United Working Families: CPS Board Member Quazzo Must Resign

Progressive political org renews call for elected school board

CHICAGO (January 27, 2015) -- It’s time for Quazzo to quit. That’s the message to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and CPS Board Member Deborah Quazzo.

A recent Chicago Sun-Times investigation revealed that companies in which Quazzo is invested have seen profits triple since Emanuel appointment her to the Board 18 months ago.

“Quazzo and her companies are hitting paydirt, and taxpayers and CPS students are the ones footing the bill,” said United Working Families (UWF) Executive Director Kristen Crowell. “This is a clear conflict of interest, and we urge Mayor Emanuel and CEO Byrd-Bennett to demand her resignation immediately.”

“It’s grossly inappropriate for millionaire venture capitalist Deborah Quazzo to use her clout as a CPS board member to make a profit,” said David Moore, aldermanic candidate in the 17th Ward, who is part of United Working Families’ slate of endorsees.

UWF endorsees also pointed to the Quazzo scandal as more evidence that Chicago needs an elected representative school board.

“Again and again, we see that the millionaires, billionaires and bankers who Mayor Emanuel has appointed to the CPS Board of Education don’t have the best interest of Chicago’s students or families at heart,” said Carlos Rosa, UWF-endorsed aldermanic candidate in the 35th Ward. “This is exactly why Chicagoans need to turn out and vote yes on the elected school board ballot question on February 24.”

Ballots in the February 24 municipal election in 37 of the city’s 50 wards will feature the referendum, which asks voters whether Chicago should have an elected school board instead of the current mayoral-appointed board.

United Working Families was formed in coalition by the Chicago Teachers Union, SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Action Now and Grassroots Illinois Action in 2014 to recruit, train and support candidates running on a progressive platform, including strengthening public education and advocating for public investment in all Chicago’s neighborhoods.

UWF has endorsed Jesus “Chuy” Garcia for mayor against Emanuel, as well as aldermanic candidates including Progressive Reform Caucus incumbents Ald. Leslie Hairston (5), Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6), Ald. Toni Foulkes (16), Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22), Ald. Scott Waguespack (32), Ald. Nick Sposato (38) and Ald. John Arena (45) and challengers Tara Baldridge (8), Sue Garza (10), Rafael Yanez (15), David Moore (17), Juanita Irizarry (26), Zerlina Smith (29), Tim Meegan (33), Carlos Rosa (35) and Tara Stamps (37).