CHICAGO (CBS) — The UIC forum was packed with more than 1,000 activists and union members Thursday night for the first ever “People’s City Council Meeting.”
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports, the members of the Grassroots Collaborative put 19 Chicago aldermen on a stage, and demanded they put the people of Chicago ahead of corporations.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports
The presentation was part comedy, with a dramatic presentation by a character called “Money Bags” who represented corporate America.
“First off, all people should work for less,” he said. “Second, get rid of the unions.”
Money Bags wasn’t done yet, as he mocked the stance of some right-wing political leaders.
“It’s these greedy teachers!” he said. “If you are getting summers off, how hard can you really be working?”
The presentation was also part tragedy.
“Even though I only make a little over minimum wage I can’t even get food stamps,” a woman said.
The activists and unions are demanding a foreclosure moratorium.
“These greedy banks are kicking families out,” a woman said.
“Tax banks for every foreclosed vacant property,” another said.
The activists were also furious with how the city spends dollars generated by Tax Increment Financing districts.
“It’s insulting to know that the Chicago Board of Trade got millions of dollars in TIF dollars to remodel their toilets while many of our schools are falling apart,” a woman said.
The Chicago Teachers Union, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, two locals of the Service Employees International Union, the hotel workers’ union Unite HERE and the Lakeview Action Coalition are among the organizations that were represented. All 50 aldermen on the City Council were invited to attend.
The aldermen in attendance signed the “people’s resolution” to make jobs, housing, families, and education priorities.