is stacy playing us ? sure looks like it

City Club of Chicago August 22, 2022. James Francek; Lead Labor Attorney for CPS; Brandon Johnson, County Commisioner, 1st District & CTU Employee; Stacy Davis Gates, Chicago Teachers Union President and speaker at the City Club; Donna Miller, County Board Commissioner, 6th District; Edward H. Mazur is the current Chairman of the City Club of Chicago Board of Governors and often serves as the program moderator. (credit City Club of Chicago August 22, 2022) In a stunning turn of events, Stacy Davis Gates in her first major public speech declares that all the bluster and fighting over the past few years was fake and that the ctu and cps are buddies in a common fight.

The shock is a complete 360 from the CTU Officer election this past winter spring, where she was name calling the mayor and CPS adminsitrators for not doing what she wanted.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is a “micro-managing,” “name-calling” “bad boss” who can’t get along with anybody — not just the Chicago Teachers Union, the union’s fiery vice president said Thursday.

Stacy Davis Gates said she is singularly focused on, as she put it, “what’s right in front of my face.” That is, getting through the 2022 school year and re-electing Democratic legislative leaders, rank-and-file lawmakers and Gov. J.B. Pritzker, whom she praised as the first line of defense for her members during the pandemic.

Under repeated questioning, Davis Gates refused to say whether she would challenge Lightfoot, a rookie mayor she has accused of being on a “kamikaze mission to destroy” Chicago Public Schools.

But she laid the groundwork for a campaign — by herself or a candidate of the CTU’s choosing — with her blistering critique of Lightfoot’s tumultuous tenure, combative personality and micro-managing style.

CTU union head says mayor is ‘relentlessly stupid’ in her position on reopening schools

“It’s not just her relationship or lack thereof with our membership. It’s also the lack of partnership that she has with rank-and-file law enforcement. It is also the lack of partnership she has with all of Cook County government — from the board president to the state’s attorney to the chief judge. It’s the lack of relationship she has with the governor and the senate president,” Davis Gates said.

“There are, like, a mile-long list of individuals, institutions, parties in this city who have been categorized by her as an opponent or an enemy in a way that makes it very difficult to partner, to lead and to do right by the residents of this city.”

Lightfoot dismissed the rebuke as beneath her and “not worthy of any kind of response.”

“This isn’t junior high school. We’re talking about very serious issues involving the future of our children in Chicago Public Schools,” the mayor said.

“I will not allow anybody to politicize that issue. And I’m certainly not gonna let somebody drag me into a he-said, she-said, juvenile name-calling fight.”

(Sun-Times, Jan 20, 2022, 8:49pm CDT)

now flip to August 22, 2022 and she is playing a different tune or as we say on the streets playing us ...

We're interdependent, you all. Were interdependent. We are more interdependent than we are opponents.

Do we disagree? Yup. Do they get beat yup?

But we ain't winning. But we ain't winning.

And that's why with and partner are the two words that you get to leave here with.

We may be beating them but we ain't winning ....

(Stacy Davis Gates, August 22, 2022, City Club of Chicago Speech)

Brandon Johnson addresses reporters alongside Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates after her speech Wednesday at the City Club of Chicago. This political work was done during the work day on Union time August 22, 2022.

Vice President Jackson Potter, Recording Secretary Christel Williams-Hayes, President Stacy Davis Gates, CTU Staffer and County Board Commissioner, 1st District Brandon Johnson.(pic from Facebook)

In what was used as a political event while on the clock as an elected union official stacy davis gates talked politics and political agendas to promote her double dipping pal Brandon Johnson for a possible Mayor run against incumbent Lori Lightfoot.

Brandon Johnson is the 1st District Cook County Commissioner and a full-time staffer at the Chicago Teachers Union. Both he and Stacy were at an event doing political work with Vice President Jackson Potter. Guess its ok to use labor union time and resources for personal political gain.

who knew ...

transcript of speech is below with a link to the video on our facebook page


“Everyone in this room knows you all need a new mayor, but it won’t be me," Stacy Davis Gates speaking at the City Club of Chicago August 22, 2022.

.... Because I hugged people over there. They're supposed to be my opponent. The privatization industry is supposed to be my opponent. Francek. That's who we live with. Because we just never stopped bargaining. They're supposed to be my opponent. But we hugged and they might have COVID and I might have COVID. We're interdependent, you all. Were interdependent. We are more interdependent than we are opponents.

Do we disagree? Yup. Do they get beat yup? But we ain't winning. But we ain't winning. And that's why with and partner are the two words that you get to leave here with. We may be beating them but we ain't winning .... Below is a transcrption of Stacy Davis' Gates Speech on August 22, 2022 at the City Club of Chicago

Dan Gibbons 0:00 Our speaker has a nice long bio. I'll stick to a couple of the highlights. And then hopefully we can have some time for q&a after after Stacy is able to give us her prepared remarks. So Stacy Stacy Davis gates, our our guest of honor today is the president of the teachers union she Chicago Teachers Union, but she's also the Executive Vice President of the Illinois Federation of Teachers.

stacy davis gates 2:50 You know, I've been saying My God is faithful for a very long time. And I am happy to report that she is still faithful.

Dan Gibbons 0:27 She's prior to her role as president she has served as the vice president, the political and legislative director for the CTU. In the fall 2019, she helped lead a 15 day strike and work to further the priorities of the Chicago Teachers Union. She's raised millions of dollars to elect classroom teachers to all levels of local government. But how how much sense does that make I think everyone everyone, of course, is the son of a teacher and all of my aunts and others. So much respect for teachers, but having teachers in elected positions is just such a great, great priority.

In 2017, Miss Miss Davis Gates was elected Chair of the United working families. She's a board member of the Action Center on race and the economy acre and the Nexus, working at the intersection of struggle, the struggle for racial justice and Wall Street accountability. She's currently on leave from the classroom, clearly quite busy. She taught high school studies over a decade at Inglewood Clemente and Mason Community Links high schools. She attended St. Mary's College, University of Notre Dame fellow donor and Concordia University. She lives on the south side of Chicago with her husband and three children who I'm sure so acknowledge and it's it's my honor to welcome to the podium Stacy Davis gates.

stacy davis gates 2:42 Well good afternoon class Wow.

This is such a beautiful room. I see my family. My mom and dad are here my

my my husband, he's here with his other girlfriend. I see my labor family both nucular and extended here. I see. I see my political home. And all of the wonderful people who have been elected to office to serve people the Mini. I see our friends at the charter school network. Yeah, I thought it was a joke coming after that when I said friends, right? Everyone was like, should we clap? And then I see my friends over here at Friends IK.

It is an honor to lead the Chicago Teachers Union. It is an honor to provide voice leadership, heart and soul to the fight to advance the needs of every stakeholder in the Chicago Public Schools. That is an honor. I'm humbled by it. And as some of you may have heard, we had an election last spring. It was fine. Seriously, it was a lot of things but let me say this there is no democracy like the Chicago Teachers Union democracy

and there is no A voter like a teacher. There isn't. Right. They carry red pants, they don't just wear red T shirts. That said, it gave us an opportunity to have a discussion about our union in the direction that my predecessors Karen Lewis and Jesse Sharkey put forth in the city, Karen Lewis and Jesse Sharkey said in this city, our students, their families, deserve their humanity. That's an applause line.

And because they said that, we said that we are going to fight for affordable housing, fully staffed and resourced schools, and that we were going to make our work about the common good. Because we see ourselves as common good practitioners, the common good is rooted in public education. What does that mean? It means that you will hear our voices on things that impact our classrooms, right. This morning, I was reading the newspaper and there was a six year old girl on the south side of Chicago who was shot and then they said that she was the 17th one and the last few years and it was written and it was written so matter of factly because it was hidden it wasn't a headline it wasn't on the front page. And you think to yourself, damn

They say she was at least that age child younger than 16 in the last week to be shot in a city where the most recent child to be shot unless the 17 hours you can't be a world class city and your children are being shot in the streets

today is the first day of school. How about that for sure transition. But that is the transition that my members have to deal with because that baby who was shot is connected to other babies and those babies are in those classrooms today.

And there's not enough there I am struck by the comparative that all those good people in Highland Park that they were able to receive a hug crisis intervention, trauma support the privilege of victimhood benefit of the doubt humanity and love so today is the first day of school. And like many other parents in this city, I dropped three off I've been joking all day that my my I still really really like my eight year old because she she wants to go to school. Do you hear me at school? My 11 year old, she wanted to know where her purse was. And my 13 year old wanted to wear clothes that are too small. Because he has the muscles. That's what school should be. That's what they experienced that every young person in the city should have a push and pull between their parents about what's acceptable to wear out of the home. The Awakening of adolescence and what you choose to take with you. And just the pure joy of wanting to be back in a school community where people love you and you love them. Instead in Chicago, we have families leaving the Austin Community drive into the northwest side and then to the south side to drop their children off from school. That's not okay. We also have families with children who learn differently, who will be on the bus today for hours. And then you have another family, a friend of mine a text message that I just read where her two children are still at home because she couldn't find a placement because one has cerebral palsy. The other one doesn't. She wants them in the same school community, the neighborhood school Who can't provide the service but won't release or the school that can and then the systems don't talk. And so instead of those children being in school on the first day, mom is trying to figure out the bureaucracy. And this is not the caricature of black mothers that our, you know, popular culture loves to exploit. But this is someone that I went to college with. Right? This is someone who has a car to run around to several different schools, not a bus pass, not bus fare, not a train pass, not train fare, but an automobile. Her children are still at home. So when I hear people talk about the Chicago Teachers Union, now who child y'all really know how to do some things? And Can y'all just be nice for a minute? And can we just get a moment? You know what I say to them? I hope so. I hope so. Because what you have to know about our members is that they're your neighbors. When you sign up to become a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools, a paraprofessional, a clinician. You sign up to live in the cities, you don't just get your room number. You get a zip code. And if we're lucky, we find a good neighborhood, hashtag chattel to raise your family. So your children can ride their bikes down the street, maybe walk to the store, and certainly walk to school. That's what we want. But black mothers like me on the Southside of Chicago, have to starve themselves. I heard that Alderman Jeanette Taylor was here she is.To get a neighborhood High School, think about that. Part two is that you have people like Donita Armstrong, she is an elementary school teacher. She is an assistant pastor. She is a mother of a graduate from Xavier. Right? She took care of her elderly parents during the pandemic. And Donita talked last, virtually for the very first time of our life, in a pandemic. These are your neighbors. So when Donita said, I need COVID protections, when I go back into my school community, because I am taking care of my elderly parents, we have to hear that. And we have to talk about that. We have to negotiate that. But more importantly, we shouldn't have to ask for safety. And so much so though that we had to fight for it. And then something else happened during this fight. They said that we were preventing women from being in the workplace. And that was perhaps the most laughable statement that I heard, because I go, you know, almost 90% of my members are working mothers. They're women guys. How do we prevent ourselves from doing the thing that we're doing? Right? And I go, Well, maybe they don't know. We're women. So let me tell you, we're women. were women. And we're mothers. And we send our children to the Chicago Public Schools. And remember, we live next door to you. So we work. We live next door to you. We're raising our families in the same neighborhoods. Think about who we are. You know, teachers are mandated reporters. It means that teachers if they see school workers, let me be more inclusive here. School workers when they see a harm. They have to report it. So when we tell you that there are 20,000 homeless students in Chicago, on housed, we are mandated to do that. When we say that children coming out of Philip's High School, were unprotected because the cops were inside the school. We're gonna talk about that. Do you have to hear us? The bullet hole was still lodged in the school door. After it hit the baby that was coming out the door. We're mandated to report to you that that is traumatic. We are mandated to report to you that it is difficult to now reach the children in that school community. Because all we have our objectives on the board are lesson plans and unit plans ready for the year we thought we were going to have. And see and there's no pivot. From that. There's not a real real, like a real thought process on how we now catch that moment and make it work. That's hard work. And we're in a teacher shortage. Think about that for a minute. You cannot melt and pour a teacher in these classrooms. And why not? You are? I learned more about myself in my first year teaching Latoya who is now the General Counsel, or excuse me, the Assistant General Counsel. No, no, no, no, no. That is the deputy. What are you Latoya is our lawyer. And she was my student. And Inglewood high school, they closed it. And I learned more about who I thought I was and less about who I was until I had a minute to sit with it. What I'm saying to you all is that in this moment, at this time in this city, we're in need of a pivot. We're in need of a pivot to what unites us, we're in need of a pivot to what we need.

Because our children are depending on it. For a very long time i We call this era school reform. But Karen Lewis called it school to form and what happened during school the farmers that they close schools every single year, and in one year, they got so good Rahm Emanuel 2013, where they close 50 Right, schools were being erected across the street from each other. There was like a Hunger Games happening, right? privatization of schools, closing of schools, schools turn around turnarounds, this law firm sitting right here to my right, said that school turned around with the Chicago Teachers Union had a disparate impact on black teachers. And that law firm over there settled. They represented the city. I'm saying all of this to say that we've had a lot of experimentation in the city of Chicago and black and brown children, closing schools, turning schools around firing teachers blaming teachers erecting standardized test scores to tell you if you are in a good school, or if you are in a bad school, lots of things have been done. Lots of things have been done. And we are still talking about the same challenge. Think about that. I don't think I've said that much different from Karen Lewis or Jesse Sharkey. And we should all be very disappointed in ourselves. See, that's an F. So here's the thing. We do know that school can work. And I'm gonna tell you how her name is Jesse Hudson. She works at Beiler elementary school, she's a delegate. Her school was on the list to be closed in 2013 and Jessie and Crystal crystal who's now our recording secretary, Brandon Johnson, who's now a county commissioner, they organize that West Side neighborhood and push back against that school closing now. Beiler Elementary School, and every metric that the Chicago Public Schools puts forth is a success. That I still want to know this school. Got a little love, right? We put that school on a negotiating table right? After Janette starved herself to keep diet high school together. Right, we said that that's kind of too draconian, right. So maybe we wish to use our negotiating table to figure out how to give our school communities more than what they have. It's called Common Good bargaining. I frankly I don't know how you are in labor or in anything at this point and you don't put the other person on the table with you. Because think about what COVID did to us it expose how interdependent we are right we don't know in two days if we interdependent thing about that thing right I say that to say this, the negotiating table is a table for Chicago. Under our leadership, we are going to take housing there. Why don't we take housing there because a Beiler Elementary School Beiler Elementary School is a sustainable community school. It anchors the common good in that neighborhood. It is a place where blocks together a community organization headquartered in Humboldt Park, it is a place where they love on people, when they offer services, they like put duct tape around it, and I'm gonna get to why us only duct tape in a minute. But follow me Sustainable Community Schools catches, it figures out. It works with IT challenges, right. But it's only through the coalition of every stakeholder in our school community, the families in that neighborhood, the community organization and get the Shah, the cooperation of the school district and the union, that this thing works. See, we will begin in a if that was an example that we were all following because it is here for us to follow. This isn't hard for you all. It just isn't the duct tape that I say is because what we're doing at the teachers union is playing out of position. That's why it's so uncomfortable for everyone. And we're playing out of position because the people in the city who are supposed to gladiate on behalf of the many they're on vacation, or they cannot be bothered or they do not know their role. So instead of us figuring out curriculum, lesson plans, parent teacher conferences only. We are out here gladiator thing, because children cannot do homework if they are enhanced. It is fundamentally a part of how sequence happens, right? In order to do homework, I gotta be able to go home.

But projects were torn down all across the city, and black people were pushed out. You go over to Cabrini Green, you don't even know that that even existed before. So you can't tell me that we can transform a thing in Chicago. Byron siksha Lopez says you have to transform it with us though. He says that you can't come to the 25th ward. And give me your plan. You have to come to the 25th Ward and sit with the people who are in this ward to figure out what development looks like with film. Take the word with take the word with and then take the word partner if you're looking to understand what that era this Chicago Teachers Union leadership will look like and sound like I just told you with you know, we know how to fight. Ask rom ask Lori. As Chicago, ask a fifth grader, ask a teacher ask a paraprofessional we know how to do that.

But just like women, we are complex. We are multi dimensional, and we do many things. And as a union of women, we're gonna fight for reproductive rights because we get to decide agency over our bodies, right and I'm gonna bring it all together for you in a moment. As a union that represents women. We're gonna fight for universal childcare because there was a problem during COVID families cannot afford childcare. That's not the fault of teachers or teachers unions or school communities. That's the thought of a society that will not support the work of women outside the home. That's the women's rights issue where the Union of Women We're gonna fight for affordable housing in this city you might not become a teacher. Let me show you this self interest to if I am coming out of college with the debt that I am holding now, as a first generation college graduate, I'm not choosing to become a teacher. I won't be able to afford it. I'm damn near for now. Thank you Chicago Teachers Union. But you get my point you are. So when we talk about teacher shortage, you also have to talk about debt free college. Universal Father this union is gonna fight for school communities to have sports. No, don't clap. Sports is so fundamental to public education and the fact that we're clapping because we're gonna work for it. We get a F Bucha. Y'all are play. Thank you. But Fine Arts to fine arts. Look, you are the bar is low. The bar is low. And you know why the bar is low? Because people like Bill Bennett, you remember him? Ronald Reagan Secretary education. He came to Chicago in 1987. And he said that Chicago was a dumpster fire. He said it was trash. He was talking about our schools. But what that story precipitates? Is this furious like running to the you know, starting line to now offer solutions. But what never was examine was the messenger himself.

How is it that Ron DeSantis is godfather? You get my point here, right? Who come to Chicago when it was a black mayor with black teachers, were black administrators were black people in school and call it that. And the leadership in the city said okay, let it sit for a minute. Now, think about the GOP of today. It doesn't it Ron DeSantis came to Chicago and said those things now what will we do? Right. But we have two generations of students who had to deal with no one examining Bill Bennett's motivation, his ideology, his politics and his heart. And so we closed schools, we turned around schools, there are 1000 black children that we still don't know what happened to them after the 2013 school closing that is shameful. Shameful. But we allow people who are not tethered to the city. We allow people who do not love our children. Give us a prescription that we take. Think about that for a second. Now I told you who our members are. They take care of your children every day. They work. They live next door to you because when you become a member of the Chicago Teachers Union, you also get a zip code. Right? So they're your neighbors and their parents who are also sending their children to Chicago Public Schools. You mean to tell me you can listen to Bill Bennett but you can listen to Donita Armstrong or her union? Listen, you are the Chicago Teachers Union need some help because we need a safe and just Chicago we need schools in the 10th war because the ceiling is falling in or we need a school in Garfield Park because the paint is peeling off the wall. We need green schools you hear them talking about it all the time. Right. But we needed here in Chicago. We need that you know what else we need in Chicago? We need to have an elected school board that represents the breadth of this city.

Isn't it a shame that you had the fight for like forever because we've never had an elected school board and a place where we vote for a water reclamation district commissioner something but I'm telling you you are I'm gonna say this. You can't have fixed schools in Chicago if you don't fix Chicago. And like that's the bottom line. There are many people who have had the same speech on the same stage about these same issues. And the best thing that I can tell you is that children come from people. And if we're not taking care of the ecosystem where those people reside, we do not get healthy children and healthy school communities producing.

Our members are doing the best that they can with what they have. And I can tell you that they are always challenged to do more and to do better, almost so far that said, I'm gonna ask you to help us. I want you to talk to the people in your networks in your circles, about partnership. We need a partner in Chicago. We need a partner in Chicago that understands that families need W twos, if fathers have jobs, households are safe. We need a partner in Chicago that understands that young people can say that they don't want cops in their schools, because it doesn't make them safe. And we get to listen to them. Because Sally Hill told me when I first started teaching in Chicago, Stacy, if you don't treat the children in those seats, well, they don't come back. And if they don't come back, there's no need for you. We have to center our students. That doesn't mean we let them run themselves off the cliff. I'm a mother. What we do, though, is that we center them their humanity and their voice, and we figure it out with that word again with them. Right? We need a partner where we can figure out how to fully fund schools, when we have gotten the most money in the history of this nation. And we still have understaffed schools on the south side right now. But we got a lot of money. So it must be partnership that we don't have. So listen, I want the schools that you want. Kevin goes to CPS Hazel goes to CPS, Laura goes to CPS, those are my children. I want them to be in a stable school environment. Kevin had three teachers go on before Christmas last year. I want them to have choir in the school because God knows me and Kevin like figuring out how to get there is just like a case of Keystone capers. Right, from travel sports, to choir outside of the school. How come they can't just stay there and go to choir? Why Why aren't they in sports at school? Right? Why isn't there a bus to take them to an away game? See, that's what I want for my children. I want student government you know, where you learn to expect to do this. You know what else I want. I want school communities where the people who are doing the word get to make the policy and what I want even more than that is that I want parents who are typically on the margins of this society to feel empowered and welcome in our school communities. Because if they are because if they are the experience that that student their child will have in our school community will be will be wonderful. Right and that's what we want, but we don't get it without a new mayor and everybody in this room know y'all need a new mayor.

But it won't be me. I really love my job. I am really honored to serve this city because this union serves more than just this core membership serves the city because they are committed to common good bargaining. Listen, it was a blessing in disguise last spring to have such a fierce intramural I'm contest and my union. Because what it did it was that it made us accountable to the experiences that people had across the city. It made us accountable to the tremendous trauma that our members and everyone that they're dealing with experienced during that time. It made us accountable to continue to dream reimagine, and fight very hard for the schools Chicago students deserve in a city that their families have already deserved. Thank you.

Dan Gibbons 35:46 Take a breath. Thank you, Stacy, for those wonderful remarks. We'll let her take a sip of water and catch her breath. And and I'll make one final call for questions. If anyone has questions or papers on your

stacy davis gates 36:11 teacher, if I'm in a bad job, there are no questions. So for my ego, at least half

Dan Gibbons 36:21 Well, I will say that one of the questions a couple of people asked, you just answered at the last, the last minute of your of your speech, so I'll avoid asking that one again. But please, if you do have questions, I have a whole host of them, we probably won't go through all of them. But we do have some stuff around here, please raise your hand and just kind of moving to the front. And we have a little tradition here of of course asking questions that members have have posed for so I'll start with Dwayne Deskins. Question, who was a city club member? And if you're not a member, you get your question asked sooner and it's very easy to do. So. One $50, I think you come on and join us and we'll be here next week. All right. So Duane Deskins, said, Thank you for your comments. He's a former federal prosecutor, from a comparator. From a comparative, it's a simple, simple question, but very loaded. From a comparative perspective, do you think students and CPS are getting a good education?

stacy davis gates 37:24 Thank you? You know, that's a great question. And because it's a loaded question, define good. And for home, because good for black kids is always been inferior for what's good for White kids. That's how this is all set up. And what's good for why kids may not be what's good for black kids or brown kids, you understand my point here. So good, and then define education, right? Because children are getting an education, whether we teach in it or not. So this is what I will say, what I would like, what I think is healthy and real round it. I think children need to be in spaces where they are loved. That's number one. So the people who are in that school community, and I'm not saying just let them do whatever, because I love my children, but Shut up. Listen, you know what I mean? There's balance to my But to your question, fun to school for fine arts. play an instrument, learn how to practice something, learn how to perfect it, learn how to perform it, right? That's the same concept with sports. And you are put a young lady in a competition. In this work. I've seen so many capable women demure, and I've seen so many mediocre men go first. But the difference and between the women who think of themselves is that the women have been competitive in some way. They have had to practice perfect, figure it out. It's not the test, y'all. Who can tell me about the algebra test, or the standardized says, But I bet you can tell me about the big game. I bet you can tell me about the big performance. I bet you can tell me about everything else except for that class. And that's what we need more of in Chicago. So a good education is funded, it is loving it is well rounded. It has everything to capture the imagination of young people and its centers their well being. I learned very clearly or very quickly during COVID that my children were in charge. They were everything else had been changed was different. And so in order for that household to be stable and settled, I had to center it on them. Guess whose school needs to be centered around the students

Dan Gibbons 40:07 and you mentioned students, they certainly remember the big game or, or some of the other fun things. But one thing I will say who doesn't remember their favorite teacher, right? may not remember the class or what you learned in it or the grade that you got, but who doesn't remember their favorite teacher? And speaking of strong women, there's a question here from Claudia Moreno Nunez. Also, she's not a member, so we're gonna have to work on that. From Berkshire Hathaway, how does your leadership style differ from Karen Lewis? How has Karen shaped your life to the person you are today? What if this is three questions?

stacy davis gates 40:46 She wants me to cry?

Dan Gibbons 40:49 What what advice has stayed with you today from the fierce Karen Lewis?

stacy davis gates 40:55 So I'll start with the last part first, Karen said ask questions, Stacy. She said you are your smartest, you are your best when you are engaging. I talked too long. That's what she would say. You didn't leave enough time for q&a. i That's what she was saying. Cuz she is literally in my ear. Look, you can't stand on this stage in Chicago, and think that you're anyone if you don't know Karen Lewis, Karen Lewis, Leandra Cohn, she's one of our principals, and the charter space. And Leandra said, I do this with the fierceness in which I do it because Karen, she told me that we were in a heated contract negotiation. But listen to what that meant, though, to black women. Both intentionally, fighters for education, both inspired by Karen Lewis, Karen, as a resident of the city, as a graduate of Kenwood, right, as a daughter of teachers as a South sider. Right, she gave something to everyone. What did Karen give to me, she gave me the ability to make mistakes and the courage to use my voice.

Dan Gibbons 42:15 And we're lucky to hear that voice here today. Thank you. I've got one online that's actually from a fellow board member of the Board of Governors Francis cow. So I'm going to read this off my phone, if you don't mind, in a time when teachers also need to push for policies and actions directed towards students mental and physical health, safety and addressing remedial educational needs due to the effects of the pandemic. She's a lawyer, by the way, if you if you didn't know Francis, the CTU have any creative suggestions on how CPS in the city can address the budget required to implement these actions. But wait, there's more. The bottom line is that and this may be a little more commentary. The bottom line is that further property tax will burden Chicagoans and as always, will have disproportionate dis proportionate impact on the families of the very students who most need the help. For which CTU has been advocating. Okay, do I need to repeat any of them? No, no,

stacy davis gates 43:23 no, no, no. I'm a mother and a teacher. I told her we got skills. You tax rich people is the short answer. They have it. They made a lot of money during the pandemic. So that's one but look, let's go here. The idea is that we have to get creative. There's nothing creative about what they're doing on the North Shore. They're paying for y'all. They're loving on people and they're making sure it's there. That's not creative. That's priority. So that's one but here's the thing about that question. So not a property tax. It's already I don't play one on television. And property taxes in the city of Chicago are the most progressive is the most progressive form of taxation we have think about it kehilangan dorthin I live in the same house. He lives in Portage Park and I live in Chatham, his house is worth more than my house. Let that settle for a minute. Fuel that inequity and segregation. That generational wealth going down to two. It's progressive already. Maybe it needs to be more. But here's the thing. Do people up north want to pay for the education of students down south? And what I found is that by and large Yeah, they do because they are. And though the segregation of this city, quite frankly, is what was wrong during COVID, because the people of North were wondering why the people down south where I live while we were walking around with umbrellas when it was sunny and clear, up north, let that settle for a minute. The problems ain't the same in this city, you all my members of north were serving families that were unafraid of a vaccine. They were serving families whose parents had the means to create bubbles. Right? Wi Fi wasn't a problem. Yes, they were ready to send those kids back to school ASAP, because they had done everything that the CDC had said, twice the wrong way in and right. The third way, that was a joke. That wasn't funny. But they they did everything because it wasn't problematic, right? They had never had the abuse and mistrust of a medical system. It was easy or, or for them to navigate the COVID world. So why wouldn't they be annoyed at Stacy Davis gates talking about vaccines and we need them before we go back. Because the grandmother that lives in a multi generational household in Grand crossings is probably going to get sick. Remember Jensen Elementary School on the west side. Like these things were predictable. And yes, it was uncomfortable for families that did not have those dilemmas, circumstances, roadblocks barriers, I get it. But who gets to speak for the family and grand crossings of West Garfield Park. Because we don't have the leadership in the city that sees their humanity. And then budgets for it, and then implements for it, and then reflects on it and then figures out how to do it better if they got it wrong. We don't have that in Chicago. So your teachers union member this member this phrase plan out a position. That's where we find ourselves. The six year old girl who was shy, she's coming back to a classroom y'all.

Dan Gibbons 47:38 Understand why our audience is so engaged and I'm sorry, but we're not going to get to all these great questions. I do have two more. If you have time for two more.

stacy davis gates 47:47 I have time for a teacher this questions. This is how we know people listen to.

Dan Gibbons 47:54 So this one comes from our friend Lauren Smith, Saul, who is a member. Thank you Lorenson, we always enjoy seeing him here. He's from the Civic Federation, as many of you know. Thank you for being here. And for your candor. You mentioned, why does Chicago need 21 elected school board members when every other school district in Illinois has seven?

stacy davis gates 48:19 Thank you for that question. I appreciate it. No, I do I think question. You know what, we're not asking each other enough questions. And then we're in if we do ask, we're not waiting to hear it. The answer? All of what we are experienced in this world is because no one listened to Donald Trump. Was this Republican convention? Maybe not? Okay, um, diesen, I thought what was the question again? members on the board, as opposed to seven who said it had to be savvy, somebody somewhere in some place at some point. And does that work better than 21? We'll find out. No, I'm not trying to be glib. But I am gonna say this. That was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Because no one wants what they don't want. Right? We have community groups who wanted it all period, right? We have the rich and elite who want none of it. And then we have other people who still don't know that this is what's happening, right? Because it's something to work non stop and try to parent, you don't have much time to pay attention to the news or the newspaper. That said why 21 because black people on the west side need to be represented on a school board. Is that simple. Right, I could get more like technical with stuff. But like if you look at the city, right, and you carve the city up, how does a black mother on the west side of Chicago who perhaps needs to have her voice centered the most as a parent, because of what isn't there and hasn't been there generationally? How does she win a school board race, if you only have seven, the geography is a huge place to tackle. And you know, elections here in Chicago, they cost $10 billion, right. And she should not be the shield of those people, or those people. She shouldn't be her person. She knows better than anyone what she needs in order to like provide the equity and the policy she needs to feel. And so you don't want her to be in a situation where she has to depend on a check from an interest group to knock the door to send a mailer to have a communication with the voter, you want her to have the ability to do that through the grassroots. I don't know how you do that in Chicago with seven people. I don't know how you center the parent with that. Now I know how you center the union with it. Right? I know how you center the privatization movement with it. Right? We know how the city could center it. Right? But how do you center it in Chicago in North Lawndale, or in Roseland or in Inglewood, or in Edison park or in Beverly or among Greenwood? Cleary right, you have to center with the people who need it the most. And I don't know how you do it with seven? That's the short answer.

Dan Gibbons 51:46 Great, I'm going to finish with this. It's a combination of a couple of different questions. But our city has a clearly strong history of collaboration, respectful discourse, and that I will spirit to work together to move the city forward. Clearly, it's a national, you just mentioned our former president, clearly a national even international trend, this polarization that we see in this in this fighting, how, I guess simply put, how do we get back to respectful discourse, even when we have issues?

stacy davis gates 52:18 Thank you. I really appreciate these questions that do I appreciate you not being nice or coy or soft? I needed you to ask me that question, because I want to answer it. There are so many assumptions packed into that question. So let me diagram the question, respectful discourse, get back to it. polarization. I would say if I'm teaching a class and I'm diagramming the context of that question, I'm saying that that comes from someone of privilege. Because it's polarize, when you are homeless, and you have children. It is polarized when there's a building that blows up in your neighborhood during a pandemic, respiratory, you know, it's polarizing, when there's a ceiling falling in, at a school where children are passing classes, and workers are working. That's already polarized. I didn't do that. And I told you, I'm a mandated reporter. So it is fundamentally my job to say that the sky is falling, because it is and how do you say that comfortably? If it's poorly How do you say politely don't close my school? How do you say politely? Dude, I'm staffing my school with substitutes all the time. Y'all need to leave these teachers alone and let us support them. How do you say politely? The little the young woman who was dragged down steps at Marshall High School by a cop that she doesn't feel safe anymore so she doesn't go to school? And then our classmates who saw it they have a trauma to how do you say that?

How do you say it did the people in Highland Park had to say politely what they need it and that was polarized baby. We have to stop we have to stop granting only certain folks spaces. Benefits of the doubt their humanity. And you know why?

Because I heard people over there. They're supposed to be my opponent. The privatization industry is supposed to be my opponent. Frenzy. That's who we live with. Because we just never stopped bargaining. They're supposed to be my opponent. But we hooked up And they might have COVID And I might have COVID We're interdependent, you all. Were interdependent. We are more interdependent than we are opponents.

Do we disagree? Yep. Do they get beat yo? But we ain't winning. But we ain't winning. And that's why with em partner are the two words that you get to leave here with. We may be beaten them but we ain't winning.

Transcribed by

Video from City Club of Chicago

stacy davis gates family members and jackson potter's mother Robin Potter (left). with Staffer Romel Ferguson all the way to the right.


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