Raw footage for the television series "Chicago Slices." This video features an interview with Carlos Malave, a school board reformer, mechanic, and gas station owner who discusses his double life at his garage.
00:00Copy video clip URL Rainy street scene in a quiet neighborhood lined with trees. A rainbow appears in the clouds overhead.
04:05Copy video clip URL Entry into Malave’s garage and introductions. They go under a car on the lift, and Malave explains what he’s doing to help his customer prepare for a road trip by inspecting the car and giving an oil change. He goes on to say that working with the Chicago Public Schools’ Board of Education is much harder than his work in the shop because of all the politics and bureaucracy.
08:05Copy video clip URL He says that he came from a family of tradesmen and that’s how he got into this business. Although he trained to be an accountant, he decided that it wasn’t for him. He further explains that he only works on U.S. made cars. They go over to another car, where Malave describes some of the things he knows about the evolution of engines and how they work. They play a quick game where Malave predicts the type and year of car, and check with the owners, who happen to be returning the car to the rental place on their way back to the airport.
13:00Copy video clip URL Carlos talks about how much he loves his trade, and how auto repair shops are becoming specialized due to computerization of auto technology. He says that he always recommends a second opinion as a way to earn trust with his customers. He cautions people to be careful because in the auto repair industry because there is no regulating body. They go on to look at another engine, where Carlos does some more teaching.
17:40Copy video clip URL Malave talks about his work as the community representative on the school council at Joyce Kilmer School in East Rogers Park. He says he does that work as a way to give back to the community. He complains that schools have lost local control, saying that the system has failed because politicians have served their own self interests. He says it bothers him to see 8th graders who have “lost the fire” because of the problems at school. He also says that he may have to make a change in the coming year or two because he doesn’t have enough time to do both. He says that he spends 30-35 hours a week on school reform and his business has suffered because of his work and passion for school reform.
21:12Copy video clip URL Malave talks more about reform, saying “the political system gave us reform but did not give us the tools.” He talks about accountability and freedom of local control so that each school has its own power to make decisions. He blames the “tentacles of bureaucracy” for making it difficult to promote change.
22:20Copy video clip URL Malave says that he’s shown the shop to some of the students but some of them shy away from it. He blames the system for saying that people who don’t go to college are failures. He goes on to talk about self esteem and how it’s lost in education today. He says that it’s time to take a serious look at how we educate our children, when 50% of them drop out of the Chicago Public system.
23:10Copy video clip URL Malave introduces one of his employees, Tom, and his son, who graduated from Kilmer School and is studying Business Administration at the University of Illinois.
26:04Copy video clip URL They discuss his future plans, and then go on to talk about his outspoken nature with the school council, as he’s known for calling people “super-wimps.” He criticizes the concept of the voucher system, saying that the inner city schools will collapse under this system.
30:20Copy video clip URL Malave discusses the “Green School Issue,” which is a controversy where local officials have leased out a school in a backhanded manner while the rest of the neighborhood schools are overcrowded. He says that overcrowding is one of the key issues for District 2, which is the North Side of Chicago.
33:00Copy video clip URL Malave goes back under the first car and demonstrates an oil change. He talks also about how the oil is recycled, demonstrating how they deposit it into the tank for removal. He also talks about the advances in pollution control and shows how contaminants are taken out of the fuel and exhaust in cars today.
41:00Copy video clip URL He talks about the challenges in the Chicago Public School system, saying that if it were a car, it would be a broken one with bald tires. He says that they don’t understand multicultural education. He also talks about teachers and how they are demoralized and undervalued in the system today.
45:00Copy video clip URL He walks outside to show his tow truck, which he proudly says that he’s owned since 1980. He says that he only tows back to his own shop, and that most of the calls come on cold days or from people who don’t properly maintain their vehicles. He says that his business is one of the only ones who still offers full service at the gas pump. He also shows some of the damaged cars on his lot and talks about how they got there and what he plans to do with them.
54:09Copy video clip URL Carlos summarizes and reflects on his life, saying that he has learned a lot because he works with all kinds of people. He says it’s a great study of human behavior, and his work as a mechanic has inspired and informed how he approaches school reform.
56:36Copy video clip URL He tells the story of someone who drove through his storeroom window, burglaries, and times when people have driven away with gas without paying.
57:38Copy video clip URL Various shots around the shop and gas station.
01:00:33Copy video clip URL End of tape.