'Voter Suppresson,' Rahm Emanuel style... Vitale and Ruiz again block public from participation in the June 24, 2015 Board of Education meeting... 'All slots filled' by eleven in the morning on June 15!

Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale and Vice President (and current "Interim CEO") Jesse Ruiz once again perfected their own brand of voter suppression, when the Board of Education's computers locked out citizens who wanted to participate in the June 24, 2015 meeting of the Board by speaking to the Board. By 11:00 a.m. on June 15, 2015, people trying to sign up to speak were informed they had already been locked out of their right to testify at the Board meeting. The message on the Board's website was:

Board of Education officials laugh at the success of their work to suppress the number of people who can testify during the limited "Public Participation" portions of the monthly meetings of the Chicago Board of Education. Above, Board President Jesse Ruiz and Board President David Vitale joke at the expense of the public prior to the May 27, 2015 Board meeting. Substance photo by David Vance. "Next Board meeting, Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 4:30 PM

"Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy HS, 250 East 111th Street, Auditorium, Chicago, IL 60628

"All advance registration speaker and observer slots filled..."

The way the Board chokes off public participation is by the claim that Public Participation should only last two hours (120 minutes) and that each speaker should only get two minutes to speak. By this logic, Vitale and Ruiz have the Board's computers lock out anyone who tries to sign up to speak after the invisible computer generated limit has been reached. No matter how many people might want to speak, only 60 perople are allowed to sign up, based on the claim that each "person" who wishes to speak will get two minutes and that the total amount of time has to be limited to 120 minutes (2 minutes X 60 = 120; get it?). It's clearly a form of voter suppression, since there has only been one Board meeting in the past two years when fewer than 60 people signed up to speak, and no one knows how many additional people wished to sign up but were locked out by computer (as this reporter was before eleven a.m. this morning).

This has also proved a very effective way for the Board to pack its meetings with charter school apologists and other racists. At the May 27, 2015, Board meeting, for example, 19 of the people who signed up to speak said they were going to speak on behalf of Urban Prep charter schools. But the Board only allowed four or five of them to actually speak, so the other 15 wiped out places for anyone who might have wanted to speak on another topic. The Urban Prep group performed a well-rehearsed performance, which included a recitation. The Board of Education members did not ask any critical questions about Urban Prep, even as they were staring at a "public school" that was bragging about the fact that it was segregated -- officially by sex and also, as was obvious to the eye, by race. Urban Prep is an all-Black all-male school which constantly sings songs about its greatness even when, as it does like other charter schools, it kicks out -- actually dumps -- students who don't "perform" according to the Urban Prep version of reality.


June 16, 2015 at 12:38 AM

By: Susan Geuder

The source

Who is this "abracadabra" person and just what is his/her magical message supposed to mean? I am really confused.

June 16, 2015 at 3:14 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Trolls like 'abra...'


The person you're asking about is a troll who uses a phony name and has been slandering people for years. A former delegate and member (at the time) of the United Progressive Caucus, he betrayed his staff by urging them to go along with each silly new notion of how to "save" Orr High School. First it was, "Let's do small schools..." Then it was, "Let's do turnaround..." Instead of organizing against the Board's teacher bashing, he constantly went along with those policies.

One of the reasons we have the rule that each person making a comment be identified for our readers by providing (as you did) their First Name and Last Name is that we get rid of trolls and assholes when they try to comment. Some we will always delete. They will be around forever, even as their betrayals of their own members become more and more known to our readers.

June 16, 2015 at 5:25 PM

By: Jean Schwab


The block was on at 10:00am. when I tried to sign up. I wanted to sign up as an observer but couldn't even do that.

June 17, 2015 at 6:31 PM

By: Theresa D. Daniels

8:08 a.m.--no more speakers allowed at Bd. mtg.

I'd like to hear from those who called to sign up for the CPS Board meeting and found themselves blocked earlier than 8:08 a.m. when I was not allowed to sign up as a speaker. I was still allowed to sign up as an observer at that time. I'm thinking there might be people who called at 8:01 a.m. and found the speaker spots all taken. There's something highly suspicious here.

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