Illinois has an 'Open Meetings Act,' but the Chicago Board of Education practices the 'Closed Meetings Act'... Vitale and Ruiz continue to gag the public through trickery in 'registration' to speak and attend the monthly meetings... Massive charter expansion will be the Board agenda January 22!

How do sanctimonious dictators and tinpot tyrants gag democracy? The monthly meetings of the Chicago Board of Education are a textbook example. Since January 2013, the Board has edicted that registration to "speak" to the Board at its rare monthly meetings must be done on line -- and that only 60 people can sign up to speak, no matter how many people in a city of three million and a school system with 400,000 students might have something to say.

Henry Bienen, Jesse Ruiz, and David Vitale made the policy of strangling out the public from participation during the monthly meetings of the Chicago Board of Education at the January 23, 2013 meeting of the Board (above). They announced that only 60 people would be allowed to register to speak to the board for the two minutes each month, and that registration had to be on line. The result was that fewer and fewer members of the public have been able to get to speak, despite the Illinois Open Meetings Act. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.David Vitale is President of the Chicago Board of Education and Jesse Ruiz is Vice President. Since their appointment by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in May 2011, they have been rubber stamps for Rahm's Way and also working overtime to stifle democracy via any cynical ploy they can get away with. Smiling all the time.

The January 2014 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education will take place at the Board's downtown offices on January 22, 2014. But citizens who want to speak and exercise their First Amendment rights to "petition the government for a redress of grievances" were require to go to a computer and "register" on line beginning at 8:00 a.m. for those rare slots.

As I write this, its 10:30 in the morning of January 13, 2014.


Once again David Vitale, Jesse Ruiz and Rahms minions have shut out most of the public from speaking at the January 22, 2014 Board meeting.

I went to the Boards sign in site and got the following message:

"Speak to the board

All advance registration speaker slots filled."

"Observe the meeting

113 out of 200 advance registration slots available?You'll sit and watch the meeting without speaking to the board directly. If you want to stand next to a speaker as part of a group, please register to observe."

Although Illinois has an Open Meetings Act, in Chicago Rahm Emanuel's minions on the Chicago Board of Education implement a policy that might be dubbed the CLOSED MEETING ACT. They simply set rules that strangle democracy, and then work their smiles when someone gets angry about it.

Even those who sign up are hampered. Each member of the "public" gets a full two minutes to speak to the Board. Unless the "public" agrees with the Board, in which case the Board members smile and let the person go on and on and on...


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