Huberman: New CPS proposal for Whittier library

October 18, 2010 (CHICAGO)

"Today we are providing an updated proposal to the Whittier parent community. We think it satisfies all the parents' requests. (It) increases Whittier students' access to resources for reading - which is really what we're talking about here," CEO Ron Huberman, Chicago Public Schools, said.

Huberman spoke with the parents from Whittier Elementary School after they moved their protest to the front of the CPS headquarters. Some held a vigil overnight outside.

"If he has no courage to go to our community, then we'll go to him," said Evelyn Santos, protestor.

The parents, many of whom have been involved in a month-long sit-in protest at the school's field house in Pilsen, asked talk to Huberman on Monday. They believe they could create a library in the building, which is scheduled for demolition.

"We've been ignored like they've been doing since day one. I don't know what he's trying to do," Araceli Gonzalez, parent, said. ""We want a library for the kids. That's not a luxury, it's a need."

Three protesters were allowed inside the CPS Headquarters Monday morning. CPS has said Huberman plans to meet with the parents on Wednesday to discuss details of the new proposal for creating a library.

Last Thursday, activists delivered a letter to CPS outline their position on the library at Huberman's request.

"It's Monday now. Where's our letter? You told us write your demands in paper, that's all I need and you'll get your library," Evelin Santos, protester, said.

"There's no negotiating. They never told us anything about negotiations!" said Michelle Palecia, protestor.

The sit-in at the field house is in its 34th day. Parents want it renovated into a fully stocked library with state and municipal funding. They've also asked for monthly meetings with CPS.

CPS executives said the building is structurally dangerous. They plan to demolish the building to expand the playground.

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