Little Village Residents Continuing Fight for Washburn Site

By: Ashmar Mandou
Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - BusinessLittle Village residents called on the Chicago Board of Education (CBE) to vote to permanently withdraw the sale of the 31st and Kedzie 11 acre Chicago Public School (CPS) Washburne site, and to keep the land public.  Furthermore, the community is calling on the Board to reject the two existing bids from St. Anthony’s Hospital’s For-Profit Chicago Southwest Development Corporation and Cinespace. “Instead Chicago & Little Village residents want our public CPS land to remain public and build a new 21st century CPS Washburne Career Technical Education (CTE) High School to serve all the youth of our city” stated Lucky Camargo, who was born and lives in Little Village. A 21st Century Washburne, located at the geographic center of Chicago, would have these components:
1. Integrate technical/vocational training with academics
2. Unions are in the school as teachers, like the original Washburne, which had 17 trade unions teaching 28 programs
3. All graduates at the end of four years get a Union Apprenticeship Card-like the old Washburne
4. Bridge programs with Chicago Community Colleges, UIC and other universities for those students who want to attend college/universities
5. A 21st century Washburne would have the traditional trades and 21st century trades including performing/cultural arts with a comprehensive drama program, trades for both behind the camera/stage and in front of the camera/stage-both of which are lacking in CPS HS, especially for Students of Color on the South and West Sides, renewable energy, information technology, health care, construction, architecture, manufacturing, urban agriculture, electrician, carpenter, plumbing, heating and air conditioning.
6. Unlike the original Washburne, when graduates with union apprenticeship cards got good-paying trade union jobs & benefits, the present CPS CTE Certificate programs often do not result in either apprenticeships or jobs
7. A 21st Century Washburne should have a Comprehensive Community Center and Health Center

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

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