In the MIXX: CPS School Funding Bill Fight, Halle Berry In Town

Just when you thought we were approaching the finish line with the state budget being passed nearly two weeks ago—we have another speed bump—the school budget.
At the high peak of summer when most students are enjoying the time off and parents are prepping for a return to the classrooms for another eight weeks, state legislators returned to Springfield to go battle with Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday.

Governor Bruce Rauner

The school funding bill has not hit Rauner’s desk awaiting an amendatory veto which could potentially help fund CPS with the much-needed $293 million. If this plan is changed, the school district would receive less than the original plan. They are banking big time on the $250 million block grant to go towards teacher pensions.
The hold out is definitely ruffling feathers on both sides and Rauner refuses to sign off on both school aid monies and the block grant. The ripple effect of the school funding bill not being passed by August 10 state aid payment deadline will hurt school districts across the state. One of the many questions is how CPS is utilizing their monies properly that has led to such a deep deficit.
Democratic Gubernatorial candidates chimed in on the latest drama including Daniel Biss.
“After more than two years of manufactured crisis, and over Rauner’s objections, Illinois has a budget, and a semblance of certainty.  In retaliation, Rauner is now using divisive and evasive tactics to plunge us into crisis once again,” said Biss. “Despite the pleas of families, students, educators, and legislators, Rauner has made it clear that he wants to create a crisis so that he can impose 100 percent of his ideological agenda on us.”
Chris Kennedy released a statement. “This is the latest smokescreen Bruce Rauner has thrown up. He has no interest in fair funding for public schools in Illinois. He hasn’t led and waited until the eleventh hour to threaten a veto. That’s what happens in Springfield under Bruce Rauner. He creates a crisis instead of finding a solution. There’s been plenty of time to debate the bill.
But the IL GOP party puts the blame on top IL Dem House Speaker Michael Madigan. In a statement by Illinois Republican Party spokesman, Steven Yaffe says the majority Democratic leader is “holding school children hostage”.
“It is beyond inexcusable that Mike Madigan and his allies refuse to release education funding for all Illinois schools unless they get their $500 million Chicago bailout. It’s just another attempt by Madigan to hold our state hostage for his disastrous Chicago agenda,” Yaffe said.
TIF Monies Anyone?
Alderman Pat Dowell (3rd Ward)

Meanwhile, the parents and students at the National Teachers Academy is continuing their battle to maintain their opposition to CPS’s proposal to convert the school into a neighborhood high school. The latest outrage by NTA’s parents are concerning the $55 million TIF monies allocated for Navy Pier renovations.
It is also a major concern of 3rd Ward Alderman Pat Dowell who raises concerns for monies allocated outside of underserved Chicago neighborhoods. The alderman and NTA parents have not been on the same side lately but this issue is one they both share discern for.
Let’s hope city council has the ‘family jewels’ to step up and question what, why and where are the TIF monies going? There’s some serious questions the Burke led Finance committee must answer. Is it the Burke or Rham show?
More homicides, More problems
The Chicago Police Department is boosting about the 5,000 illegal firearms retrieved from the streets but is the lowest in solving homicides. Unfortunately, only 29 percent of the murders committed in Chicago were solved, lagging behind New York City at 80 percent in 2016. The main concern is the workload that is placed on CPD detectives. With over 700 murders this year, there isn’t enough manpower to handle the increase of cases plus the ‘no snitch’ culture that has prevented many cases being left unsolved.
On Tuesday, Superintendent Eddie Johnson unveiled the latest technology at the 6th District in Gresham to detect possible crimes in high risk areas.
High Style Marketing and PR President, Jada Russell

Birthday Shout-Outs
Belated birthday wishes to publicist and UK native, A.C. McLean; Larry Birdd and attorney John Tellis on July 25. A big hug and smile to the lovely Mrs. DJ ‘Lil John’ aka Mrs. Latonya Lee-Coleman and Brown Sugar Bakery owner, Stephanie Hart on July 26. Everyone’s favorite sound man and music creator, Mike James celebrates on July 27. High Style Marketing’s PR maven, Jada Russell and owner of Quick Print, Ramon Riley take a pause on July 28.
Celebrations continue with Mobolaji Akintunde and radio personality, Ahmed Gordon on July 29. The speakers are turned for Queen of House’s own Lady Alicia on July 30. Last but not least, closing out the last day of July are hip hop artist, Pugs Atomz; Parrish Walker; House music DJ, Xavier Joshua and Black Girls Break Bread co-founder, Jessica Davenport-Williams on July 31.
Celebrity Sightings
Halle Berry interviews on the red carpet for the Chicago screening of “Kidnap” at the ICON Theatres, July 25. PHOTO: Mary L. Datcher

On Tuesday, Academy-award winning actress, Halle Berry was in town to promote her new thriller, “Kidnap”. She made press runs on Wednesdays making a stop at Windy City Live. We had a chance to interview the actress on the red carpet at the ICON Theatres and she looked absolutely GORGEOUS–‘black don’t crack’. The movie hits theatres on August 4 and you will NOT be disappointed. #dontmesswithmoms
Look out for the upcoming interview.
Rap artist Jamal Cole was in town on Monday performing at the United Center. The near Westside building will remain busy as they host R&B, Funk and Soul legends; Earth, Wind and Fire and Chic featuring Nile Rodgers on Wednesday night. The party rolls the red carpet for South Central LA homeboy, Kendrick Lamar on Thursday.
SIDE NOTE: Loved, loved, loved Chic’s Nile Rodgers and Earth, Wind and Fire’s performance at the United Center. They were off the chain and although I was in Pampers when they dropped their first album, they brought me back in time when pop-ups, apple now and laters and peppermint sticks in my pickle was childhood snacks. Wow! Shout out to the Power 92/106.3 programmers, Program Director Jay Alan and Pat Edwards along with DuSable Museum’s Community Affairs Director, Bonnie DeShong who jammed out at the concert. Much love to record promotions queen, Marlo Martin-Jackson (hey DJ Gspot) for taking care of all of us–leading us backstage for the special meet and greet with EWF’s members. The fellas took their time talking and taking pictures with over 40+ people, some radio winners, media and celebrity fans such as Chicago’s own, Craig Robinson who will be starring in an upcoming Fox television sitcom this fall.
Promotions & Congrats
Congratulations to Lena Lewis on her promotion as Director of Shopper Marketing for Mars Wrigley Confectionary Company. Lewis, wife of Chicago photographer, Parrish Lewis, recently completed her MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Got a scoop or juicy tidbit? Email birthdays, anniversaries, promotions and special events to us.
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