Chicago schools have terrible problems that have nothing to do with the quality of its teachers. Dangerous health hazards continue to get worse in the poorest schools, and the city ignores them.
As Dave Dayen wrote, “The schools in the lowest-income areas have no air conditioning. Roofs leak. The cafeteria is full of roaches. Mold sits in the ventilation systems. Kids don’t get textbooks for weeks. Administrators pack classrooms with 40 and 50 students at a time.”
The city of Chicago did set aside money to make these repairs, but Mayor Rahm Emanual rerouted it to his cronies. And yet, somehow, Rahm is still the Honorary Chairman of the The Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, an organization with a mission “to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.”
The Boys and Girls Club has a brand name and a reputation that goes all the way back to 1860. The members of the Board of Directors have a responsibility not to sell it to Rahm Emanuel so he can burnish his image while his actions are completely antithetical to its mission.
Money that should have gone toward proper ventilation in schools and mold cleanup went instead to the very needy Hyatt Hotels. (Rahm famously appointed billionaire Hyatt Hotel heiress Penny Pritzker to the unelected Chicago Board of Education and siphoned $5.2 million of the money meant to make school repairs to build a Hyatt hotel).
Rahm also sent money that could have kept low-income kids from sitting in hot classrooms filled with cockroaches to the commodity-trader robber barons at the Chicago Board of Trade, where Rick Santelli famously made his famous speech about deadbeat homeowners that launched the birth of the Tea Party.
Rahm doesn’t care what you think. He lives in a bubble, and like so many others in the oligarch class the only people whose opinions he truly values are his fellow elites. They are the ones who give him the honorary titles and awards that allow him to masquerade as someone who cares about kids, when really he’s snatching the money meant for education and using it to pay off his rich crony pals.
All the flap about unions “destroying schools” is a distraction. This is what the teachers are fighting for: that Chicago schools actually receive the money they desperately need, and not have it diverted to a crony slush-fund. But because of a provision added to the Illinois State Labor Relations Act last year, salary and benefits are the only things teachers can strike for.
These are the members of the Boys & Girls Club of Chicago Corporate Board of Directors who are shielding Rahm’s reputation.
- Chairman: Craig C. Martin, Jenner & Block LLP
- Vice Chairs:
Renée S. Crown
Joseph M. Ferraro, Goldman Sachs and Company
Greg A. Lee
- Treasurer: John J. Naughton, KPMG LLP
- Asst. Treasurer: Joseph M. Ferraro, Goldman, Sachs and Company
- Secretary: Matt D. Basil, Jenner & Block LLP
- Asst. Secretary Douglas C. Gessner, Kirkland & Ellis
- Legal Counsel: Roger T. Brice, SNR Denton
- Nicholas Alexos, Madison Dearborn Partners
- Michael R. Ascher, Daniel A. Cotter Club Board President, Gozdecki, Del Giudice, Americus & Farkas LLP
- Tom Bergmann, AMSTED Industries, Inc.
- Gregory J. Besio, Aon Service Corporation
- Michael Bonds, United
- Kevin Boyle, Louis L. Valentine Club Board President, Schulze & Burch Biscuit Company
- Siobhan Brannigan, Associates Board President
- Ben A. Buettell, Houlihan Lokey
- Molly Carroll, Guild Board President, Jones Lang LaSalle Americas Inc.
- Julie A. Christopher, Wendy L. Chronister, Lincoln Land Oil Company
- Donna Bunch Coaxum, OSI Group, LLC
- Mary Ellen Coe, McKinsey & Company
- Christina Corley, CDW
- Michael W. Coyne, CNA
- Jay P. Dahlin, Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP
- William R. Daley, Morgan Stanley — Public Finance
- Michael DeSantiago, Logan Square Club Board President, Primera Engineers, Ltd.
- Lisa Z. Fain, Coinstar, Inc.
- Jacqueline Ferro
- David H. Fleisch, Bain & Company
- Robert W. Frentzel, The PrivateBank
- Kenneth Galan, Jr., John L. Yancey Club Board President, Galan Enterprises, Inc.
- Susan G. Gallagher, True Partners Consulting LLC
- Linda Gantz
- John P. Garvey, Navigant Economics LLP
- Douglas C. Gessner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
- Marion K. Gross, McDonald’s USA, LLC
- Barbara A. Hamel, Bank of America, NA
- Todd M. Hamilton, Bolder Capital, LLC
- Tasha Harris, Roseland-Pullman Club Board President, Salem Baptist Church of Chicago
- James Hart, Burwood Group, Inc.
- Bruce Hawver, SteelSeries North America Corp.
- William T. Huffman, Jr., Nuveen Asset Management
- Stacy R. Janiak, Deloitte & Touche LLP
- Eileen A. Kamerick, Houlihan Lokey
- Cathy Lazaroff
- William R. Madden, Knauz Auto Group
- Bartlett J. McCartin III, National Investment Services, Inc.
- Christopher McComish, Harris Bank
- John E. McGovern III, Resolute Consulting
- Richard E. Meyers, Daniel A. Cotter Club Board President, Bernstein Global Wealth Management
- John Muehlstein, Pedersen & Houpt
- David O. Neighbours, Waud Capital Partners, LLC
- Michael E. Parker, Comcast
- Tracey Patterson, Accenture, Inc.
- Jeffery S. Perry, Ernst & Young LLP
- Allyson Pooley, Western International University
- David “Duke” Reyes, Reyes Holdings
- Emily Reynolds, Xerox Corporation
- Craig C. Richart, Robert R. McCormick Club Board President, Financial Strategy Network
- James K. Rojas, Huron Consulting Group
- Daniel Ruiz, Gen. Robert E. Wood/Little Village Club Board President, Attorney
- Brittney B. Saks, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
- Stacey R. Sather
- John P. Savas, James R. Jordan Club Board President, Forest Financial Group, Inc.
- David P. Scharf, Baxter International, Inc.
- Martin A. Schneider, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Club Board President, Ernst & Young LLP
- Michael L. Thompson, Fair Oaks Farms, LLC
- R. Scott Walters, Juno Lighting Group
- Beth White, President, Woman’s Board
- Robert J. Wild, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
These business elites that they have an obligation the Boys and Girls Club which trumps any interest of short-term political gain. It is their obligation to prevent the name of the 150 year-old organization from being used to hide the malfeasance of a city official whose actions are in direct conflict with its mission.