Monday, December 17, 2012

Open Letter: Anita Alvarez, O'Hare Airport 300 SEIU Laid-Off, St. Agnes Christmas Show, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Kathleen Duffy, Meteor Juliana Tamayo, Democratic Committeeman Ray Lopez, Merry Christmas Feliz Navidad

Anita Alvarez

          I hope this e-mail finds you and your family well and enjoying the holiday season!
          MANY of you have watched or read about the 60 Minutes story entitled “Chicago: The False Confession Capital”, which aired on December 9th. I have received a significant amount of negative feedback regarding my participation in that segment and the position those clips portray me as taking on the issue.                    
          GIVEN the manner in which 60 Minutes chose to edit my interview, I am not surprised by the negative feedback. However, I want to address these gross misconceptions head-on and have submitted a letter to the president of CBS News to correct the record and to express my deep dissatisfaction with their segment.
          CBS provided an inexcusably limited narrative of the case and excluded my most pertinent comments regarding the important and troubling topic of wrongful convictions in an apparent effort to provide their story with an antagonist. Their misrepresentation of the facts and my hour-long interview with them did a disservice to their audience and their journalistic credibility.
             MAKE no mistake, I recognize that Cook County has a troubling history of false confessions and wrongful convictions and I will continue to implement solutions to ensure that they do not happen in the future.
          ONLY four months ago, the Chicago Sun Times praised my office’s handling of wrongful conviction cases as "a model for justice" for the rest of the country. My commitment to using my office’s resources to seek justice in such cases remains steadfast. I invite you to verify what I have outlined in the letter yourself and to share the accurate facts with others.
 Wishes and Happy Holidays”,    /s/Anita  Alvarez

For more information log on to 
          A LETDOWN: I always believed Chicago was a city with a heart and a city that cared about its middle class. Today, I am disappointed with our great city—Chicago—as being heartless. Heartless because our City laid-off 300 city employees at O’Hare Airport, before Christmas! This is a sad situation for these are hard working middle class people with families and children during this holiday season.

          CITY UNION WORKERS and their families don’t deserve to be treated so badly. Our great city has created an unnecessary hardship for them and without just cause, their livelihood and their Christmas spirit has been taken from them.
          FOR YEARS the Union workers, members of SEIU Local 1 who include janitors and window washers, have been doing a great  job keeping O’Hare airport clean. Most of the workers are Latino, African-American and Polish with many years of service. Their work at O’Hare airport has been exceptional. SEIU President Tom Balanoff said: “It’s one of the cleanest airports in America.”
          WHY are these workers being laid off? The City is awarding the maintenance contract to United Maintenance Company. Secretary Treasurer, Laura Garza, of SEIU Local 1, in her speech to members said: “They [United Maintenance] will slash the wages and benefits of their workers.”
          SEIU WORKERS are urging Mayor Rahm Emanuel to reconsider his decision and rebid the contract. Chicago has always been a city who cares about its middle class. Let’s hope our Mayor keeps it that way.  
Leonardo Gonzalez [Juan Diego], Lordes Covarrubias [Guadalupe],
Johanna Godinez [servant], Christopher Negrete [Bishop], Laura Ramos [servant]
          CHRISTMAS SHOW: St. Agnes of Bohemia Catholic Church, 2643 S. Central Park Ave., celebrated Mass for Little Village senior citizens at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. During the Mass a reenactment of the apparition Our Lady of Guadalupe was performed beautifully by the young students of St. Agnes Elementary School. The seniors along with fellow parishioners clapped with enjoyment after the performance.
Citlaly Ruiz [Mary] and
Christopher Negrete [Joseph]
          AFTERWARD, 150 seniors  were served brunch by the school children in the school lunchroom. A free raffle and gifts were given to the seniors. Following breakfast, parents, seniors and guests were invited to the school gym to see a performance of the story of the Nativity scene and to hear the school children sing. Along with “Silent Night”  the little children sang “Mamacita Yo Quiero Santa Claus” and the performance ended with everyone in the room, students, parents, seniors and guests  singing “Feliz Navidad, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas.” It was a great event.
        ALL OF the 423 school children from St. Agnes of Bohemia Elementary participated in the Christmas play and performance. Kathleen Duffy, Principal of St. Agnes of Bohemia Catholic School, has been the principal for the past two years. Ms Duffy was a Middle School math teacher for four years before becoming the principal at St. Agnes.  
Kathleen Duffy 
         THE CHRISTMAS event, the Guadalupe reenactment, senior brunch, and teaching the kids how to be servers, was coordinated by 8th grade teachers Eileen Flaherty and Sharon Holdvogt.  Ms. Flores and the office staff cooked the breakfast, Martha Fiscal coordinated the Nativity story skit and all of the decorations and Jessica Conlin, the 5th grade teacher, coordinated the music show.
          ST. AGNES of Bohemia Elementary school is a Pre-K to 8th grade school. “It’s a Catholic school which we make affordable in order for all families to send their children here,” said Principal Duffy. Gabriella Fiscal, Development Director of St. Agnes, said, “The St. Agnes community values the sacrifice our parents make by sending their children to a Catholic school and we feel a tremendous pride in the elderly of our community. Our parents and elderly are why we are here, and this is a way to say  ‘Thank you.’”  Kudos to all the teachers, staff, parents and students for a spectacular holiday event.
Christmas Star Elizabeth Ortiz,
Magi: Nicholas Camacho, Standing: [L] Emanuel Carrera
& Everado Rodriguez
          METEOR: Sophomore Juliana Tamayo [Little Village] was named Meteor of the Month at De La Salle’s Lourdes Hall Campus for Young Women, 3434 W. Michigan Ave., Chicago for the Month of November 2012.
     Juliana Tamayo
        TAMAYO EXCELS in her classroom at De La Salle, by sustaining a 4.636 GPA (grade-point average) and ranking No. 5 in the 110-member Class of 2015 at the Lourdes Hall Campus.
        ADDITIONALLY, to Tamayo academic excellence, she is involved in the Mock Trail program, REACH Club, Science Club, Spanish Club and Book Club. 
       METEORS are nominated by faculty and staff highlighting students who are motivated and enthusiastic about the school’s Lasallian mission inside and outside of the classroom. They are students who stand out amongst their peers by having demonstrated one or more of the Lasallian Principles of Faith, Community, Service, Social Justice and/or Association.
         DE LA SALLE Institute is an independent Catholic secondary school rooted in the tradition of Christian Education established by St. John Baptist de La Salle in 1889. Its mission has been to foster a desire for excellence in education. De La Salle Lourdes Hall Campus principal is Diane Brown, De La Salle President is Father Paul Novak, OSM. We congratulate Juliana on all of her accomplishments. 
Ray Lopez & Patricia Brekke
       15th WARD: Raymond Lopez,15th Ward Democratic Committeeman, attended a Chicago Public School [CPS] community meeting on Friday, December 13, 2012, to discuss the newly-named Back of the Yards High School. The new high school will serve Daley, Lara, Chavez, Hedges, Hamline and Seward elementary schools.
          COMMITTEEMAN Lopez looks forward to working with Principal Patricia Brekke and CPS in increasing neighborhood awareness for the school.