Thousands of Chicago teachers, on the fourth day of a strike, picketed the Hyatt hotel in downtown. The action was called to protest Chicago Public Schools board member Penny Pritzker, who owns Hyatt Hotels Corporation, and benefited from millions of dollars of taxpayer money as budget cuts for schools were proposed.
As Curtis Black of NewsTips.org detailed on August 12, she benefited from $5.2 million dollars in tax increment financing (TIF), which went toward a hotel in Hyde Park. The Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign noted the hotel heiress has $1.8 billion in wealth. While she did not personally receive any of this money, it directly benefited a corporation she owned at the expense of underfunded and under-resourced schools and teachers.
Additionally, Pritzker is a donor to the so-called education reform organization Stand for Children, which stands for closing public schools, expanding charter schools, evaluating teachers with standardized test scores and replacing teachers with online learning programs—everything the Chicago Teachers Union is fighting against. The organization supports privatization and union busting and so does Pritzker, as she has demonstrated in her business practices with workers employed by Hyatt Hotels.
Somewhere between five to ten thousand people marched down Michigan Avenue to Congress, where a rally and press conference was held. Teachers, students and allies of Chicago teachers were given an opportunity to speak out.
Here is video from the march and rally: