CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)–April 17, 2017. Parent and community leaders will join with Alderman Cardenas (12) on Tuesday, April 18th to demand that Alderman Ed Burke (14) and Mayor Emanuel support the TIF Surplus Ordinance to keep Chicago Public Schools open. TIF funds can provide CPS schools with an estimated annual revenue potential of $100 million and an added transparency to the process. Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35) will also talk about the Corporate Head Tax, which he will introduce the following day, with an estimated annual revenue potential of $94 million. Following the press conference, community leaders will attend the Finance Committee to urge Aldermen to move TIF money to the schools.
These funds are necessary now because CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has declared to parents in a February letter that CPS will close their schools on June 1st unless additional funding comes from Springfield. CPS parents recognize that they do not get enough support from Springfield. But if there is no budget resolution, the answer cannot be to close schools early. City Council must find local revenue.
“CPS parents know that closing the schools on June 1st will result in more violence and less support for their children’s education. This is unacceptable in the face of hundreds of millions of dollars in TIF funds going to millionaires downtown,” explains Marcos Ceniceros, organizer from the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council.
The Mayor has said that Chicago taxpayers are already paying twice. But his CEO friends are not going to use the funds available to stops CPS from closing three weeks early. For example, Larry Levy, CEO of Diversified Real Estate Capital, is a multimillionaire who gave thousands of dollars to Mayor Emanuel’s campaign. Levy also received $30 million in TIF funds for River Point Plaza. Chicago residents know that their taxes are better spent on their kids’ schools than in Larry Levy’s pocket.
Brighton Park Neighborhood Council (BPNC) is a community-based, grassroots organization located on Chicago’s Southwest side. We work to empower our community and build its capacity by providing school and community-based services and programs. BPNC also engages leaders in social justice organizing campaigns.