SUN TIMES: Chance the Rapper challenges Chicago plan for $95 million police academy in face of starving schools
November 9, 2017

Chance the Rapper accused the City Council Wednesday of having misplaced priorities, but the celebrity scolding did not stop aldermen from authorizing a $9.6 million land sale that will pave the way for construction of a $95 million public-safety training campus on the West Side.

“What is y’all doing?,” Chancelor Bennett asked aldermen during a raucous public participation session.

“Financially, this proposed plan doesn’t make sense. We don’t have $95 million. They’re just asking for $10 million today to purchase the land. But we don’t have the rest of the money to do it, so why let them go ahead with this right now? There’s a lot of different services that need to be funded.”

Chance entered the council chambers surrounded by an entourage of assistants.

When a Chicago Sun-Times reporter tried to take his picture, the aides put their hands in front of the reporter’s cellphone camera. The reporter then asked the rapper if he had any problem with her taking his picture. Chance said he did. He said he wanted his privacy.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was on hand for the start of the 30-minute public participation session, but walked out before Chance got his three minutes to unload.  Emanuel later said he stepped out of the chambers before Chance started to call his mother to wish her a happy 85th birthday.

Regardless of the reason, the mayor’s absence was not lost on the Chicago-born rapper, whose father once served as a top aide to Emanuel.

“I guess the mayor had to step out when I came up. But … it’s cool because I’m here to talk to you,” Chance told the council.

The rapper then talked about the work he has done with Orr Academy, which is “right down the street” from the vacant land at 4301 W. Chicago Ave. where the city wants to build the new police and fire training academy.

He noted that Orr, “with just $100,000 in three years” was about to make “some transformative changes.”

“It would be awesome, though, if we could get them pools at their school or a new library or a museum or any of the things that are proposed in the budget for this $95 million cop academy,” Chance said.

Read the whole story at The Chicago Sun-Times.


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