While most of Chicago was waking up on its day off last week post Veterans Day, dozens of teachers and parents paraded down the sidewalks of Michigan Avenue, whistles and drums in hand, chanting “We need teachers, we need books, we need the money that Pritzker took”. A catchy anthem. Having covered several of these protests I’ve finally memorized the lyrics.
Parents stressed their concern for the 100-plus public schools in Chicago threatened to be closed due to under-enrollment. But they aren’t buying it. The possible closings come at a time of increased interest in charter school expansion. Michelle Young, president of Action Now said she wasn’t going to remain idle “if it meant going to jail so be it”.
This was the start to a week full of fights we decided to document and weave together. It was a learning experience for our film crew but we pulled it off.
We shadowed boxer Andrzej “The Polish Prince” Fonfara, aka Chicago’s, as he trained for his Friday night fight against Tommy Karpency for the IBO light heavyweight title. Contrary to our liking we filmed some press conferences and actually caught a steamy exchange between Chicago Board of Education President David J. Vitale and Michael Brunson of the Chicago Teacher’s Union. For the holidays we hung out at a Veterans Day care packaging event at Union Station, and got some updates on a move by the City Council in support of drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushed through his 2013 budget proposal at a City Council budget hearing almost unanimously. When asked about rumored “code of silence” among Chicago police in the wake of the Abbate trial, the Mayor said he doesn’t believe there is any such “code” and that there is “zero tolerance for this type of conduct”.
This was our first attempt to adapt our election video strategy to multiple story lines. We’re going to be following up on several of these, but want to hear from you. Especially if there are stories you think we should pursue. Find us on Facebook, tweet us, or comment below. Any and all feedback is welcome.