FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2010
Rosa Gomez (312) 315-4050
Carolina Gaete, (773) 876-9513
Press Conference: at 5:00 p.m.
At: Whittier Field House
1900 w 23rd st.
Alderman Solis to Meet with CEO Ron Huberman October 13, 2010, to Push Forward Whittier Parents’ Demands
After nearly a month-long sit-in at Whittier Elementary Field House (La Casita), parents and community resident are close to having a resolution. Today October 13, 2010, Alderman Solis convened a meeting of elected officials representing the Whittier community and Chicago Public School CEO, Ron Huberman to convey Whittier parents’ demands to end the sit-in. Following are the demands:
1.Parents are to continue to have management and access to La Casita.
2.Alderman Solis will work in collaboration with our State, Municipal, and Federal elected officials and the Chicago Public Schools to ensure the necessary repairs to La Casita and the continued use of La Casita for parent programming and a well-supplied and fully funded library. Furthermore, we will work in collaboration with Alderman Solis to secure state and municipal funding (TIF funds) to financially support La Casita.
3.We request a building assessment to be made after repairs to La Casita are completed based on the recommendations made by the parents’ engineer. Additionally, CPS shall provide all needed permits to begin in order to repair La Casita.
If CEO Ron Huberman agrees to the parents’ demands, the sit-in will end, officially declaring a community victory having stopped the demolition of La Casita, and ensuring the sustainability of the Library as well as parent and community programming.
The Whittier Parent Committee was formed in 2003 to advocate for the school’s needs, and to improve the physical conditions of the school by securing Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds for an expansion and repairs to the school building. In the course of working for the expansion, parents discovered CPS’s plans to demolish La Casita, a plan hatched prior to conducting a structural engineer assessment. The fact that the decision to demolish took place before an acceptable assessment was made created suspicion of CPS’s credibility and undermined the years of hard work and dedication that the Whittier Parent Committee had spent working with CPS. The betrayal of the parents by CPS forced the Whittier Parent Committee to occupy the Casita on September 15th, 2010 in protest of CPS’s plans to demolish La Casita, and they have not vacated the building since.