Remembering Paul Vallas and the Little Village Hunger Strike of 2001
Vallas was canned, in part because of his mishandling of the strike. The school board relented and victory was declared.
Thanks to Rudy Lozano Jr. for this FB post. Rudy will be my guest on Hitting Left this Friday.
Paul Vallas is no good for our communities. He stole funds allocated for the Little Village Lawndale High School when he was CEO of CPS and had no regard for the parents, students, and community residents that organized and went on a 19-day hunger strike to ensure that our communities received the high school they deserved. He resigned from his position shortly after that.
Rudy’s post had me looking back to Mother's Day, Sunday, May 13th, 2001, when parents and neighborhood activists in Little Village, launched a hunger strike to get a new high school (a campus of 4 small schools) built in their community. The Little Village hunger strike lasted 19 days, drawing widespread support from the entire community until finally Mayor Daley, new CEO Arne Duncan (Paul Vallas had been canned, in part because of his mishandling of the strike), and the school board relented and victory was declared. A new public school -- not a charter -- was built at 31st and Kostner. It stands as testimony to people power and democratic education.
Love this. We have so few victories like this to remember.