She argues there’s another way to fight crime. “We ought to invest a lot more in our public schools. You know, feed the kids breakfast, lunch, and dinner; have after-school activities; keep the schools open until nine o’clock in the evenings and on weekends; invest in things like the Boys and Girls Club and the Park District—I mean, everything, basically, to dramatically ramp up the investments in our children.”
But even in Democrat-dominated Cook County, it’s hard to imagine that happening. “I was at an event last week, a fund-raising event, actually, where somebody said, ‘All my neighbors are Republicans—people who live on my block who I like, who wouldn’t support the idea you were just promulgating,’” Preckwinkle recalled. “And he said the people on his block he knew would rather pay to keep somebody incarcerated than to support music lessons or soccer team memberships or basketball team uniforms for kids in poor neighborhoods. “We’ve got in this country such distorted values. In the last 30 or 40 years we’ve invested all this money in our prison system, and our schools are starving for money.”
that first paragraph up there—the stuff about investing in after school activities and keeping the schools open until 9pm, etc. —I’m thinking about that in context to of the Emergency Managers in Michigan. And how if they were *really* invested in fixing economic problems rather than privatization, they’d be figuring out ways to do *exactly* what she is suggesting. Making the schools an essential part of the community means that youth don’t drop out and people don’t transfer to other districts. it means that people *move into* that district.
another example, what would happen if community groups were trained and paid to go to houses in the community and clean up lead? not only would it provide jobs, but when there’s a proven correlation between lead levels and low achievment in school—what effect would it have on student’s test schools and ability to focus and stay in school if their bodies aren’t being poisoned? there are seriously NO foundation grants for this sort of thing? why aren’t city mayors, councils, EMs, etc working their asses off to find foundation grants and corporate investment in cleaning up lead so that public schools can stay open—instead of building a whole new building to stick a charter school in?
“people on his block he knew would rather pay to keep somebody incarcerated than to support music lessons or soccer team memberships or basketball team uniforms for kids in poor neighborhoods.”
Next time I hear that we should fight racism with cool, calm logic, I will be thinking about this.