Posts Tagged ‘Wal-Mart’

Why is the NY teachers’ pension fund enriching anti-public schools Penny Pritzker?

Thursday, February 17th, 2011
Hyatt Hotel

Some are already boycotting Hyatt Hotels

You know that I think we should all be boycotting Microsoft, Wal-Mart, and other billionaire supporters of privatizing public schools.

But the problem is that most of the anti-public school crowd is made up of investment bankers, hedge funders and others whose jobs I can’t even begin to describe, much less figure out how to include in the boycott.

UNTIL TODAY…

when I read that one of my favorite non-favorites, Penny Pritzker, has started up a new private equity firm which has just received a $50 million commitment from the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System.

What?????? And some of that is MY MOM’s money.

As teacher-blogger Fred Klonsky pointed out last fall, Penny is a prominent member of Chicago’s Civic Committee, which wants to get rid of teacher pensions. She is also an owner of Hyatt Hotels, which refuses to grant its workers decent salaries or benefits. After Klonsky protested, the Illinois Education Association moved its March conference from the Hyatt O’Hare to the Rosemont Convention Center, but he reports that the IEA’s local delegation to the National Education Association’s annual meeting, to be held here in July, is set to stay at the Hyatt in downtown Chicago.

Penny is also a major contributor to teacher-bashing Stand for Children and the school-closing, teacher-and-staff-firing Renaissance Schools Fund.

Wish I had won the lottery so I could refuse to let them manage my money.

But all you teachers out there, why not demand a thorough review of where your pension funds are being invested, and make sure it’s not enriching your enemies?

Here’s a thought from the Paranoid File – what if Penny is secretly planning to take the teacher pension money, then go bankrupt? Her pal President Obama will no doubt bail her out so that she can keep giving him megamillions in campaign donations, but teachers will be out of luck! She gets what she wants either way.

Oh, and in case you didn’t already hate Penny? The Tribune reports that her private equity firm will focus on buying distressed property (i.e. foreclosures). Perfect. She wants your job AND your home.

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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.