Without open, clear and free public parks, Chicago would be an oppressive place to live. The world-class cities of the world boast world-class public parks. In the late 1800s, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the designers of parks, believed that urban parks provided refuge from the stresses of city life but also were democratic places for all classes of people to interact.
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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the University of Chicago seem determined to destroy what Daniel Burnham envisaged and Olmsted and Vaux brought into existence by stealing dedicated public parkland in Washington Park or Jackson Park for an obstructive private Obama Library. Lots of available undeveloped and private land exists in Chicago, waiting for a foundation gift. Long-established public rights to public parks must be protected.
Herb Caplan, Protect Our Parks
Preserve human services
As a person with disability and for people with disabilities, I’m very concerned the state’s Human Services Program will be severely cut under Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration.
On Feb. 4, Rauner’s state-of-the-state address reflected a corporate theme: to empower businesses to strive and not for the ordinary person, especially for people with disabilities. At one point in his speech, he talked about unfunded mandates as if it was draining the state’s budget. The Americans with Disabilities Act — which this year we’re celebrating the 25th anniversary — is also an unfunded mandate, but is helping to end discrimination based on disability. Furthermore, I didn’t hear Rauner talk about programs that would help us, such as Centers for Independent Living, which provide services for us to remain living in the community.
Rauner discussed Medicaid once, but as it related to hospitals and how he’ll stop the hospital industry from financially contributing to legislators. ls he going to stop the powerful nursing home industry — the very same industry that supported his nursing home —from contributing, too?
Rauner’s budget address Feb. 18 revealed his attitude toward people with disabilities. I urge the governor to empower us to live in the community.
Larry Biondi , advocacy coordinator, Progress Center for Independent Living
Regarding your editorial from Feb. 25 on candidate runoffs, you stated a difference between John Kozlar and Patrick Thompson. You wrote that Thompson saying “every stakeholder needs to be willing to make sacrifices.” What was missing was the part where he said “however, I do not support reforms that put an undue burden on current retirees.” John Kozlar said similar comments. Maybe you should read your own report from The Watchdogs and Tim Novak on Feb. 16 about Patrick Thompson to help with your endorsement.
Sean Callahan, Morgan Park
Not a fake pol
You quoted Rahm Emanuel as saying, “I don’t think you should be not who you are. The worst thing in politics is for people to think you’re not honest with yourself.” He may rub people the wrong way with his style, but what you see is what you get. He is not trying to fake his way into office. It’s too bad that all politicians can’t do the same. Our president ran as one man, and then clearly became another when in office. There is no excuse for purposely deceiving the public to get elected. Your flaws and mistruths will rise to the top like oil in a glass of water. But alas, to finish his quote he said, “They are smart. The public is smart.” Are they? Then why did we fall for Obama’s lies twice? The public has a lot to learn.
Scot Sinclair Gurnee