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Monday letters: My neighbors deserve a fair shake on pay

Demonstrators demanding an increase in the minimum wage to $15-dollars-per-hour march around a McDonald's restaurant on April 14, 2016 in Chicago. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

If you ask people in my community if they’re able to sustain their families and make ends meet, you’ll quickly find out that too many of my friends and neighbors aren’t getting a fair shake. Even as the economy has turned around, most Americans haven’t seen any improvement in their pay. It’s just plain wrong that companies pay so little to the people who make our food, care for our loved ones, teach our children and stock the shelves at the stores where we shop. They can’t afford the basics. The bottom line is that we all are worth more than what the CEOs say we are worth.

How do we get back on track? It’s not enough to demand that profitable corporations create jobs that allow our community to thrive. We must continue to press our elected officials to boost the minimum wage and enact standards that value families. This Labor Day, let’s remember that every person should be able to earn a fair return on the work they do.

Sarah Kobs, Hyde Park

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

Appeal to higher authority for fairer legislative map

The Illinois Supreme Court’s rejection last week of the proposed Independent Map Amendment reflects Illinois politics as usual. Given the court’s 4-3 vote along party lines, can anyone deny that elected officials in Illinois do not want democracy to prevail?

This is the third time since 2009 that Illinois voters have signed petitions to protest the way the state Legislature draws the boundaries of legislative districts. The signatures were to get the proposed amendment on the November ballot. With more than half a million signatures certified by the Illinois State Board of Elections, those voters spoke with a loud, bipartisan and united voice. I was one of those signature-gatherers. Voters practically grabbed my clipboard out of my hand. To refuse to put this question before the voters of Illinois in a statewide referendum is an outrage!

There is, however, one glimmer of hope. Two court cases out of North Carolina have emerged to challenge that state’s way of gerrymandering both state representative districts and congressional districts. Over a decade ago, Justice Anthony Kennedy said that he would consider looking at such a case if one could prove that districts were drawn due to racial or political advantage. Lawyers in North Carolina feel they now have that proof.

Illinois politicians do not listen to Illinois voters because they really elect us, instead of vice versa. It is time to go over their heads to a higher authority.

Jan Goldberg, Riverside