Munching Away on the "Public Good"

Thursday, 27 June 2013 13:53 By Maya Schenwar, Truthout | Message
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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. (Photo: Stephen Crowley / The New York Times)About a decade ago, chatting with a friend about the corporatization of Chicago's schools, I joked, "Soon they'll be privatizing the streets! And the squirrels!" Five years later, at least half of that forecast came true; our former mayor sold off the city's parking meters to a private company. And a few weeks ago, now-Mayor Rahm Emanuel locked in the deal, ensuring that Chicago parkers will remain servants of that company for the next seven decades.

The epidemic of privatization spreads way beyond Chicago, and way, way beyond parking meters. It's seeping quickly into things like airports, health clinics and, of course, education. The corporatization of everything is squeezing the life out of crucial institutions, chewing up the concept of the "public good" and spitting it into a privatized water fountain.

This process is painful to witness. But we at Truthout are sticking with the story and telling you the truth about its devastating effects - the ways in which it's impacting your lives and the lives of your fellow humans. No corporation will ever fund this vital work. That's OK; we don't want them to! But this means you're the ones we count on in order to keep bringing the truth to light.

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Maya Schenwar

Maya Schenwar is Truthout’s Editor-in-Chief. Her book, Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn’t Work and How We Can Do Better, will be out from Berrett-Koehler Publishers in November. Follow her on Twitter: @mayaschenwar

Previously, she was a senior editor and reporter at Truthout, writing on US defense policy, the criminal justice system, campaign politics, and immigration reform. Prior to her work at Truthout, Maya was contributing editor at Punk Planet magazine. She has also written for the Guardian, In These Times, Ms. Magazine, AlterNet, Z Magazine, Bitch Magazine, Common Dreams, the New Jersey Star-Ledger and others. She also served as a publicity coordinator for Voices for Creative Nonviolence. Maya is on the Board of Advisors at Waging Nonviolence.

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