From: Craig Walker
Date: October 11, 2013 at 9:55:01 AM CDT
Subject: Re: Community Alert ! Republicans making play to take back School Board
Ladies and Gentleman,
As I wrote to you last week about Stig Lineskogg and how he quit he left behind 2 key allies Kristine Chalifaux and Scott McAdam. Scott is aligned with the local GOP and Kristine has been hostile to the issues of minority inclusion and rights of our students since she has been on the Board.
For background you will remember when in April of this year our community turned out to vote in record numbers and as a result 2 of the 3 top vote getters in the black community, Lynn Stuckey and Laurie Bonnett were elected to the Board.
For the first time in my 45 years involved with Unit 4 the Board had a majority of Democrats and a Board President who is a Democrat. As a result in the short time this has occurred the Board has passed a minority contracting policy, a school for kids to attend while on suspension, and an agreement for the teachers that pay them fairly.
Last night and as you read this email, Kristine Chalfaux is trying to engineer a scheme to force the Board President Laurie Bonnett to resign so her and her ally Scott McAdam can take back control for themselves and Republican allies.
Now these Republicans and their allies control the $$ at the City as we have detailed in previous community alerts. But as the District is embarking on a $100 million capital spending campaign the R’s are desperate to regain control of the Board. They may couch this as their issues with the Board Lead negotiators with the teachers which included an African American Board member, but the reality is this is all about control of the $$. They do not want minority firm inclusion, they do not want jobs for African American members of the community, they want to steer contracts to their buddies and friends. Remember one of the current District’s contractors brought in by Stig and Chalifaux, Champaign Telephone to the tune of $500,000 in no bid contracts, was the leading advocate against the establishment of a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr holiday while he was on the Champaign City Council. His campaign against that holiday was vicious in its tactics and racist in its intent. And his friends on the Council, Chalifaux and McAdam want to continue to give him and other right wing Republican allies contracts to enrich their friends. They are so brazen in their tactics Chalifaux’s husband is a contractor with the District so her own family is benefitting from her time on the Board.
We must activate as a community and support the Board members who are progressive in their thoughts and actions, who received substantial support not only from the Democratic voters of Champaign, but also our community. Join me and attend the Board meeting on this coming Monday at 6pm. Lets support our Democratic Board members against this right wing attempt to take back the school board and shut out our community once again as they have done in the past.
Our children’s future depends on it ! Our votes in April must not be disenfranchised ! We cannot let this arrogant claim for power succeed !!
As the Reverend Joseph Lowery said at the 50th anniversary in August, ” March today and go home and agitate tomorrow!” Spread the word, forward this email, and lets have a strong showing of community support for our Board of progressive thought and inclusion on Monday night at 6pm !