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Zombie Politics

Rising from the undead.

1. CPS Students "Go Zombie" At CPS Headquarters And City Hall To Protest Death Of Chicago Education.

From The Chicago Students Union:

Chicago Public School students will be "going zombie" this Friday to represent the death of Chicago's public education system. They will march at 4 p.m. from CPS headquarters, at 125 South Clark Street to City Hall where they will request a meeting with Mayor Emanuel. They are demanding that CPS funding given to charter schools be re-allocated to public schools; a democratically elected board of education, and; that the TIF surplus be used for public education.

"Chicago Public Schools has not been supporting the students of Chicago lately. Instead of gaining an education these students are risking their lives on dangerous walks to new, more distant schools. The children who attend these CPS schools have been left to choose between their education and their own safety," says Nidalis Burgos, Sophomore at Lincoln Park High School and member of the Chicago Student Union.

It's clear what Rahm Emanuel's "ideal Chicago" looks like - a city without real public education, says the Chicago Students Union. Chicago is becoming the hub for privatization in the Midwest, and students will not stay quiet while funds dedicated to their education are being spent in the private sector. These ridiculous investments are killing the students! We have become zombies within the classroom! It's time for the student voice to be heard.

Students from more than 10 Chicago Public Schools are organizing under the banner of the Chicago Students Union, a student-led organization dedicated to amplifying student voice and engaging students in educational activism.

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2. Grassroots Collaborative Tries To Unbury Democracy.

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3. Stock Up On Candy Because Food Cuts Are Coming.

From Voices For Illinois Children:

More than 2 million low-income people in Illinois who will have their food assistance cut when a boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) expires this Friday.

SNAP benefits will average only about $1.40 per person per meal after the cut.

The cut will affect all of the nearly 47 million Americans - including 22 million children - who receive SNAP. For a family of three, this cut will amount to $29 a month. That's a serious loss given SNAP's already low benefit levels and the very low incomes of SNAP participants - more than 80 percent of SNAP households live in poverty.

"I cannot imagine what the proponents of this cut are thinking since we know that SNAP has provided an important stepping stone for struggling Illinois families and the 886,000 children who will be affected by this cut," says Diane Doherty, Executive Director of the Illinois Hunger Coalition.

In Illinois, the benefit cut through September 2014 will total $220 million, which will further undermine the economy in communities across our state as families reduce their spending at local stores.

These cuts will most certainly result in more households seeking help from the Illinois emergency food network, which is already strained. A caller to the Illinois Hunger Coalition's state-wide Hunger Hotline, Ms. Bunny Patterson, a senior citizen living in Lake County says, "even though I get the minimum SNAP benefit of $16, this cut will make it more difficult for me to get by. I do not understand why they would cut this benefit even more."

Ms. Patterson is one of the 349,000 elderly or disabled individuals in Illinois who will be affected by the cuts on Nov. 1.

On top of the across-the-board cut that will take effect on Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed legislation cutting $40 billion from SNAP, potentially eliminating assistance for nearly 4 million people nationwide, including at least 182,000 people in Illinois - representing families with children, seniors, people who have lost a job and are unable to find work, and veterans.

"SNAP has been a powerful tool in helping to keep families out of poverty," stated Gaylord Gieseke, president of Voices for Illinois Children. "The House-passed SNAP cuts on top of the cuts beginning this Friday would deal another significant blow to millions of Americans who continue to struggle to make ends meet as the economy continues to slowly recover. Our representatives in Congress must not ignore the hundreds of thousands of Illinois children whose nutrition and healthy development depends on SNAP. When Congress cuts SNAP, it undermines the well-being of some of the most vulnerable children and families in America."

The legislation would provide strong financial incentives for states to reduce their caseloads, making it significantly harder for struggling families to put food on the table, and would eliminate assistance for some of the poorest Americans. The House-passed SNAP plan coupled with the November 1 cuts would deal a significant blow to millions of Americans who continue to struggle to make ends meet.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on October 31, 2013


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