschenberger [21]

Legislators Who Have Cut Ties To ALEC

  • Rep. Mary E. Flowers (D-31) - Flowers' staffer reported in May 2012 that Flowers is no longer a member of ALEC.[2]
  • Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-118) - Phelps announced in May 2012 that he is no longer a member of ALEC.[3]

 

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