So I've been going to these CPS school closing community hearings now for some months.
They are very depressing events.
You know that there is a plan, that you don't know it, that it does not include your input, and that a lot of misinformation will justify the plan, which will be a bad one. Also, you will spend a lot of time listening to big important people crow about how they value your input and have taken it into account as they create their bad plan.
They will say that to oppose them and their bad plan which will harm many, many communities is to stand in the way of children learning. To oppose them is to be a name-caller. To oppose them is to thwart justice, trap children, and allow unions to manipulate and control the government with their selfish demands.
You watch, and have a hard time processing the levels and the depths of the falsehood and the twisted data and oh my Lord the television ads, they just can't be for real.
But it's all real and it's happening to your community and to so many others, 54 others.
You know the big big money behind all this, and the big big power, and to try and oppose it, well, it makes you feel awfully small and insignificant.
But you try to oppose it anyway, you try, and you help your neighbors to try, and you all lean on each other and bring your ideas to the table and brainstorm and encourage and urge one another on to keep trying, keep trying to make this awful thing that is going to happen, not happen.
And something curious occurs. You see something that's been true all along, and it's been right under your nose for years, and you probably always knew it, but now you know it more than you ever knew it before and despite everything, despite the disrespect and the misinformation and the calling the grass blue and the sky green, despite the broken promises and broken trust and bad faith shown to us all by the city leaders who weren't supposed to do this to us, despite all that, or maybe because of it, you know something.
Your neighbors are awesome.
Your neighborhood is breathtaking.
Your community has thrown everything it has against this impermeable wall of injustice, that bad plan, that bad faith--everything it has against it. And you know that you truly are a community. And no one, no one, no institution and no elected official, can take that away.
It isn't enough to save our 54 schools and the 30,000 children who will be displaced and who will lose their vibrant neighborhood cornerstone. But it is enough. It has to be.
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