Monday, May 27, 2013

Hello education activists!

So folks may or may not have heard that an organization in Greensboro, NC has invited our beloved (*cough cough*) Alderman Joe Moore to speak about the "success" of participatory budgeting in the 49th ward.

The primary organizer's name is Larry and his email is

I urge you all to send him a message to dis-invite Joe Moore.  I've copied and pasted my letter as an example:


My name is John Snowden and I am a resident of Alderman Joe Moore's 49th Ward in Chicago.  I want to urge you NOT to invite Joe Moore to discuss participatory budgeting in Greensboro.  

Joe Moore has proven his commitment to preventing community involvement, not only in budgeting, but in basic city governance.  

Rogers Park is not only one of the the most diverse neighborhoods in a very segregated city of Chicago, but is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the US which is bordered to the north by a mostly white Northwestern University and a mostly white Loyola University to the south.  

Joe Moore's brand of participatory budgeting focuses almost exclusively on the white student populations of both universities who in fact represent only demographic minority in the ward. The ward's black and brown voters have been intentionally disenfranchised from participatory budgeting.  

He refuses to allow voter registration cards to vote and instead forces voters to use what the ACLU has already shown to be racist right-wing attacks on democracy by forcing voters to use state issued photo ID cards and at times a second proof of address so as to limit participation in the ward from people of color and senior citizens.  

The ballot itself does not ask basic budgeting questions about neighborhood resources like public schools, but instead focus on additional and needless bike lanes on streets where Loyola and Northwestern already have significant holdings so as to increase the value of student rental properties.

Finally, last year when by referendum, the people of Chicago voted loudly and clearly (at nearly 90%) that we demanded an elected representative school board, it was none other than Ald. Joe Moore at the personal request of iron fisted Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who denied the overwhelming majority of voters that elected school board through parliamentary trickery killing legislation that would have allowed voters to decide who is on the school board rather than the current system Mayoral appointees.  

It's also important to point out the increase in Joe Moore's campaign funds after that move and the decision by the unelected school board to not close any schools in the 49th Ward. 

Although Rogers Park is grateful for our schools staying open (unlike the 49 schools in predominantly black and brown neighborhoods on the South and West sides that the unelected school board has voted to close despite overwhelming community opposition), the 90% of voters who demand an elected school board believe that NO school in the city should be closed and Joe Moore, along with the political machine of this city, has bulldozed democracy and community involvement and depend on racist tactics to do so.

Please do not invite Joe Moore to teach such racist anti-democratic tactics to Greensboro.  

John Snowden

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