Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Little Village Principals: Jorge Ruiz, Alberto Juarez, Brian Rogers, Jose Luis Illanes, Tonya Hammaker, Jesse H. Ruiz, Cesar E. Chavez Birthday, Open House: Silvana Tabares

Left to right: Jorge Ruiz, Alberto Juarez, August Sallas, Brian Rogers,
Jesse H. Ruiz, Jose Luis Illanes, Tonya Hammaker
          LV PRINCIPALS: Five Little Village principals had an informal meeting with Jesse H. Ruiz, Vice-President with the Chicago Board of Education Friday, March 15, 2013 at the Little Village Community Council. The five principals were Jorge Ruiz, Eli Whitney Elementary School; Alberto Juarez, Gary Elementary School; Brian Rogers, Little Village High School World Language; Jose Luis Illanes, Madero Middle Elementary and Tonya Hammaker, Farragut Career Academy. 
          VP RUIZ thanked the principals for their attendance and opened his remarks by telling them about his upbringing. “My father was an illegal immigrant and a bracero [Spanish meaning ‘manual labor’]”, said Ruiz. His mother was an “A” student in the State of Guanajuato, Mexico. He also mentioned Barack Obama was one of his professors in Collage as he struggled for an education to become a lawyer. His current position of serving on the Chicago Public School Board is a non-salaried position. 
          JESSE said, “Chicago Public Schools [CPS] has a lot of challenges. The biggest challenge for the Board will be choosing those Chicago schools which must close in the near future. 
          “ONE SCHOOL has 60 students but was built for 500. Entire floors are empty,” said Ruiz. In the past 10 years Chicago public schools lost 30,000 kids Ruiz said. Many Chicago schools are underutilized and need to be closed. Some of the buildings are over 100 years old. “It would cost CPS millions of dollars to maintain them,” said Ruiz. Another challenge CPS has is solving the pension problem. 
          EACH principal had an opportunity to tell Ruiz about their school and its needs. The principals told Ruiz how each of them spend ten or more hours a day doing their work as the principal. Their work is especially difficult when grading a teacher’s performances.  “Evaluating a teacher’s performance is very time consuming,” said Hammaker. 
          THROUGHOUT the three hour meeting, Ruiz listened intently, took notes and said he would follow-up with their needs at CPS meetings and with staff. 
          A NOTE OF INTEREST:  Ruiz stated emphatically, ‘when the casino comes to Chicago, the revenue will be for education’! 
August Sallas & Cesar E. Chavez
          A NATIONAL HERO: Cesar E. Chavez’s birthday is March 31st. Chavez [1927-1993], a union organizer, struggled his entire life to organize the farm workers into the United Farm Workers Union. I met and walked with Cesar Chavez during the grape and lettuce boycotts in Chicago. 
          CHAVEZ, a tireless labor leader, lived a simple and humble lifestyle. He was a soft spoken man who wanted to improve the working conditions of all farm workers who are the most exploited workers in America.
           CHAVEZ’s dedication as a Union leader and as a religious person helped his cause of “Si se Puede” [Spanish for “Yes, it can be done”], the motto of the United Farm Workers. Chavez fasted to stop violence on the picket lines by his members. Chavez followed the example of Mahatma Gandhi of non-violence. 
          THERE WAS an assembly by the students at Farragut Career Academy on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 to honor the life and legacy of Cesar E. Chavez. 
          AS A FORMER elected Union organizer for 10 years with the Chicago Typographical Union I know how difficult it is to organize workers. Chavez is my hero because he was a great organizer and I continue to admire him for his work as a union leader. Viva Cesar Chavez! 
Silvana Tabares
          OPEN HOUSE: State Representative Silvana Tabares [21st District] is inviting residents of the 21st District to stop by her new constituent service office this Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 2458 S. Millard Ave., Unit 2A, Chicago from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon. 
          THERE WILL be an opportunity for local residents to speak with Rep. Tabares about any concerns or needs in the community and learn more about the services provided through her office. 
          OFFICE HOURS: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Office manager is Manuel Carerra.
          FOR MORE information, Rep. Tabares’ constituent service office at 773/522-1415 or e-mail rep.tabares@gmail.com 
          MOVIE REVIEW: The movie “Emperor” is not about Gen. Douglas MacArthur, but a love story about an American General Bonner Fellers and a Japanese girl. Fellers as a young man in college falls in love with a Japanese exchange student. She returns to Japan during WWII. General Fellers looks for her in Japan after the atomic bombing of Japan. Gen. MacArthur [Tommy Lee Jones] was filler in the story line. I give it one star.