Taking a ‘Chance’ on Chicago Public Schools
In the last year Chance the Rapper has made a remarkable impact on the music industry. He became “Kanye’s best prodigy” with a feature on “The Life of Pablo,” performed on SNL twice, held his own music festival, released his third mixtape “Coloring Book,” and won Best New Artist along with Best Rap Album at the 2017 Grammys. Needless to say he has had a great year.
However, he feels his work is not done. Chance is now taking a run at the political world in order to ensure fairness for the city he loves, Chicago.
On March 3, Chance met with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to discuss plans for inner-city public schools on the Southside of Chicago.
Last month the Chicago Public School System had to cut 46 million dollars from its budget because Rauner vetoed a bill that would have allocated 215 million dollars to public schools in December of 2016.
After the meeting, Chance was visibly upset with the outcome.
As an aspiring journalist who dreams of working for companies such as Complex, I agree with Chance completely. In many cases popular media sources post about trivial topics such as the “Cash Me Ousside” girl or Justin Timberlake’s party attire, something news organizations need to steer away from.
What Chance said is true. Media needs to tell the story of “how we ended up here,” as he said in an interview following the meeting. Explain how not only Chicago’s public schools but also Detroit’s, and many other large cities with poorly funded education systems are failing. Stories that have substance and will provoke change in society instead of just stories of what meme is funny for a few weeks.
MTV News already responded to Chance’s claim and explained the timeline of how Chicago Public Schools ended up where it is now with a chain of of tweets. Chance responded positively to MTV by retweeting MTV’s tweets.
Despite the negative outcome of the initial meeting between the Chicago rapper and Gov. Rauner, Chance vowed to have a “plan” by the following Monday. He did not let us down.
On March 6, Chance the Rapper held an unexpected press conference at a Southside elementary school, not too far from where the rapper grew up. While being publicized to the world through various social media platforms Chance dropped the bomb, “While I’m frustrated and disappointed in the governor’s inaction, that will not stop me from doing all I can to support Chicago’s most valuable resource—its children. Today, I’m proud to announce that I am donating $1 million to CPS.”
What makes this even better is he used most of his recent ticket sales to fund his donation. If you bought tickets for his tour, you just helped out one of the most poorly funded school systems in the country. Give yourself a pat on the back.
In today’s political climate too often do state politics get hidden behind “How To Repeal Obamacare?” However, state affairs have enormous impacts on American citizens day to day lives as well. Chance used his platform to bring light to CPS budget problems and show to the world that Gov. Rauner can’t ignore Chicago.
Chance is doing what’s most important—bringing hope to the city and its most important asset: its youth.