Free market fans gathered at 190 South LaSalle's 40th floor law library to celebrate Milton Friedman's 102nd birthday last week. The party was hosted by the Illinois Policy Institute.
The event started with a light lunch provided by three local "food truck" vendors. The Institute and the Liberty Justice Center have been on the forefront helping these small businesses operate in Chicago. The city officials' protectionist policies, along with special interests, have actively opposed independently-owned food trucks.
The guest speaker for the Friedman celebration was Preston Kendall, president of Waukegan’s Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep. The Cristo Rey network of schools provides a unique work-study educational program to 7,500 students nationwide. While serving families that are financially limited, Cristo Rey’s Waukegan school remains one of the highest-performing urban schools in the Chicago area.
Preston Kendall with Mark Weyermuller
Cristo Rey proves that low-income children can succeed when given the right opportunity.
Many people feel that education would improve with more private and charter schools, along with a voucher system, Kendall told the attendees. The government-run public schools have become very political and controlled by powerful special interest unions. Much of the union's emphasis is on self-preservation rather then educating children. The cost to taxpayers has skyrocketed, not to mention an unsustainable pension system. School choice is a solution for the future.
After Kendall's riveting presentation, the attendees sang happy birthday and devoured a huge sheet cake with Milton Friedman's face on it, celebrating the free market. Happy Birthday, Milton!
Singing happy birthday under the direction of leaders of The Institute's Jonathan Greenberg and Ted Dabrowski