A countdown clock lets public speakers know when their three minutes are up at City Council meetings. | Sun-Times file photo

LETTERS: Aldermen, mayor tune out Chicagoans during ‘public comment’

SHARE LETTERS: Aldermen, mayor tune out Chicagoans during ‘public comment’
SHARE LETTERS: Aldermen, mayor tune out Chicagoans during ‘public comment’

Last Wednesday, I took time off work to attend a City Council meeting, specifically to take advantage of the new ability of city residents to “publicly comment” at city council meetings. My understanding was that 10 city residents could publicly speak to the mayor and the City Council for three full minutes, for a total of thirty minutes, at the beginning of each monthly meeting.

I believed that the idea was to give city residents time to weigh in on important city policy decisions. What I witnessed was disrespectful and shameful behavior on the part of the mayor and several City Council members. The mayor picked up and left the meeting during public comment. He was gone until public comments were almost over. Several of the aldermen were talking and laughing among themselves, clearly not listening to the impassioned pleas of people who went to a great deal of trouble to be at the City Council meeting that day.

I was disappointed by the lack of respect for hard working taxpayers who simply wanted a few minutes of time to advocate for affordable housing, education and other topics important to them. I am a lifelong city resident and had never before attended a city council meeting. The lack of decorum and courtesy for taxpaying city residents that I witnessed will ensure that I not return until the composition of the City Council reflects elected officials who genuinely respect the people they were elected to serve.

Anne M. Dillon, Norwood Park

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Trump moves to gut Obamacare

The genius of the Affordable Care Act is that everyone is covered at relatively modest costs. Yes, there are some improvements that should be made, but in general, it is a plan that works because of mandates, subsidies and practical coverage rules — like preexisting conditions being covered and bare-bones policies excluded.

Some people don’t like some provisions, but each are necessary to keep costs down for all. Young, healthy people may prefer a bare-bones policy, but health can change in a moment, from breaking a leg while skateboarding to being diagnosed with diabetes or heart disease.

President Donald Trump’s changes will cause premiums to skyrocket in an unstable market, causing fear and insecurity for almost everyone. And where are the Democrats? They seem to be silent, while Trump destroys our health care system. They should be screaming about the horrors of Trumpcare and how it will affect American lives.

Carol Kraines, Deerfield

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