Police muscle protesters away from one of mayor's publicity stunts, force reporter away from Rahm... Activists confront Rahm Emanuel at one of his staged media events after massive layoffs and additional cuts hit Chicago's public schools

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel may have thought that he was just going to get another of his famous publicity stunts when he showed up at a South Side Chicago site on Friday, June 27, 2014, but he was surprised when dozens of protesters showed up to confront him. The protests took place after the mayor showed up at a Southwest Side health center for one of his typical staged events.

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Oak Street Health today celebrated the opening of the organizations third neighborhood medical center located at 3348 West 87th Street in Ashburn," a City Hall press release announced following the event. "Oak Street Health centers provide neighborhood-based Medicare-eligible residents with options for primary care and dental services."

The mayor didn't take questions from reporters, at least one of whom, this reporter, was barred from the building.

Teachers and other school workers showed up at one of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's media events on June 28, 2014 to protest the recent layoffs of more teachers and PSRPs from the city's real public schools. Substance photo by Kati Gilson.As the events unfolded, at least one of the mayor's staff members was accused of physically pushing and threatening protesters, but for a brief time Chicago police tried to arrest a teacher protester. they then declined the arrest based on a pretext. The police also barred at least one reporter from the event despite the fact that when the mayor holds an event it becomes a public event, even if police try to claim that the event is being held on "private property." What was the latest reason people were so angry at the mayor whose version of reality was recently produced by Robert Redford and affirmed by Hollywood?

Rahm and his handpicked seven-member Chicago Board of Education have laid-off 1,150 teachers, paraprofessionals and ESPs. The layoffs, announced on June 26, 2014, came just after school ended for everyone for the 2013 - 2014 school year and were immediately greeted with anger by the Chicago Teachers Union and others. According to the CTU, 800 of those laid off were CTU members. This loss will directly affect our student, neighborhood schools, and communities.

People were angry and ready to greet the mayor responsible for the attack. The message went out and approximately 50 people gathered at "Corks Health" at 87th & Kedzie. There, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel was scheduled to make an appearance. The peopled gathered to address economic, social educational and community needs.

We want to have our voice in city affairs that affect where our lives, protester James Stewart told Substance. The participants included community members, educators, school personnel, students and community activists. They came to express their views regarding Rahm cutting dollars at neighborhood schools and the cutting of 1,100 Chicago Teachers Union members.

Our schools are already disinvested and now theyre taking our teachers, another protester said.

Many of the teachers live in the communities in which they teach, and have close ties to the community. They know their students, families and neighborhood concerns. Last year CPS closed 49 schools (with one given one year until this June, bringing the 2013 total to 50). This year, the Board of Education voted to subject three additional schools to "turnaround."

Shoenice Reynolds, a Chicago Teachers Union member and PSRP was one of those who challenged Chicago police when officers began lying about the arrest of one of the protesters. Substance photo by Kati Gilson.They (CPS) want inexpensive, novice teachers and Teach for America recruits who have little or no education training or experience," protester Shoenice Reynolds told Substance.

The protestors walked into the building chanting and protesting. We were exercising our right of free speech and they asked us to leave, one of the protesters told Substance. Four of the protestors were physically manhandled, pushed, and one woman was grabbed in the chest, according to those inside. They all claimed to have been manhandled by "a tall man in a red shirt."

Instead of dealing with the attack on the protest, the police arrived and turned against the protesters.

After leaving the building. the protestors marched around the sidewalk. They never did get to see Rahm Emanuel.

About ten minutes later the police showed up with at least eight cars. The police said the protesters needed to leave, and one officer grabbed Nick ________, a CTU teacher, and took him in the building.

Police originally told Substance that one protester was going to be "arrested" for "battery." They claimed that a video showed the incident. But after protester Shoenice Reynolds demanded that the video also be used to show one of the mayor's aides abusing protesters, the police discovered that the alleged victim of the battery was from "out of state" and did not want to file charges. Substance photo.According to witnesses, someone inside said he grabbed an employee, which according to witnesses was not true. He was accused of allegedly kicking the only female in the building. Police said he would be charged with battery, and the police claimed there was video, from Oak Street Health, documenting the event. They said the video would be used as evidence.

At this point Shoneice Reynolds told an officer if they have video than it will also document the physical treatment other protesters received while in the building.

Martin Arteaga, who is running for Alderman in the 23rd Ward, arrived and said I came to support teachers and their struggles."

At this point Rahm Emanuel came out for a photo shoot, heavily guarded by the police. This reporter attempted to approach the building for photographs and was denied access by a police officer, despite displaying her credentials.

The officer said, The building is private property. I explained Im not in the building Im in the parking lot. At that point he stated the parking lot was private property and I would have to leave, so I went back to talk to some of the remaining protesters. At this point an officer told us no charges would be held against Nick. According to the police, the alleged victim is from out of state and "decided not to waste time returning to Illinois to follow through with the charges."

[Editor's Note: Whether or not the event was technically held on "private property," Chicago's mayor had made it a public event. The "Mayor's Press Office" had sent out a press release dated June 27 extolling the expansion of the group that is doing the clinics and quoting the mayor about it. The press release, which was produced and distributed at public expense, follows..."

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. June 27, 2014. CONTACT: Mayors Press Office. 312.744.3334.

Vanessa Hall. Oak Street Health 773.391.1295.


Neighborhood-Based Primary Care and Dental Centers for Medicare Recipients to Hire 100 Employees This Year; Investing in Neighborhoods is a Key Component of the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Oak Street Health today celebrated the opening of the organizations third neighborhood medical center located at 3348 West 87th Street in Ashburn. Oak Street Health centers provide neighborhood-based Medicare-eligible residents with options for primary care and dental services. The state-of-the-art center will employ 35 full-time positions upon opening and is committed to hiring local, neighborhood residents to serve the over 2,500 seniors in the area. The organization expects to add 100 employees by the end of 2014, and an additional 200 employees in 2015.

The health of our neighbors and the health of our neighborhood economies go hand in hand, said Mayor Emanuel. The ability for Chicagos seniors to access affordable healthcare in their neighborhoods is crucial to our efforts to improve the health and well-being of all Chicagoans and the fact that Oak Street is committed to hiring residents from the communities they serve, makes this a win-win for the City.

In addition to Ashburn, Oak Street Health plans to open two additional centers this summer, revitalizing buildings that had formerly been vacant Avalon Park at 1715 East 95th Street on July 1 and Bronzeville at 4318 South State Street on August 26. Each new center creates 15 jobs initially with more care teams added as the number of patients increase.

As a result of the planned expansion, Oak Street Health expects to hire 100 additional employees this year a majority of which are expected to come out of the communities Oak Street serves and among recent City College graduates. At Oak Street Health, we believe effective healthcare goes beyond just the services we offer at our centers, and that more must be done to help our members manage their conditions every day, said Mike Pykosz, Oak Street Healths Chief Executive Officer. The key to our mission is keeping patients healthy, at home, and out of hospitals. Our doctors take the time to listen to each patient, understand their individual circumstances, and develop comprehensive care plans for each member.

In order to meet its hiring needs, Oak Street Health in partnership with Chicago City Colleges will host a hiring fair and interview day to identify skilled and qualified candidates for both clinical and non-clinical jobs that include welcome coordinators, medical assistants, community coordinators and outreach associates. The event, open to current students and alumni of City Colleges, will be held in early July at Oak Streets headquarters at 1101 West Fulton Market.

The Oak Street Health model invests more in primary care to keep its members healthy and out of hospitals. Physician patient panels are about a fourth of the size of most fee-based medical practices, providing increased patient access to doctors, including same-day and next-day appointments for seniors with unexpected health concerns. The one-stop care approach ensures that physicians, medical specialists and care teams work collaboratively to address the unique needs of patients, while on-site dental services and in-house pharmacy services simplify patient care.

In addition to healthcare, the centers offer members access to a community room with educational sessions, activities and events designed specifically for their unique needs at no additional cost.

Our unique care model creates an excellent patient experience focused on building better patient-doctor relationships and delivering focused preventive care for seniors on Medicare, said Griffin Myers, Oak Street Healths Chief Medical Officer. Oak Street patients see the difference; we have a 97% patient satisfaction rating following appointments. Our model takes into consideration all aspects of their care, from transportation needs, dental and social needs, access to affordable medications, to frequent and longer visits with their doctor and the integrated technology that enables all of it.

The healthcare sector remains a critical component of Chicagos economy, with over 18,000 jobs created since 2011, the most of any single industry in the city. From 2012-2013, 6,830 new heath care and social assistance jobs were created in Chicago across all skill levels - from medical technicians to surgeons. Todays announcement builds on this and renews efforts to develop services that can drive economic growth across Chicagos neighborhoods.

Oak Street Health opened its first two Chicago centers in September 2013 at 1541 West Devon in Edgewater and 4848 West Irving Park in Portage Park. By the end of 2014, it will operate five centers in Chicago and two additional facilities in Berwyn and Blue Island, IL.

For more information, please visit or 312-733-3374.


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June 29, 2014 at 8:43 AM

By: John kugler

Public Complicity

As long as everyday people allow this facist control of our city there is not too much we reporters can do except report what happens. Seems everyone is still comfortable with the little dictator.

June 29, 2014 at 2:35 PM

By: Margaret Wilson

Rahm & protestor

Rahm Emmanuel is a public figure and does not have the same right to privacy as a private citizen. Our constitution protects our right to privacy and I believe this was a trumped up charge which they knew would not stand up in court!

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