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Proviso Probe

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ascot makes the case for change

If other candidates have a succinct message for Proviso voters, contact me, RadioNyberg circled "a" Yahoo spot com.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Lipinski weathers Tea Party activists

Advocates of health care reform don't like the Tea Party activists who have been loud and obnoxious when members of Congress have held public meetings.

The pro-health care reform people shot video of a recent town hall meeting by U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski where Tea Party activists heckled a woman telling the story of her pregnant daughter-in-law dying after being denied the care she needed because she was uninsured.

h/t Jeff Wegerson (Prairie State Blue)

I would prefer the United States enact health care reform based on a deliberative discussion of what's wrong with the current system and how we can make it better.

But the Republican Party seeks to defeat any health care legislation because it perceives that the GOP will do better in the 2010 elections if they can say the Democrats have not accomplished anything on the Democrats top legislative priority.

Generally Americans want health care reform. And generally they want something similar to what the Democrats are proposing or something more radical, like single-payer health care. Since the Tea Party activists don't have the people on their side and they don't have good arguments for maintaining the status quo they yell louder, make extreme claims and are generally obnoxious.

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Edgar endorses Sheahan for state rep

If you care what former-Governor Jim Edgar thinks, he's supporting Brien Sheahan for the 41st Illinois House district. State Rep. Bob Biggins is retiring. See Daily Herald Animal Farm (John Patterson).

BTW, the blog entry mentions the professions of the other candidates, but not Mike Manzo. Doesn't it seem Manzo should be identified as an employee of Commissioner Tony Peraica? It seems at least as relevant as mentioning the professions and employers of the other candidates.

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Who did ROLT endorse for GOP primaries?

The Republican Organization of Lyons Township (ROLT), aka Team Tony, endorsed Patrick Hughes for U.S. Senate, Jason Plummer for Lt. Governor, Judy Baar Topinka for Comptroller and Mark Thompson over Liz Gorman for Cook County Board in the 17th district. See Illinois Review. More members voted for Dan Proft than the other governor candidates, but insufficient for the organization to endorse.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Jason Ervin caught doing political work during the day

Fox Chicago busted Maywood Village Manager Jason Ervin checking John Conteduca's nominating petitions during working hours. Conteduca is challenging incumbent Karen Yarbrough in the election for Proviso Township Democratic Committeeman. Karen Yarbrough is the wife of Henderson Yarbrough, Maywood's village president.
"If I'm doing something that's not affiliated with the Village of Maywood, I will take myself off the clock," Ervin said.

Ervin is salaried, so if he's not taking a vacation day, there's no functional difference between him being "on the clock" and "off the clock".

Topix has a discussion in progress.

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Ascot and Dixon respond to questions about running for Congress

Jim Ascot (campaign website) and Ald. Sharon Denise Dixon (campaign website) are two (of eight) of the candidates running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Representative in Illinois Seventh Congressional District. The district is currently represented by Rep. Danny Davis.

I asked the following questions of all the candidates. So far, only Ascot and Dixon have responded. I spoke to Darlena Williams Burnett on Thursday and she expressed intent to respond, but indicated she's been inundated with questionnaires since filing to run.
* Are you withdrawing your name from the ballot? Will you be actively campaigning for election as U.S. Representative?
* What is your reaction to Davis' announcement?
* What are three things voters should know about you?
* Are you willing to answer a more detailed questionnaire in writing?
* Are you willing to respond to questions posed by Proviso Probe's audience?
* Will you give an interview on video tape to me (Carl Nyberg)? I will post the entire video on Google videos. I will post an excerpted version on You Tube.
* What is the phone number and email address I should use to contact your campaign? What is the URL for your website?


"Are you withdrawing your name from the ballot? Will you be actively campaigning for election as U.S. Representative?"
No, I'm not withdrawing my name from the ballot and we are actively campaigning for election. I announced my candidacy for this position months ago and my growing support is evidence of the urgency of this campaign.

"What is your reaction to Davis' announcement?"
I was disappointed by Danny Davis' announcement. A congressional seat should not be treated as an entitlement, something to fall back on when your other plans don't work out. Representation is a sacred trust, not a consolation prize. This kind of political game is evidence that my opponent is just another career politician. The people of the 7th District should expect more from their representative.

"What are three things voters should know about you?"
The three things I want voters to know about me: First, I'm not a career politician. I'm a small business owner who has benefited from this community and wants to give back. I believe I know what we need in a representative. We need someone who understands the problems our District faces and knows what needs to be done. Second, service to community is an important aspect of my life. From Rotary One of Chicago to the Chicago Composers Forum, serving as President of the Lane Tech High School Alumni Association to Chairing the Illinois Election Day Registration Commision, you can see that community service is an integral part of who I am. Third, the most important issue to me, the thing I will start working on the day I open my Washington office, is bringing jobs and financial security to the District. We must do this now by securing federal stimulus funding for the 7th District to build a viable economy.

"Are you willing to answer a more detailed questionnaire in writing?"

"Will you give an interview on video tape to me (Carl Nyberg)? I will post the entire video on Google videos. I will post an excerpted version on You Tube."

"What is the phone number and email address I should use to contact your campaign? What is the URL for your website?"
I would be happy to respond to any further questions, whether by uestionnaire or interview. Please contact me at ... jascot circled "a" ascotforcongress.com. Our campaign website iswww.ascotforcongress.com. I look forward to hearing from you.


"Are you withdrawing your name from the ballot?"

"Will you be actively campaigning for election as U.S. Representative?"

"What is your reaction to Davis' announcement?"
Rep. Danny Davis has twice indicated that he would prefer to be President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners than U.S. Representative of the 7th Congressional District--the frst time when John Stroger resigned and now. he is also showing that he has lost interest in representing the 7th CDC by missing 71 votes so far in the 1st Session of the 111th Congress. I think it's time that the voters elect someon wh wants to represent the people of the 7th CD and that's what I want to do.

"What are three things voters should know about you?"
(a) I'm serious and a hard worker;
(b) I'm a fighter ans when I go to Congress I will be focused like a laser beam on legislation to create jobs; and
(c) In politics I've discovered that before voters care about what you know they want to know that you care--and I'm someone who cares deeply.

"Are you willing to answer a more detailed questionnaire in writing?"
Yes (See enclosed Q & As from various organizations.)

"Are you willing to respond to questions posed by Proviso Probe's audience?"
Yes, I'm even willing to come to Proviso Township and appear before your voters personally and to answer their questions and engage in dialogue.

"Will you give an interview on video tape to me (Carl Nyberg)? I will post the entire video on Google videos. I will post an excerpted version on You Tube."
Yes, at a time and place of mutual agreement.

The email for Dixon's campaign is DixonFourCongress circled "a" Gmail.

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Taser, Inc. guidelines for speaking to media

Zwoof (Daily Kos) wrote TASERS: How Police & TASER, Inc. Bamboozle The Press. Zwoof quotes the guidance Taser International, Inc. suggests police departments use to minimize civil suits over use of Taser stun guns.

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2 B/R condo in Westchester for $179,000

See the ad on Craigslist.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

IVI-IPO endorsement sessions

Today IVI-IPO held it's endorsement sessions for the following races: Lt. Governor, State Treasurer, State Comptroller, Cook County Assessor, President of the Cook County Board and MWRD commissioner.

IVI-IPO rules limit the committee interviewing the candidates to making recommendations to the IVI-IPO board if there aren't at least 100 members present (and at least 15% of the organization's members).

The one endorsement made by the committee which is binding upon the board was for President. The group endorsed Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (candidate questionnaire, pdf). Incumbent President Todd Stroger (questionnaire, pdf), Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown (questionnaire, pdf) and MWRD President Terry O'Brien (questionnaire, pdf).

Someone asked Stroger about why he missed the candidate forum at DePaul University. He responded that he was at the 90th anniversary celebration at his church. I asked why his campaign manager didn't know his whereabouts. Stroger took responsibility for not calling the organizers of the candidate forum to say that he wasn't attending. He offered no explanation for his campaign manager's ignorance.

An IVI-IPO member suggested Stroger went to church in the morning and preferred to stay with the friendly audience rather than deal with the hostile audience at DePaul. This sounds about right to me.

Stroger said his toughest opponents in the race are the Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune.

Brown had a large number of supporters at the event, but many of them were not voting members of IVI-IPO. Maywood Village President Henderson Yarbrough attended and indicated a preference IVI-IPO endorse Brown. Yarbrough works for the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

The committee recommended IVI-IPO endorse State Rep. Mike Boland (candidate questionnaire, pdf) for Lt. Governor. I spoke for Thomas Castillo (candidate questionnaire, pdf).

Castillo's presentation was organized the best. He had a clear agenda for the office and it seemed like a list of things on which he could make realistic progress (Castillo's issues page). The two issues that caused Castillo to trip up were abortion and the death penalty. Castillo said he was undecided about whether the law should require girls who are minors to notify their parents before getting abortions. And Castillo indicated he was open to resuming capital punishment because the system doesn't have the unfairness of Cdr. Jon Burge anymore.

Scott Lee Cohen (candidate questionnaire, pdf) and State Rep. Art Turner (candidate questionnaire, pdf) also appeared. When asked why he was running for lieutenant governor Turner responded, "Because my son wants to be state rep."

In the race for State Treasurer there is no incumbent, but Robin Kelly (candidate questionnaire, pdf) is the chief of staff for Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias. Justin Oberman (candidate questionnaire, pdf) didn't make a strong case for change. The group recommended IVI-IPO endorse Kelly.

The group recommended Clint Krislov (candidate questionnaire, pdf) for Comptroller. Krislov is a former chair of IVI-IPO and is representing the organization in its lawsuit against the City of Chicago over the parking meter privatization. Current IVI-IPO chair Bob Bartell spoke in favor of endorsing Krislov. My take was that Krislov probably wouldn't have gotten recommended without this extra nudge.

Raja Krishnamoorthi (candidate questionnaire, pdf) gave the clearest, most organized presentation of what he's do if elected. State Rep. David E. Miller (candidate questionnaire, pdf) gave the best answer on the issue of regulating cemeteries. Miller favors shifting the responsibility from the comptroller to the agency that handles professional regulation.

The group also recommended IVI-IPO endorse Ray Figueroa (candidate questionnaire, pdf) over Joe Berrios (candidate questionnaire, pdf) for Cook County Assessor.

I was disappointed Melrose Park Village Clerk Mary Ann Paolantonio Salemi (candidate questionnaire, pdf) did not attend the endorsement session. She attended the IVI-IPO meet the candidate shindig on Thursday. She and I had a good talk. She said she had a proposal for reducing flooding in the west suburbs. I wanted to ask her more. But she didn't appear.

The group recommended IVI-IPO endorse Commissioner Barbara McGowan (candidate questionnaire, pdf), Commissioner Mariyana Spyropoulos (candidate questionnaire, pdf) and Todd Connor (candidate questionnaire, pdf). Even though Connor received the most votes in the straw poll of the group, after McGowan and Spyropoulos were recommended there was a push by a few, including Ald. Leslie Hairston to give the third endorsement to Kari Steele (candidate questionnaire, pdf).

Stella Black (candidate questionnaire, pdf) also appeared.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

do you want to see the candidates in person?

IVI-IPO is having a meet the candidates party on Thursday evening and endorsements this weekend. See Prairie State Blue for details.

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Stroger's whereabouts unknown to campaign manager during candidate forum

Yesterday, a coalition of Democratic groups hosted a forum for the Democratic candidates for President of the Cook County Board at DePaul University.

Todd Stroger failed to attend.

Sun-Times (Lisa Donovan):
Stroger's campaign manager, Vincent Williams, reached by phone after Sunday's political forum, didn't know why he missed the event: "I haven't spoken to the president today, so I don't have an answer."

Missing a major candidate forum without an explanation is not normal. Having the campaign manager clueless makes it hard for normal people to have confidence in the candidate's competence.

ABC7 is on the case.
After initially saying he was not actually confirmed to attend the debate, Stroger's campaign said Monday they knew of the debate, and pulled out after a Sun-Times report appeared in the paper Sunday alleging a conspiracy in the board race.

In the article Stroger attacks Dorothy Brown. I'm not really sure why Brown getting busted doing something underhanded (according to Sun-Times (Tim Novak) Brown's nominating petitions were in some cases circulated by the same people who circulated Terry O'Brien's) would keep Stroger from appearing.

Why do you think Stroger failed to attend?

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jobs available

In the last 24 hours I have been contacted about three job openings.

Nominating petitions

There's a judge candidate looking for people to circulate nominating petitions. The consultant is paying $1.50 per valid signature. Email me ASAP, RadioNyberg circled "a" Yah00 spot com, if interested. Sigs have to be notarized and submitted by Sunday morning.

Renting apartments

Andy Sokol of The Sokol Group is looking for agents to rent real estate. People can't buy homes so they gotta rent. The Sokol Group works with students and medical professionals among others.

Web Development Assistant

Web Trax Studio is looking for someone with the following:

• Intermediate CSS and XHTML skills
• Interested in learning or advancing skills in Joomla website-building software
• Interested in learning internet marketing strategies and tools
• Detail-oriented and responsible
• Self-directed and enjoys problem solving
• A laptop computer with internet capability
• A passion for social change and sustainable living
• Interested in a flexible long-term freelance relationship

See the full job listing.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Flowers, the ROE and the Illinois State Board of Education

Have you been following the drama for Charles Flowers, Regional Superintendent Suburban Cook County Schools?

Flowers was investigated for various allegations of misuse of funds. Since then various entities have acted unsympathetically to the ROE (Regional Office of Education).

Cook County demanded repayment of a loan. The ROE didn't have the money. The ROE's landlord (Westchester elementary schools) demanded payment of back rent. The ROE didn't have the money. The ROE got an office in Broadview, but was shut down for lack of an occupancy permit. Now there is no office and the ROE functions aren't being done. See Daily Southtown (Duaa ElDeib).
If you're one of about 25,000 teachers or administrators in any of the 143 school districts needing the services of the Suburban Cook County Regional Office of Education, try back later.

Has Flowers made mistakes? Have his actions cast doubt on his competence?


Would the Village of Broadview normally keep a government office from operating for 30 days for lack of an occupancy permit?

I doubt it. But Flowers has few friends. And life is harder when no one wants to help you and lots of people are looking to "throw you under the bus".

But I'd like to step back.

If the Illinois State Board of Education and other authorities in the bureaucracy are willing to let Flowers and the ROE twist in the wind, what's the say about the office?

It seems to me a major function of the ROEs across Illinois is to obfuscate accountability when the Illinois State Board of Education either incorrectly processes paperwork or takes a long time. The teacher or district submitting documents can't be sure if the ROE is responsible or the Illinois State Board of Education.

The ROEs are funded by state government (Illinois General Assembly and Governor). So, when something goes wrong at one ROE the recourse goes through Springfield. But the ROEs serve parts of the state.

If the President of the Cook County Board makes a mistake, s/he has to answer to the commissioners. Virtually every executive in the U.S. political system has to answer to a legislative body with the power of the purse and the legislative body serves the same group of voters as the executive.

One of the few (only?) exceptions is a ROE in Illinois. They don't have local legislative bodies to hold them accountable. So, someone who lacks the competence to do the job can get elected and it's not clear how to remove the person or hold her/him accountable.

The Flowers debacle shows the office should be eliminated as an elective office and be appointed by the governor or the state superintendent of education.

Team Flowers would probably argue the office doesn't have the funding to do the job it's expected to do. So, many of the financial problems of the Flowers administration originate with the office being underfunded. This is probably true, but....

Did the Flowers administration use the money it had wisely?

It seems clear that some money was either misspent or spent without the required documentation that it was spent properly.

Has Flowers handled the media well?


Are other public officials, including elected officials, withholding money from the ROE that would probably go to the ROE if Flowers hadn't gotten himself into trouble?


Even the most pro-Flowers interpretation of the situation is that he and his appointees made a mess. And Flowers lacks the skills to dig himself and the office out of the hole. And the Illinois State Board of Education seems content to allow the Suburban Cook County ROE to founder.

PS It does seem like Proviso's state legislators could do something to improve the situation. Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) is on the Senate Education Committee and has been the chair in the past. Sen. Dan Cronin (R-Elmhurst) is the senior Republican on that committee. Like Lightford and Cronin State Rep. Karen Yarbrough (D-Maywood) is on her chamber's Education Committee. Yarbrough is the Democratic Committeeman for Proviso Township. And she's the person who persuaded the Cook County Democratic Party to nominate Flowers. Although she and Flowers are not as tight as they were.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Green candidate for committeeman responds to Qs

I posed a list of questions to all the candidates for committeeman (Democrats, Greens and Republicans).

Suzanne von Leuschner, the Green candidate answered first.

1. How will you organize members of your party in Proviso Township?
We are starting to organize Proviso Township as part of the West Side Greens. We currently hold monthly meetings on the second Sunday of the month. Our location changes. You will be notified of our next meeting place.

2. What candidates have you supported in the past?
My recent political support has been to the democratic party candidates.

3.How should constituents contact you?
Constituents will be seeing me throughout the community over the next few months. I am active in the Brookfield Riverside Rotary.

4.How would you characterize the performance of schools in Proviso Township? What should be done to improve the schools? Will you attend meetings of the board of education of Proviso Township High Schools?
The schools in Proviso Township require a tremendous amount of community support. Until you asked, I hadn't planned on attending Proviso Twp board of Education meetings as I am in another district.

5.What experience do you have organizing locally?
I am new to local organizing but am confident that we will build on on offering another choice to the spring election.

6.Are you active with any causes or advocacy organizations?
Am I active with any causes? Yes, I promote sustainable architecture.

7.In what ways does your party need to improve? How will you affect change within your party?
Our party is beginning to attract some attention. We are always looking for venues to get our messages out to the public.

8.Will you help constituents get jobs? Who will you help? How will you help them?
Job creation is a challenge. Local people need to look for ways they can research and meet people who work in many different industries to see what skills are required to get started in a new job. Asking questions and being polite can open doors.

9.What's your quick pitch for someone to be active with your party?
I ask people to look to at our ten key values-ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy, nonviolence, decentralization, community based economics, feminism (or equal rights), respect for diversity, personal and global responsibility, and a focus on the future to see if deep down they can believe that we are all in this together. There will be swings in power and some difficult times ahead but we each have the responsibility to do our best to figure out how to do more than watch from the sidelines.

10.What are the legal responsibilities of the committeeman?
As far as legal responsibilities of a township committeeman, parties develop a political program that defines their ideology and sets out the agenda they would pursue should they win elective office. A Committeeman verifies that local Green Party candidates represent the ideology of the party and agenda.

11.Why do you identify with your party?
I identify with the party because I agree with the ten key values.

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Liz Gorman whines that village clerk is father of her opponent

Kristen McQueary (Daily Southtown) has a column noting Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman (R-Orland Park) is complaining that the Village of Orland Park is an early voting site and the village clerk is the father of one of her Democratic opponents, Patrick Maher.

Gorman's husband ran a car dealership. Daimler-Benz had a dispute with Mr. Gorman over some money and took him to court. How did Gorman respond to the allegations about the money? He filed a motion saying that his point of contact at Daimler-Benz used derogatory terms to describe Black people.

Liz Gorman is throwing allegations against the wall. Guess what Commissioner G? A whole bunch of candidates run in elections where the village clerk isn't on their side. Deal with it.

[UPDATE: Victor Forys is also running in the Dem primary. Ray Hanania (OrlandParker.com) calls Forys the leading candidate. Gov. Pat Quinn just appointed Forys to the Illinois Board of Health.

[Forys did well in the Polish community when he ran for IL-05. Quinn supporting Forys allows him to give something to the Polish community and it forces Maher, who is kin of Dan Hynes, to run opposed in the Dem primary.]

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Davis advisor pleads guilty to fraud

Politico (Jonathan Allen):
A senior policy fellow for Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) has pleaded guilty to defrauding the government and private lenders of nearly $822,000 by using aliases to obtain student loans and more than 90 credit cards.

I had a friend blow-up at me yesterday over Danny Davis.

Apparently it's very hard for people who knew Davis during the Harold Washington era to reconcile who he has become.

People change. Being part of the system changes people.

By all accounts I've heard, Davis was a stalwart progressive and reformer... during the Harold Washington era. Now, he's a politician getting advice from a guy who rips off student loan programs.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jim Ascot draws attention to Danny Davis' BS

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It's Veterans Day

I received the following email from a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. I have not been able to verify the contents, but the New York Times and others has quoted a Michael Kern at Ft. Hood speaking critically of how he has been treated with respect to his mental health issues.

President Obama visited Fort Hood today. He dropped by Iraq Veteran Against the War (IVAW) [link added] Michael Kern's barracks. Michael handed President Obama a letter, saying, "Sir, IVAW has some concerns we'd like for you to address." Obama then dropped his hand and went on to speak to the next soldier. The secret service then took possession of Kern's letter:

President Obama:

In your recent comments on the Fort Hood tragedy, you stated "These are men and women who have made the selfless and courageous decision to risk and at times give their lives to protect the rest of us on a daily basis. It's difficult enough when we lose these brave Americans in battles overseas. It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil." Sir, we have been losing these brave Americans on American soil for years, due to the mental health problems that come after deployment, which include post-traumatic stress disorder, and often, suicide.

You also said that "We will continue to support the community with the full resources of the federal government". Sir, we appreciate that-but what we need is not more FBI or Homeland Security personnel swarming Fort Hood . What we need is full mental healthcare for all soldiers serving in the Army. What happened at Fort Hood has made it abundantly clear that the military mental health system, and our soldiers, are broken.

You said "We will make sure that we will get answers to every single question about this terrible incident." Sir, one of the answers is self evident: that a strained military cannot continue without better mental healthcare for all soldiers.

You stated that "As Commander-in-Chief, there's no greater honor but also no greater responsibility for me than to make sure that the extraordinary men and women in uniform are properly cared for." Sir, we urge you to carry out your promise and ensure that our servicemembers indeed have access to quality mental health care. The Army has only 408 psychiatrists — military, civilian and contractors — serving about 553,000 active-duty troops around the world. This is far too few, and the providers that exist are often not competent professionals, as this incident shows. Military wages cannot attract the quality psychiatrists we need to care for these returning soldiers.

We ask that:

1. Each soldier about to be deployed and returning from deployment be assigned a mental health provider who will reach out to them, rather than requiring them to initiate the search for help.
2. Ensure that the stigma of seeking care for mental health issues is removed for soldiers at all levels-from junior enlisted to senior enlisted and officers alike.
3. Ensure that if mental health care is not available from military facilities, soldiers can seek mental health care with civilian providers of their choice
4. Ensure that soldiers are prevented from deploying with mental health problems and issues.
5. Stop multiple redeployments of the same troops.
6. Ensure full background checks for all mental health providers and periodic check ups for them to decompress from the stresses they shoulder from the soldiers they counsel to the workload they endure.

Sir, we hope that you will make the decision not to deploy one single Fort Hood troop without ensuring that all have had access to fair and impartial mental health screening and treatment.

You have stated on a number of occasions, starting during your campaign, how important our military and veterans are to this nation. The best way to safeguard the soldiers of this nation is to provide ALL soldiers with immediate, personal and professional mental health resources.

- Iraq Veterans Against the War

Chuck Whelan of Valparaiso, IN wrote a letter to the Northwest Indiana Times.

Partial quote:
If you know a vet please take a few minutes to "thank" them no matter how you feel about the war.

And for those of you glad that our country did away with the draft or those of you who oppose this war, just remember it was the sacrifice of the vets that gave you the right to feel as you do.

I find the game of thanking veterans a bit odd. I don't remember it being done (at least not widely) before the Right Wing embraced it as part of the push to invade Iraq.

Notice Whelan makes no effort to hide his support for occupying other countries and his scorn for people who question these invasions and occupations. Which war is he talking about? The occupation of Iraq? of Afghanistan? The war formerly known as the "Global War on Terrorism"? He's not a details guy. As long as the military is oppressing and killing the right people Whelan is for it. What's the point of being in the most powerful country on Earth if your government's military doesn't kick some butt to put the inferior and undesirables in their place?

Jack Ryan was actually the first guy to thank me for my service.

My initial reaction was, if you paid your taxes then you've thanked me already.

I've modified my thinking somewhat.

One train of thinking about the U.S. military is that it exists as a goon squad to advance the economic interests of the United States as a whole or the interests of powerful corporations (and institutions) that are part of the United States. See Smedley Butler.

Another train of thinking is that the U.S. military exists to project our values, especially the values of human dignity around the world.

There are people, like Whelan, who claim to believe the U.S. military protects the freedom of individual U.S. citizens. I fail to see a connection between what the U.S. military does and protecting the freedom of individual citizens (in almost all cases).

The U.S. government can deploy the military for missions that involve taking casualties if the mission is sufficiently covert or small that it will not garner media attention. If the mission is big enough it has to be sufficiently popular and dovetail with U.S. economic interests.

My position: the U.S. military does not protect the rights and freedoms we associate with U.S. society. Those rights and freedoms are maintained (and in good times expanded) by activism, the courts, journalism and personal courage.

The U.S. military is sometimes a tool for advancing U.S. values overseas.

If you want to do right by a veteran, treat him or her with respect. Saying "thank you" is often done to reduce the veteran to symbol. Veterans are human beings.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

questions for IL-07 candidates for Congress

Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis announced he was running for re-election. You can read the statement that got forwarded to me at the bottom of this entry.

As of Tuesday, November 10 at 1 PM the following candidates are still list as active on the website of the Illinois State Board of Elections.

  • Mark M. Weiman (Republican)
  • Jim Ascot (D)
  • Darlena Williams-Burnett (D)
  • Marshall E. Hatch, Sr. (D)
  • Robert Dallas (D)
  • Danny K. Davis (D)
  • Joyce Washington (D)
  • Sharon Denise Dixon (D)
  • Clarence Desmond Clemons (D)
  • Kip Robbins (Green)

I have written a letter to each of these candidates asking the following questions.

  • Are you withdrawing your name from the ballot? Will you be actively campaigning for election as U.S. Representative?
  • What is your reaction to Davis' announcement?
  • What are three things voters should know about you?
  • Are you willing to answer a more detailed questionnaire in writing?
  • Are you willing to respond to questions posed by Proviso Probe's audience?
  • Will you give an interview on video tape to me (Carl Nyberg)? I will post the entire video on Google videos. I will post an excerpted version on You Tube.
  • What is the phone number and email address I should use to contact your campaign? What is the URL for your website?
I'm having technical difficulties with my printer, but I was able to email the letter to Ascot, Hatch, Davis, and Dixon because they have websites that allow you to contact the campaign.

Statement of Congressman Danny K. Davis Announcing his candidacy for Re-Election to Congress and withdrawing his candidacy for President of the Cook County Board Monday, November 9, 2009 For immediate Release: Contact: Tumia Romero 773-726-4479 tumia@dannykdavis.com Several months ago I announced the formation of a committee to explore the possibility of running for President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Several hundred people responded to the announcement and we were off and running. Around the same time Clerk of the Circuit Clerk Dorothy Brown announced that she was running, Alderwoman Toni Preckwinkle had already announced and it was generally assumed that President Todd Stroger would run for re-election and shortly thereafter Terrence O’Brien of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District announced that he was a candidate. I immediately began to talk about unity and unification being the best and most effective way of assuring that a moderate, liberal or more progressive candidate had a good chance of winning. I immediately had a poll conducted. The results showed that I was in a good position to win. County slate making came around and all five of the candidates presented our credentials. The Cook County Democratic Party did not make an endorsement. I commissioned another poll and this time the results were essentially the same, with me being significantly ahead of all other candidates. Filing time came around and thanks to our excellent network of volunteers and coordinators we were able to file more than fifty thousand signatures to be placed on the ballot. Notwithstanding the fact that I have filed the most signatures, have the best standing in all of the polling data that I have seen, have the broadest base of support and have the largest network of volunteers, I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for President of the Cook County Board and instead will run for re-election to represent the greatest Congressional District in America, the 7th District of Illinois. I know that some people will ask me why? (1) I like being a Congressman (2) I am good at it. I am pleased to be a part of the passage of the Health Reform Legislation that we passed out of the House on Saturday night which will revolutionize Health Care Delivery in the United States and along with my American community Renewal Act and new Markets Initiatives, my Second Chance Act, Sickle Cell prevention, Education Legislation, Suicide Prevention Bill, Postal Reform and Enhancement Act, Predominately Black Institutions and millions of dollars in appropriations and earmarks give me a foundation to go back to Congress to build upon. (3) I like representing the people of the 7th District, and; (4) I have always pushed the concept of unity and have always recognized that it would be politically dangerous for 4 candidates all from the same community and from the same political base to run for the same office, at the same time, with one (1) more conservative candidate in the race. Therefore, one could say that I am withdrawing from the County Board Race for the sake of Unity. I am a candidate for re-election to the United States House of Representatives and to volunteer or send a donation by internet at www.dannykdavis.com, call us at 773-638-1998 or visit us at 3333 W. Arthington Street, Chicago, Illinois. Again, I thank all of our volunteers and staff, Campaign Manager Tumia Romero, Coordinators Clarence Thomas, James Blasingame, Leo Webster, Jesse Davis, Kente Kizer, David Harvey, Jesse Brown, Gerard Moorer, James Flagg, Shawn Romero, Katy Hogan, Jesse Rios, Deandre Allen, Ina Cruz, and people from all over Cook County. Thank you very much and I shall be pleased to answer any questions. Office Address: 3333 W. Arthington, Suite 135, Chicago, IL 60624.

Feel free to comment on Davis' statement in the comments.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

nominating petitions challenges

You can check which nominating petitions have been challenged at the websites of the Illinois State Board of Elections and the Cook County Clerk.

Challenges can be for insufficient signatures or for some technicality. Many people who say they are registered aren't. And sometimes the signature provided doesn't match the one on file.

Some challenges that have relevance in Proviso Township....

Annazette Collins is being challenged on her state rep petitions.

Dionne Thompson of Chicago is challenging Sharon Denise Dixon (IL-07), Robert Dallas (IL-07), Clarence Desmond Clemons and Karen Yarbrough (State Central Committewoman, IL-07).

Ray Nice of Chicago is challenging the petitions of Jerry Pohlen and Rita Maniotis to be the Green State Central Committeeman and Committeewoman for IL-03.

David Ratowitz challenged his Republican rivals in IL-05 Ashvin Lad and Rosanna Pulido. And Jacob Borden and David Quinn, both of Chicago, challenged Ratowitz.

Maryann Hanson of Oak Park and Peter Fosco of Elmwood Park challenged Carrie M. Foris of Elmwood Park who is running for judge in the 11th Subcircuit.

Kevin Bartholomae of Lake Barrington challenged Thomas Castillo as well as two other lieutenant governor candidates.

Esther Collins of Chicago challenged Jeffrey Malinowski, a state rep candidate.

Chris Nybo challenged his GOP rival Mike Manzo.

The following candidate in Cook County 1st District were challenged: Mary Collins, Chris Harris and Oddis ("O.J.") Johnson.

Tony Peraica and Brian Sloan were challenged in the 16th District as were Richard Dalka (Green) and John Maher in the 17th.

Mary Ann Paolantonio Salemi of Melrose Park had petitions for MWRD challenged.

The following candidates for President of the Cook County Board had their petitions challenged: Dorothy Brown, Sean Burke (Green) and Todd Stroger.


Danny K. Davis drops run for President of the Cook County Board

He is running for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives. See Capitol Fax Blog.

He declined to endorse one of the other candidates for President of the Cook County Board.

I asked the following question on Danny Davis' Facebook page.
Congressman Davis, what were you trying to accomplish by staying in both races (Prez of Cook County Board and U.S. Rep) as long as you did? Seriously, I'd like an explanation.

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Who is running for the Cook County Board?

Who is running for the Cook County Board of Commissioners in Proviso Township?

1st District (incumbent: Earlean Collins). District includes Maywood, Bellwood, Broadview and Forest Park.

  • Mary Collins*, Chicago (North Austin)
  • Derrick Smith*, Chicago (East Garfield Park)
  • Earlean Collins*, Chicago (South Austin), Clout Wiki,
  • Adekunle "Ade" B. Onayemi*, Oak Park, campaign website (down on November 9), Facebook
  • Chris Harris*, Forest Park
  • Oddis ("O.J") Johnson, Chicago (South Austin)

  • none

  • Ron Lawless, Chicago (South Austin) formerly of Oak Park, website

16th District (incumbent: Tony Peraica). District includes Melrose Park, Northlake, Stone Park, Hillside, Westchester, La Grange Park, Brookfield and Western Springs.

  • Bill Russ*, Brookfield, website
  • Jeffrey R. Tobolski*, McCook
  • Eddy Garcia, Northlake


  • Alejandro Reyes, Melrose Park
  • Alex Matos, Lyons

17th District (incumbent: Liz Gorman). In Proviso the district includes the precincts west of Wolf Road in Hillside, Berkeley and Westchester.



  • Richard Dalka, Des Plaines
  • Matthew J. Ogean, Orland Park

And, yes, Ray Hanania at OrlandParker.com already commented on the number of Mahers in the race.

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Sunday, November 08, 2009

what percent of non-low income students meet or exceed standards on the PSAE?

Earlier I posted some data on Proviso Township High Schools (District 209).

Proviso ranked 26th of 27 districts in suburban Cook County in the percent of students who meet or exceed standards on the Prairie State Achievement Exam. And District 209 would have to make substantial improvement--go from 22.5% passing to 33.9% to tie #25 Thornton, which is 4.3% behind #24 Thornton Fractional.

District 209 looks pretty bad.

But the story is actually worse than it first appears.

Let's assume that all low income students fail to meet standards. What percent of non-low income students meet or exceed standards? How do districts rank?
1 Evanston 108%
2 Rich 98%
3 Argo 95%
4 New Trier 94%
5 Thornton 92%
6 Elmwood Park 90%
7 Maine 87%
8 Northfield 86%
9 Oak Park & River Forest 85%
10 Township HSD 211 83%
11 Niles 82%
12 Lyons 82%
13 Township HSD 214 80%
14 Riverside-Brookfield 79%
15 Bloom 77%
16 Oak Lawn 77%
17 Lemont 77%
18 Con HSD 230 76%
19 Evergreen Park 75%
20 Thornton Fractional 75%
21 Bremen 73%
22 Homewood Flossmoor 72%
23 Reavis 69%
24 CHSD 218 63%
25 Leyden 62%
26 Ridgewood 59%
27 Proviso 34%

If one assumes every low income student fails the PSAE, only 34% District 209 students who are not low income meet or exceed standards. The next lowest district is 59%.

This is appalling. The district is severely dysfunctional. Remember, District 209 spends $25,360 per student which ranks the district seventh in spending of the 27 districts.

I'm curious where District 209 would rank among Chicago Public Schools using the methodology of considering what percent of non-low income students pass.

Could it be that District 209 operates the three least effective schools in the state, while spending money in excess of Riverside-Brookfield, Lyons Township and Homewood-Flossmoor?


Who filed to run countywide?

President of the Cook County Board (incumbent: Todd Stroger)



  • Tom Tresser, Chicago (Lincoln Park/Old Town Triangle), campaign website
  • Sean Burke, Westchester

Sheriff (incumbent: Tom Dart)

  • Thomas J. Dart*, Chicago (Mount Greenwood), Wikipedia
  • Sylvester E. Baker, Jr., Chicago (Chatham), Facebook

  • Frederick Collins*, Chicago (East Garfield Park)

  • Marshall P. Lewis, Chicago (Rosemoor)

Assessor (incumbent: Jim Houlihan, retiring)

  • Joseph Berrios*, Chicago (Cragin), campaign website
  • Robert Shaw*, South Holland
  • Raymond A. Figueroa, Chicago (Avondale), campaign website
  • Eugene “Gene” Staples, River Forest

  • Sharon Strobeck-Eckersall*, Evanston, Facebook

  • Robert C. Grota, Chicago (Logan Square)

* eligible for top ballot position lottery

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What Will Danny Davis Do?

According to The Capitol Fax Blog (Rich Miller), Congressman Danny K. Davis will announce his decision about in which elections he will run in February.
Cong. Davis will announce his election decision at a press conference on Monday, November 9, 2009, at 10:00 a.m., at 3333 W. Arthington, Chicago.
He has filed for three.

  • U.S. Representative (IL-07)
  • President of the Cook County Board
  • Democratic State Central Committeeman for IL-07

Going to Congress and being President of the Cook County Board are mutually exclusive. He can remove himself from the ballot for any and all, but he is required to either remove his name from the ballot for U.S. Representative or President of the Cook County Board.

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Saturday, November 07, 2009

President of the Cook County Board candidates forum

On Thursday, November 5, HACIA (Hispanic American Construction Industry Association) hosted a forum for candidates for the President of the Cook County Board at Instuto Cervantes. The following candidates attended (in order they were seated on the stage, from left to right): Todd Stroger (D), Toni Preckwinkle (D), Terry O'Brien (D), Tom Tresser (G) and John Garrido (R). According to the moderator Danny K. Davis (D) had to be in Washington, DC for a health care vote and Dorothy Brown (D) sent her regrets.

According to the moderator WLS, WSNS and CBS-2 all had TV crews there to film the forum.

HACIA prides itself on improving the number of construction contracts awarded to MBE (minority business enterprise) and WBE (women business enterprise).

Biographically this is what the candidates said about themselves.

Stroger, who is the incumbent, hammered that he has improved diversity in Cook County government. He also said he'd lived in the same house for 40 of his 43 years, minus one three year period when he moved ten blocks away. In his opening Stroger said he'd served in three levels of government: state, city and county.

Preckwinkle mentioned the development that has happened in her ward since she'd been alderman. She also included examples things the City of Chicago has done while she's been in the city council.

O'Brien explained he's been a commissioner at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District for 21 years and has been president of that board for the last thirteen years. He contrasted the relatively smooth functioning of the MWRD with Cook County government.

Tresser founded the organization “No Games Chicago”, which opposed bringing the Olympics to Chicago in 2016. Tresser said that he started on led thirteen non-profit organizations in his life. He mentioned opposing Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics, but only once. Tresser teaches at IIT and DePaul. When Tresser referred to himself, he usually described himself as a “community organizer”.

Garrido is a lieutenant in the Chicago Police Department and a lawyer with a small practice. He serves in the 25th District (Northwest Side, Grand Central). Garrido characterized the district as 1/3 Black, 1/3 Hispanic and 1/3 “White”. Garrido's grandparents were from Mexico and Ireland. His wife is Polish.


Apparently, there was a 1990 court ruling (Richmond vs. J.A. Croson Co.) that changed how municipal government handled preferences for MBE and WBE. The City of Chicago, Cook County and the MWRD all responded differently. If I understood O'Brien correctly, the MWRD policies did not get challenged in court.

The city and county were challenged in court by the same plaintff. Preckwinkle explained that the city's post-Croson affirmative action withstood scrutiny because it was based on better documentation of inequities in city contracting in the absence of affirmative action. While noting that the problem predated Todd Stroger being in county government, she explained the county lost in court because it failed to assemble the documentation to justify a robust affirmative action program. Preckwinkle praised that the county is finally doing what is required by the courts to implement a strong affirmative action program.

When discussing her personal involvement in MBE and WBE programs, Preckwinkle indicated that she had consistently taken a leadership role in city council to ensure that MBE and WBE were included in city contracting.

Stroger said two things to burnish his credentials as a supporter of MBE and WBE. He told a story about an unnamed county official who wanted to avoid looking for a MBE or WBE vendor because there was an emergent need for services. Stroger refused to approve the vendor and told the county official s/he needed to look harder. Stroger said that since this incident he he hasn't had an official push to avoid looking for a MBE or WBE vendor.

Also, Stroger said Cook County had increased to 25% MBE and 10% WBE which exceeds the goals set.

Tresser expressed desire to increase MBE and WBE contracting levels to the percentages of minorities and women in Cook County. He said Cook County is 41% minorities and over 50% women.

Garrido drew attention to his Mexican heritage, but I didn't note that he ever said he supported affirmative action programs to diversify either the government workforce or vendors.

Sales tax

Preckwinkle reiterated her commitment to repeal the 1% sales tax increase over four years. She reasoned the incremental repeal would allow her administration to learn where waste existed in county government. She also expects that the county can secure more federal and philanthropic resources for health care expenses, which are approximately 1/3 of county spending.

O'Brien expressed a preference for cutting the sales tax completely from the beginning. He reasoned that if the sales tax continued the county would become dependent on the money. O'Brien emphasized the regressiveness of sales taxes. O'Brien said, “Difficult decisions will have to be made.... I'm not afraid to do it.” While he delivered the line with conviction, he did avoid naming specific cuts.

Tresser said, “We can't trust that we know the true financial picture [of Cook County government].” He said he's, “inclined to roll sales tax back as soon as possible.” He repeatedly emphasized that current accounting practices make it impossible to say if Cook County does or doesn't have enough revenue to fulfill its missions. Tresser said he'd do “forensic accounting... maybe a firm that goes after mob money.”

Garrido started with, “Collar counties have a great stimulus; it's called Cook County.” He claimed that 76% of residents don't shop in Cook County because of the higher taxes. Garrido called for roll back of the entire amount, immediately.

Stroger immediately jumped on the claim that 76% of residents don't shop in Cook County. He called it, “bunk”.

Stroger explained that Cook County only gets 17% of the sales tax revenue in Chicago. The State of Illinois gets 61% and the city gets 12%.

Stroger noted that Cook County hasn't raised property taxes in sixteen years. “We're not a business. We provide services.” Stroger broke down spending as 51% for public safety and 41% for public health. “The county is run well.”

There were some other moments when I thought candidates were effective.

Stroger gave an organized answer to the question about priorities. He said the most important thing is for county government to give services. Second is to make sure there's diversity. He wants, “Everybody gets their fair shake.” And he finished by saying that, “You can't believe everything you read in the newspaper.”

Stroger also made a valid point about the format which didn't allow rebuttals. He noted that almost all barbs and attacks were directed at him, so it was somewhat a four on one with the one guy not allowed to fight back.

Preckwinkle explained the legal aspect of MBE and WBE issues well. She also connected the need to diversify contracting to the need to get beyond giving jobs and contracts to people and companies connected to certain ward organizations.

Preckwinkle also handled the question about getting a fair treatment by the media gracefully. “I agree with Todd, he hasn't always gotten a fair shake.” She continued, “Part of the job is to manage the media.” Preckwinkle explained that being a leader in politics requires “not only doing the right thing but persuading people it is the right thing to do.”

O'Brien's most effective points were that MWRD has refunded $56 million to taxpayers it didn't need under his leadership and that MWRD maintains a AAA bond rating with all three bond-rating agencies. O'Brien was the only candidate to discuss measuring the percentage of vendors who were small businesses.

Tresser did something I liked in the first round of questions. The moderator had deviated from the format briefed. Tresser spoke after the three Democrats and asked about when the opening statements would be allowed. The moderator had forgotten and apologized. Opening statements went next.

Tresser had an effective close too. He read headlines about problems in city and county government, including mentioning Dorothy Brown and the headline gigging O'Brien for owning a business that did business with MWRD.

Garrido seems to have a knack for the one-liner. He said, he was “fed up” and “tired of being treated as an ATM” by politicians. He finished his opening statement by saying, “Unlike some this is not a birthright. I'm going to have to work for it.”

Generally Garrido wants to expand the inspector general's office and shrink the rest of Cook County government. He wants to reduce the workforce to 20,000. Garrido says the current workforce is 25,000. Stroger says it was 25,000, but has already been reduced to 23,000. Garrido also promised to reduce the Shakman exempt positions.


Stroger raised the issue of his cousin in his opening statement, although he didn't mention Donna Dunnings (see Chicagoist (Chuck Sudo)) by name. Stroger defended himself by saying she was qualified. Stroger's defense seemed to be that as long as he wasn't violating regulations by hiring unqualified people he shouldn't be held accountable for making bad hiring decisions. He saved his opponents from having to use Dunnings to attack him because he used Dunnings to attack himself.

When asked what to do to minimize corruption and increase transparency Stroger responded that he's “done it already.” He stated the inspector general has the power to go into any office and investigate allegations of fraud, waste and abuse. The problem with Stroger saying the county is doing everything it should be doing both in delivering services and investigating corruption is that it's easy to infer that Stroger has done all the good he can imagine doing.

Stroger gave the number three as the number of Latinos he's put in leadership positions, but the number 29 for women in leadership positions. Unless his administration has significantly more women than men in leadership, it seems like there should be more Latinos in leadership. HACIA claimed that 24% of Cook County residents are Latino. If you assume women are slightly over half of Cook County then there should be almost half as many Latinos in leadership as women.

Preckwinkle squinted while on stage. Apparently she has real problems with the stage lights pointing in her face. She also had this problem at the Malcolm X College forum.

O'Brien delivered the line about not being afraid of difficult decisions just the way an actor or politician is supposed to deliver the line. I felt like he meant it. However, it would be more credible if it was packaged with something specific he was going to cut or do that was unpopular with some constituency.

I'm not sure how Tresser's claims about the Cook County budget will wear. Saying it's too FUBAR to evaluate allows Tresser to avoid answering questions specifically. However, Tresser might be right. When I discussed the budget with Commissioner Forrest Claypool's then chief of staff, he characterized the budget as being a tool to hide the truth more than a tool to manage what happens.

When answering the question about getting treated fairly by the media both Tresser and Garrido complained about being ignored.

After the forum some of Tresser's supporters were hassling the Stroger entourage about Stroger and company leaving in a huge SUV with municipal plates on it.

Candidate websites:

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

committeeman candidates and proposed list of questions

The Cook County Clerk lists the following people as having filed to run for committeeman in Proviso Township.

Democratic Party

Republican Party
  • Michael Corrigan, La Grange Park
  • Fred Potter, Brookfield
  • Kerry Dodero Beswick, Westchester, a Prudential real estate agent
  • Joseph A. Benning, Berkeley

Green Party
  • Suzanne von Leuschner, Brookfield, architect, Facebook

Here's what I know off the top of my head. Yarbrough is the incumbent Democrat running for her second term. She's been a state representative since 2001.

Corrigan is the incumbent Republican and was elected as the Proviso Township Supervisor in 2009. Previously he was the Proviso Township Assessor.

Conteduca, a former Melrose Park trustee, was active in Jesse Martinez's campaign to unseat Ron Serpico as village president in Melrose Park in 2009.

Below is a draft list of questions I will ask each candidate for committeeman.
1.Why do you identify with your party?
2.How should constituents contact you?
3.What candidates have you supported in the past?
4.Are you active with any causes or advocacy organizations?
5.What's your quick pitch for someone to be active with your party?
6.In what ways does your party need to improve? How will you affect change within your party?
7.Will you help constituents get jobs? Who will you help? How will you help them?
8.How would you characterize the performance of schools in Proviso Township? What should be done to improve the schools? Will you attend meetings of the board of education of Proviso Township High Schools?

How would you modify the list of questions?

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

How does Proviso compare to other school districts? The numbers

Here's some data comparing Proviso Township High Schools (District 209) to public high school districts serving other parts of suburban Cook County.

The first list ranks districts by the percentage of students who meet or exceed standards on the Prairie State Achievement Exam.

1 New Trier 92
2 Northfield 78.6
3 Lyons 74.3
4 Lemont 73.6
5 Riverside-Brookfield 72.9
6 Oak Park & River Forest 70.2
7 Con HSD 230 69.3
8 Maine 68.5
9 Township HSD 214 68
10 Township HSD 211 66.5
11 Evanston 66.1
12 Elmwood Park 64.2
13 Niles 64
14 Homewood Flossmoor 61.6
15 Oak Lawn 60.6
16 Reavis 57.8
17 Evergreen Park 55.6
18 Bremen 54.1
19 Ridgewood 52.7
20 Leyden 49.7
21 Argo 45.6
22 CHSD 218 42.1
23 Rich 40.1
24 Thornton Fractional 38.2
25 Thornton 33.9
26 Proviso 22.5
27 Bloom 21.6

Proviso and Bloom perform poorly compared to other districts. There's a big gap between #25, Thornton, at 33.9% and #26, Proviso, at 22.5%. And there's a significant gap between #24, Thornton Fractional, at 38.2% and Thornton.

Maybe the reason Proviso scores so low is the high number of low income students. Here's that ranking.
1 New Trier 2
2 Lemont 4
3 Riverside-Brookfield 8
4 Northfield 9
5 Lyons 9
6 Con HSD 230 9
7 Ridgewood 11
8 Homewood Flossmoor 14
9 Township HSD 214 15
10 Reavis 16
11 Oak Park & River Forest 17
12 Leyden 20
13 Township HSD 211 20
14 Maine 21
15 Oak Lawn 21
16 Niles 22
17 Bremen 26
18 Evergreen Park 26
19 Elmwood Park 29
20 CHSD 218 33
21 Proviso 33
22 Evanston 39
23 Thornton Fractional 49
24 Argo 52
25 Rich 59
26 Thornton 63
27 Bloom 72

Proviso has low income students, but other districts have far more low income students. And the districts that have about the same level of "low income students" as Proviso (Elmwood Park, CHSD 218 and Evanston) all perform better on tests. Elmwood Park and Evanston far exceed the state average.

And then there's the issue of spending. Below the districts are ranked by how much they spend per student.

1 Niles $31,819
2 Evanston $30,852
3 New Trier $28,887
4 Northfield $28,423
5 Oak Park & River Forest $26,625
6 Maine $25,815
7 Proviso $25,360
8 Township HSD 214 $25,257
9 Riverside-Brookfield $24,624
10 Lemont $24,449
11 Leyden $23,671
12 Lyons $22,889
13 Township HSD 211 $22,315
14 Rich $21,889
15 Bremen $21,761
16 Ridgewood $21,450
17 Bloom $21,421
18 CHSD 218 $21,317
19 Homewood Flossmoor $21,100
20 Argo $20,966
21 Thornton $20,541
22 Evergreen Park $20,074
23 Con HSD 230 $19,270
24 Oak Lawn $18,308
25 Thornton Fractional $19,011
26 Reavis $17,965
27 Elmwood Park $16,962

Proviso may be among the few school districts in the country that is among the top 15 in spending for its state and in the bottom five in test scores.

And remember, the trend over the last ten years is for test scores to be going down in Proviso.

I obtained the data from the Interactive Illinois Report Card provided by Northern Illinois University. Feel free to check the numbers yourself.