Creating Great Neighborhood Schools

I am passionate about public education. I went to public schools as a child. And, I have seen the power of a good education in my own life. All children deserve access to the education they need to succeed as adults.

As an adult, I have spent years serving as a Community Representative on the Local School Council of Jose de Diego Community Academy in Wicker Park, where I have also tutored kids in reading. I know that strong local schools are an essential building block of thriving neighborhoods, and I will work hard to support, improve and protect every neighborhood school serving the Second Ward.

Building a Great Public School System

There is no “silver bullet” that will solve the many problems facing the Chicago Public Schools. To succeed, children need neighborhoods that offer real economic opportunity, giving them an incentive to work hard in school so they can look forward to successful careers. Children need schools that meet their educational needs, whether they are planning to go to college or seeking vocational training that will prepare them for specific trades. Most important, children need an educational system that believes in their ability to meet – and exceed – our expectations, and that believes in its own ability to graduate smart, capable, productive young men and women.

As your Second Ward alderman, I will work with families, neighborhood organizations, business groups, teachers, administrators, the Chicago Teachers Union and CPS officials to develop collaborative relationships that will provide our children with the great schools they deserve. I will also use my office to run an “outside in” campaign to bring our communities, and their resources, into neighborhood schools. I know how to do this because I’ve already done it. As a partner at my former law firm, I worked to leverage the resources the firm had to offer the community by connecting them with Jose de Diego.  With my involvement, the firm has provided regular tutoring, run an annual mock trial program with the kids, given significant donations of money and supplies, and has also provided pro bono legal services to the families of Jose de Diego students at monthly legal clinics. With my experience, I will work to replicate those results and bring our communities, and the resources they can provide, into our schools wherever possible. By building strong relationships between schools and the neighborhoods they serve, we can make a difference in the lives of Chicago’s children.

Elected School Board

As your Alderman, I will be strong proponent of adding elected board members to the Chicago Public Schools Board to make the system more accountable to parents and taxpayers.