Ode to the Big Bargaining team

Ode to the Big Bargaining team
To the pushers of equity
40 plus of you
who have sacrificed
time with your loved ones
time for yourselves
for sleep

Since last winter
you’ve been trying to negotiate
You watch politicians make up lies
Lies about you
Say you are undemocratic
Say you are moving slow

You sit there
Knowing first hand
that this city doesn’t care
about our kids
with its “proposals”
lack there of
City says no money
No money for Black/Brown kids
You must want to jump across the table
Call them liars
Yell out “how dare you?”

You’re forced to watch the same lawyer
who worked for Daley
then Rahm
now Lightfoot
negotiate for the city
The lawyer whose orders are to save money
to ignore what our kids need

You see how this city opens up its accounts
for private developers
for policing
but then cries broke
when it’s for Black/Brown kids

You know from experience
to never trust this city
The city says a lot of things
You’ve heard the promises before
Their “just trust” us pleas
You’ve seen the devastation
You’ve worked in this system
Fought to create a new system
You’ve heard 6 year olds
beg
to keep their schools open
You’ve seen parents
hunger strike
for over 30 days
to get a school open

Know that while you are
advocating for our students
our schools
our city
demanding contracts
We are out here picketing/protesting/striking
While you are holed up in conference rooms
we will keep holding down on the picket line
Know that we aren’t going to go back easily
We want everything our kids deserve

We see you
We thank you
We support you
Thank you for fighting
to make our city better
for holding Chicago accountable
in writing
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