We’re refreshing our monthly email newsletter, which is now entitled “Dispatch”. This will include updates regarding our campaigns and other social justice concerns in our community. Our team of organizers and allies chat regularly and this is one way we can bring some of that into the broader community. But we’ll keep it short!
::CAMPAIGN UPDATE: #SAVENILESLIBRARY::
If you couldn’t make it our #SaveNilesLibrary rally & budget hearing, we caught that all on video and posted to our Youtube.
So many great speakers and public commenters came out to the Niles-Maine District Library including State Senators Ram Villivalam & Laura Murphy! Unfortunately the anti-library trustees steamrolled an austerity budget over the professional staff-proposed budget that pro-library trustees supported.
Library workers are the heart and soul of our library, this is cruel. We will continue to fight alongside library union AFSCME Council 31 for our library and our community!
Makula vs Jesse White
In our last email, we celebrated the State Librarian’s appointment of Umair Quadeer to the long-vacant library board position. But just hours before the board meeting where swearing-in could have taken place, we all learned that Trustee Joe Makula used a private attorney to sue Jesse White and had requested a temporary restraining order against the swearing-in. We mobilized a quick protest and would like to thank all our community members and allies for showing up against this injustice. Illinois statute requires that a district library board be made up of 7 trustees not 6, and Makula, Drblik and Schoenfeldt are doing everything they can to obstruct normal library operations. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
Trustee Suzanne Schoenfeldt Makes Front Page
Local library supporters who are able to have been arriving early for Niles-Maine District Library board meetings to show support for the library and staff. This is one way we can make sure the anti-library trustees experience firsthand the angst they are causing. In September, after being confronted by a middle-schooler on her way into the library board meeting, Trustee Schoenfeldt had to hang her head in shame. A moment captured by a reporter for the Niles Herald-Spectator.
Next Board Meeting
We attend every Niles-Maine District Library board meeting and encourage community members to join us! The next meeting is: Wednesday October 19th, 6PM protest outside, 6:30pm public comment. If you would like more information or assistance in participation please reach out to us at <firstname.lastname@example.org> or send a message at <https://www.nilescoalition.org/contact/>
Criminalization in Niles
Community members were arrested by Niles Police this month and publicized in news outlets and social media:
– A young student at the Niles Teen Center Fall Dance Party 2022 on October 8th made the mistake of bringing a knife and was charged with “aggravated assault” by Niles police. That is an alarming way to treat our youth.
– A few days later, a community member was arrested by Niles police after a police dog indicated the odor of narcotics. What police found instead was cannabis, cash, and guns. Ironically a few blocks away, Rise dispensary also sells cannabis with armed guards.
Turning a person into a disposable criminal is a process called “criminalization”. It subjects them to a punishment system that comes at a great toll to our community so we have many concerns.
Why criminalization is not the answer by Vera Institute for Justice
Profit-minded police exploit K-9 partners, The Salt Lake Tribune
A pretend newspaper full of attacks on transgender youth and public schools, branded as “North Cook News”, started showing up in Niles mailboxes. These have been mailed to homes throughout the Chicagoland area in the guise as a newspaper. It’s conservative propaganda peddling bigoted myths.
We’ve been hearing from community members who are considering running for local board positions on the April ballot. If you or someone you know is considering running and would like to connect with others please email us at <email@example.com> or send a message at <https://www.nilescoalition.org/contact/>
Thank you for your interest in the Niles-Maine District Library and social justice issues in and around the Niles community. We are finding many people with an appetite for creating progressive communities. It is crucial work for the sake of our future!