PSAT for 2-19-13: Thank your alderman


UPDATED: I made a few major errors in this post – I added one Alderman who did NOT sign (Ray Suarez) and left off 4 aldermen who DID – also signing were 11th Ward Ald. James Balcer, (773) 254-6677,  28th Ward Ald. Jason Ervin,, 773.533.0900, 29th Ward Alderman Deborah Graham,, 773.261.4646,  and 50th Ward Ald., Deborah Silverstein, (773) 262-1050.

I have also updated some e-mail addresses.

Apologies to those who were incorrectly left off the list!


We spend a lot of time criticizing our elected officials for the bad decisions they make, or for wimping out when we want them to stick up for us.

But it may be even more important to thank them when they are right. The 35 Chicago aldermen who signed on in support of a moratorium on new charter schools are going up against Mayor Emanuel and his charter-cheerleader hedge fund cronies, along with all so many others in power across the nation from Arne Duncan on down.

Here are some of the points they made in the resolution:

  • A major factor contributing to the underutilization of CPS schools is the expansion of charter schools in Chicago. Currently, the number of seats available in charter schools amounts to more than half of the reported excess capacity. Moreover, any future expansion of charter schools will further exacerbate this problem.
  • CPS should not simultaneously close schools for budget reasons and fund the creation of additional privately operated charter schools.
  • The Chicago Board of Education should adopt a policy that prohibits any charter expansion while neighborhood schools are being closed.

It’s becoming clearer all the time that the closer people are to the real life of communities, the more they are able to hear, understand, and respond to the needs of the people. A lot of our aldermen have been at the school closing hearings and they are getting a pretty good sense of what people want.

So, for Public Schools Action Tuesday today (or, since it’s kinda late, maybe tomorrow) please call or e-mail your alderman and thank him/her for doing something great for our children. And if your alderman is not on this list, find their contact information here and say what needs to be said.

To e-mail, just add your ward number to (see Ward 1, Ward 10 below as examples). A few aldermen have alternate e-mails, which are listed, and several have no listed e-mail, which is also noted:

Proco Moreno – 1st  –   773.278.0101
Bob Fioretti – 2nd   312.263.9273
Pat Dowell – 3rd   773.373.9273
William Burns – 4th  773.536.8103
Leslie Hairston – 5th  LHairston@cityofchicago,org  773.324.5555
Roderick Sawyer – 6th,  773.635.0006
Anthony Beale – 9th  773.785.1100
John Pope – 10th  773.721.1999

ADDED: James Balcer, 11th (773) 254-6677
Toni Foulkes – 15th, 773.863.0220
Joann Thompson – 16th,  773.434.3399
Latasha Thomas – 17th 773.723.0908
Lona Lane – 18th 773.471.1991
Matthew O’Shea – 19th (no e-mail listed) 773.238.8766
Willie Cochran – 20th 773.955.5610
Ricardo Munoz – 22nd 773.762.1771
Michael Chandler – 24th  773-533-2400
Roberto Maldonado – 26th  (no e-mail listed)  773.395.0143
Walter Burnett Jr. – 27th  312.432.1995

Jason Ervin, 28th,, 773.533.0900

Deborah Graham, 29th,, 773.261.4646
(DELETE- DID NOT SIGN! Ray Suarez – 31st  773.486.6488)
Scott Waguespack – 32nd  773.248.1330
Carrie Austin – 34th  773.928.6961
Nicholas Sposato – 36th   (no e-mail listed) 773.836.0036
Emma Mitts – 37th  773.745.2894
Timothy Cullerton – 38th  773.545.3838

Margaret Laurino – 39th, 773.736.5594
Mary O’Connor – 41st   773.594.8341
Michele Smith – 43rd, 773.348.9500
John Arena – 45th   773.286.4545
James Cappleman – 46th  info@james46,  773.878.4646
Ameya Pawar – 47th  773.868.4747
Harry Osterman – 48th 773.784.5277
Joe Moore – 49th  773.338.5796

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.