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March 26, 2019

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Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2019
Guestbook entry by: GionMatthias Schelbert, President of ETHS Teachers' Council

Teachers’ Council, ETHS’s Certified Staff Union, is proud to endorse Slaney Palmer and Monique Parsons for District 202 School Board.

“TC is very excited to endorse two candidates that show a strong commitment to advocating for our students. Slaney Palmer is a public high school educator, an immigrant, and a parent who understands the unique challenges that face our students. Slaney Palmer brings invaluable insights into the teaching and learning environment from his professional experience in a public high school classroom that would benefit ETHS. Monique Parson’s commitment to our kids in Evanston is clearly shown by her work as CEO of McGaw YMCA and her work on 202’s Board”, said GionMatthias Schelbert, President of Teachers’ Council. He added, “ Having these voices on ETHS’s School Board will ensure ETHS’s deep commitment and success in providing a top notch education to all students and to serving the entire Evanston Community.”

Having these voices on ETHS’s School Board will ensure a deep commitment from ETHS to serve the entire Evanston community while prioritizing a top notch education for all students. Teachers’ Council supports candidates that advocate equity in education so that all students can have access to instruction that prepares them to reach their academic potential. We want board members who support the integration of teacher voice as a stakeholder to support student learning. We believe that Slaney Palmer and Monique Parsons are committed to providing teachers with the resources that ensure the success of every student. They both show that holistic and innovative methods of measuring student success and achievements are needed to determine the success of school initiatives. For more information on each candidate, please visit Slaney Palmer and Monque Parson’s websites for more information.

Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2019
Guestbook entry by: Mark Sloane

We support Cynthia (Cindy) Veremis, candidate for Oakton Community College Board. We are impressed with her experience, her understanding of a diverse multi-cultural workforce, her first hand knowledge of Oakton as a student and a client, and her passion to help people succeed by removing barriers, providing access and creating pathways to achieve their goals.
Cindy is the Human Resources Director at LSG Sky Chefs. She has been employed at LSG for 49 years and is responsible for over 6,000 employees scattered throughout North America. She’s President of the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce and is a volunteer with many organizations throughout our community.
Cindy, thru LSG, contracts with Oakton to teach her employees on-site classes such as English as a Second Language, technical training-electronics, blue print reading, and food service sanitation. Cindy and LSG are in the forefront of bringing education directly to its workforce (a profitable venture for Oakton) and she continues to educate other businesses on the benefits of teaming up with Oakton.
Oakton Community College serves an amazing diverse population. Some attend the college to start their career, others to save $50,000 on one year of tuition and others to expand their knowledge and enhance their career. Cindy’s experience with labor negotiations, budgeting, talent acquisition and retention and many other key business skills will have an immediate and long term effect on our community college.
We urge you to vote on April 2nd (or earlier) for Cynthia (Cindy) Veremis for Oakton Community College Board of Trustees.

Mark & Judy Sloane

Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Guestbook entry by: Carolyn Laughlin

Keep Focus on K-Readiness
Having served on the Learning on Track Committee of Evanston Cradle to Career for 18 months, I’m pleased with the focus on K-readiness and the work EC2C is doing in this space. The recent decline in K-readiness prompts increased attention to three critical strategies. First, every parent/caregiver and early childhood educator must know what “K-readiness” actually means. What it takes to be successful in kindergarten is defined by District 65, and District 65 should lead the charge in ensuring that this information is made clear and accessible. Second, parents must be given information as to how to best prepare their children for kindergarten. The recently released Strong Start to Kindergarten Parent/Caregiver Activity Guide is a tool that can be leveraged by District 65 for that purpose. Third, barriers parents/families face to engage effectively with their children to best prepare them for kindergarten need to be identified, and reduced. This is the work of many of the EC2C partners, who must be charged with strengthening and coordinating their efforts to empower and enable parents.
No single Evanston institution has more to gain or lose in the kindergarten readiness domain than District 65. I hope to see intense focus, energy, and initiative on the part of the Board and administrators.

Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Guestbook entry by: Leslie Paluch Policy and Advocacy Manager, YWCA Evanston/North S

Minimum Wage Law Will Make a Difference for Women And Families
At YWCA Evanston/North Shore, our mission is to eliminate racism and empower women. A critical component of this social justice vision is workers’ rights. We believe that all people have the right to economic security and should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential in the workforce.
As part of our increased focus on advocacy, we are working hard to champion policy initiatives that encourage economic advancement for women, particularly for women of color.
Providing a living wage to our nation’s workers is at the top of this list, so we’re encouraged and excited by the recent passage of SB 1, increasing the minimum wage in Illinois from today’s $8.25/hour to $15/hour by 2025.
Illinois is the fifth state, behind California, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey, to guarantee a $15 minimum wage for its workers, and it is the first state in the Midwest to do so.
For families in Cook County, this new law is vitally important. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the “living wage” for a single adult without children is estimated to be $13.54 in Cook County, meaning a single adult must earn at least $13.54 per hour working full time to support herself here. Two working adults with one child must each make about $14.74 per hour full time to meet their basic needs, and families in Cook County with only one working parent or more than one child must make more than $15 per hour to maintain a living wage.
At YWCA Evanston/North Shore, we offer programs – from basic money management classes in English and Spanish to financial coaching to job training – to empower women in our community and help them achieve and maintain financial independence and support their families. But programs can only do so much. We need action from lawmakers, too.
Thank you to the members of the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Pritzker, who supported this measure from introduction to passage. SB 1 is an important step forward for Illinois, and for all women and families in our community.

Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Guestbook entry by: Delores A. Holmes

Parsons for 202 School Board
As we prepare to elect three candidates to the Evanston Township High School District 202 Board of Education, I want to add my voice to those who support the election of Monique Parsons.
Monique is a proven servant leader and is committed to providing an equitable and excellent education to all students. She has and will continue to promote a school culture that centers on student well-being.
She has been and will be a good steward of our tax dollars. I believe that she has been and will continue to be an accessible and reliable resource to parents and community members.
Currently, she serves as Vice President of the District 202 Board, and she is the President and CEO of the McGaw YMCA – the first woman to lead the organization, I might add.
Her leadership on the School Board and at the YMCA has enhanced and created both in-school and out-of-school learning opportunities for thousands of children in the Evanston community.
I fully support Monique’s re-election to the ETHS/School District 202 Board of Education, and I ask you to vote for her before or on April 2.

Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Guestbook entry by: John Fuqua

I see in EvanstonNow two stories, one about a plan by the mayor for Youth Job Center and another about ETHS program to advise students.
How many such programs exist ? Are they just wanting these [and past programs] to be 'their program' [for their name recognition] ?
If past or other programs are not meeting the 'real' need---other than politicians/activist getting their names on the project---than are those programs told to get their 'act together' of be disbanded.
We can't keep funding vanity projects---are is only so much money---and confusing everyone, including students---and their up their time, with what group is actually meeting the goal.
The city---and I assume a lot of other cities---spend a lot of time and money creating more projects---and pouring out $$$---instead of finding what works and cutting what does not, including by groups politician are beholding to and those who want to protect their turf and budgets.
This also applies to the schools. Evanston is small and if a school is failing, the Board should re-allocate resources and teachers. If the teachers are failing because they are not up to the job, get rid of them---it is the kids development not teacher/administration job security we should be interested in.
The superintends [esp] and administrators and principals are paid big bucks [probably far above what they are worth] and given sweetheart contracts---they should start solving the problems instead of crying "just give me more money and the problems will be solved.'
It sounds like the house needs to be cleaned---from the top down. No more EXCUSES !

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