Monday, January 12, 2015

Another follow-up to Dec. 15, 2014 Shedd School meeting

Closed Shedd School @ 200 E. 99th St.
Sharon Banks-Pincham is not only a resident of West Chesterfield, she is also an local school council member at Harlan Community Academy who I've had the chance to meet when I attended LSC meetings there. She sent me an e-mail regarding what happened at the Shedd School meeting with 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale on December 15, 2015. For additional context here is a link to the notice that I had recieved via e-mail not long before that meeting.

DNA Info did their own follow-up from that meeting we shared that here.
  • Every e-mail I received indicated it was open to the public. As you know, I am LSC Community Rep for Harlan and Gillespie. I do have contact with Roseland Heights as it relates to Harlan. In addition, I am a member of the Far South Community Action Council, the Education Committee for the 34th Legislative District and a member of the Education Village Keepers (EdVK). I responded by going to the meeting, arrived at the appointed time and even had a first year college student with me who is interested in going into politics. (Home from college on Christmas break).

    After we were all seated in the basement of the office, I was beckoned by Mr. Tucker to the stairs. He stated that Mr. Beale had an issue with my being there because I do not reside in Roseland Heights.

    I did not understand, so I did go upstairs to speak to the alderman's staff. Ms. Vanessa Brown, very gruffly stated that the meeting was for Roseland Heights residents only and I would have to leave. I explained to Ms. Brown my affiliations and my concern regarding the plans for Shedd.

    (Now, I want you to remember that on your notification, it stated that a presenter at this meeting would be Education Village Keepers/EdVK)

    At this point, the President of EdVK, Dr. Carmen Palmer, came into the office and was also told that she was not allowed in the meeting by Ms. Brown because she did not live in Roseland Heights. Dr. Palmer pointed out that she had been invited as a presenter, did have family property in Roseland Heights which she pays taxes on every year. Ms. Brown became more hostile and then closed a gate to the basement to further avoid our entry.

    I did not want to cause the meeting to be canceled due to the alderman's ridiculous request because I believe Roseland Heights did need to know the rationale for Alderman Beale to renege on his word regarding having community input for the use of Shedd. (He did share that promise at a Far South CAC meeting in October).

    The following day was the Far South CAC's regular December meeting. During that meeting, a representative of the alderman's office shared with other CAC members that two of the CAC members attempted to disrupt a meeting at his office and police had to be called.

    This is a disgrace and a shame. When the alderman has a meeting where all notices state that the meeting is open to the community and then restricts members of the community from attending.

    And, Levois, to let you know we were specifically targeted, Darnell Macklin, republican committeeman for the 6th ward, remained in the meeting after Dr. Palmer and I were ejected. Also, the student who came with me was ejected.

    I do like Darnell so my reference to him is not implying anything except that this was a targeted strike by the alderman. Petty and divisive.

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