Blog Archive

Friday, September 28, 2007

Shout-outs of thanks and action

First a big thank you to Alexander Russo at District 299 for picking up my blurb about the Day of the Dead show tonight at the National Museum of Mexican Art. His current lead post is about our neighbor to the south, Englewood, and efforts to partner with Teach for America to create a principal pipeline for schools there.

Now, a big no thanks to Senate Republicans, who backed off the DREAM Act under pressure from a flood of negative calls. I called my senators to support it and I hope lots of other people reading this did, too. Harry Reid and other Senate Dems decided it wouldn't get 60 votes any more, so they pulled it off the defense appropriations bill. Reid has vowed to introduce it on its own by November 16.

I just met another young woman on the block here last night who might benefit from the DREAM Act. She's the oldest sister of my new young friends who come over for homework help. She's a sophomore at Rauner College Prep, one of the Noble Network Charter Schools on the Northwest Side. She travels two hours a day to attend the school, and gets up at 5:30 a.m. so she can arrive early enough to do their morning exercise program. She's also getting involved in fundraising for books for a school in Nicaragua. "Because of my status, I probably can't go down there, but I wanted to help out," she told me. That was the tipoff that college will be an issue, too. Given all her siblings and cousins, I now have about 16 new friends who could benefit from the DREAM Act.

I'm just going to say it one more time: these kids are here, this is the only country they've ever really known, and we're shooting our neighborhoods and our society in the foot if we don't give them a real chance at a college education. That's what the DREAM Act is designed to do.

If you'd like to balance the flood of negative calls and tell your senators to support the DREAM Act, you can call them through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or find them online here.

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