Little Village Mothers for a New High School
.June 1, 2001
Historically, a hunger strike is a drastic non-conventional method employed to give a voice to and champion the causes of marginalized and disenfranchised peoples. We have taken lessons learned from the legacy of Cesar Chavez to heart and now to practice. On Mother’s Day, May 13th we declared our community in an educational crisis and consequently a hunger strike to bring attention to this blatant disregard to our children’s educational needs. This strike was one that initiated the demand that the high school that was promised three an a half years ago is built as soon as possible here at 31st and Kostner.
Today, we are bringing an end to our hunger strike, but not our struggle. It is time for us to move on to the next phase. We have accomplished some exceptional achievements for the community of Little Village.
Our neighborhood now hears our voices. The hunger strike has inspired the beginning of an unprecedented community movement. The community is unified around the demand for the construction of the new high school at 31st and Kostner as soon as possible.
Our neighborhood now knows the truth. The hunger strike has created transparency as to how the construction of the new high school was delayed. It has created consciousness for the Little Village community in the form of popular education while solidarity groups continue to be formed across the city and in other parts of the country.
Our neighborhood demands action. Our community is here to hold the mayor accountable for the failings of so-called school reform. By not responding to our needs, the mayor of this city is telling our working class community that we are not worthy of a new high school. Our community is committed to making sure funds are allocated to this project and that justice be served.
We break our hunger strike on its 19th day, but we remain committed to this struggle and will continue to fight until our children begin and continue to graduate from our new high school.
We call on all of our neighbors, supporters, and sympathizer to join us in the next phase of our struggle. Specifically we need people to do the following:
1. Make calls daily to Mayor Daley’s office (312) 744-3300, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, asking him to intervene and to keep the promise he made to the Little Village community during his re-election campaign in 1998.
2. Weekly lunch fast every Monday from 12pm – 1pm in front of Daley’s office. (5th floor City Hall)
3. Updates and marches every Sunday at 4:00 pm beginning Sunday June 10 at Camp Cesar Chavez (31st and Kostner).
4. Actions on other targeted public officials who are responsible for the construction or delay of the new high school at 31st and Kostner.
5. Participation at a community forum on the status of the new high school where we will invite Mayor Daley, the CEO of the Chicago Public Schools and the New President of the School Reform Board.