You are certainly correct that “billionaire pols could use a little farm team training.” The truth is that serving in office, even in an executive role, has very little in common with running a business. And we have to stop handing power to wealthy men on the assumption that they’re somehow more competent and more qualified to lead us.
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Happily, there’s a candidate for governor who has exactly the kind of experience you call for. Ameya Pawar has spent six years in the Chicago City Council, sponsoring legislation, building consensus and advocating for his community. In other words, getting things done.
Ald. Pawar has authored ordinances requiring paid sick leave and establishing the city council’s independent budget office. He has directed additional funding to the 47th Ward’s neighborhood schools and restored a vital bus route. He has cultivated impressive, inclusive economic development, serving as a deft conduit between the private sector, the community and city government.
Now he has a bold, hopeful plan for Illinois that envisions investing in education, supporting working people and reinvigorating the economy. He has a track record of accomplishment in government. He has the intellect, the devotion and the humanity we should hope for in our leaders.
What he doesn’t have is a lot of money in the bank. But do we really want that to be the only thing that matters?
It’s time we stopped worshiping wealth and started electing candidates who understand what life is like for the rest of us — and who know how to get things done.
Brandon Copple, Lincoln Square
Call out Trump
As responsible parents, teaching our children not to lie and to exhibit compassion for others, especially those who have less than we do, I fail to understand how the Republicans in Congress have not and do not call out President Trump for his outrageous statements that can in no way be called anything other than lies. What impression does this give to children that if the President can lie, it’s okay for them to do the same? Until Republicans can get a backbone and call Mr. Trump out for his ridiculous falsehoods and to remind him that a show of compassion is better than allowing prejudice to flourish, I and many others will continue to have no respect for any of them.
It is not an impossibility that some time one of these people who so want to prevent abortion will have a family member who may wish to obtain one or that one of their children or grandchildren may be transgender and in what voices will they use to explain their harsh rhetoric then?
Barb Minarik, Logan Square
Chicago. The pathetic North Lake Shore Drive underpasses (for example, those at Wilson Avenue and Lawrence Avenue) are a disgrace and an embarrassment to a city with so much potential.
Scores of homeless people camp out there in all kinds of weather, sub-zero temperatures, rain, snow, wind, etc. The men and women living there are of diverse races, religions and ethnicities. What criminal or mental health issues may be involved can be explored. Furthermore, other people, fortunate enough not to live in such blight, must frequently interact with them since their tents are blocking parts of the sidewalk. This humanitarian debacle involves us all and needs our attention.
If there is a relatively bright light in this otherwise bleak scenario, it is that at least there is a major hospital within walking distance from the above locations, should urgent intervention be required. Since all relationships are co-created, what those places say about us, you decide.
Leon J. Hoffman, Lake View
Reading today’s article on the messy divorce between Jesse Jackson Jr and Sandy Jackson, I was utterly appalled at one line that stood out in the article. Jesse Jackson, diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression, receives $138,000 a year in disability. I thought that had to be a misprint or some kind of a joke.
Can anyone please explain to me how someone who has led an entitled life like this man, gone to prison for his actions, can receive such a ridiculous payment to support his lavish lifestyle, which includes sending his children to private school? All while there are truly needy people out there who get buy on a fraction of that?
What is wrong with our system and what can we do to correct it? Better yet who is that doctor so I can get diagnosed with the same condition and make a six-figure payment for doing nothing? Appalled is not a strong enough word to stomach that bit of news.
Scot Sinclair, Third Lake
Until five years ago, the Chicago board of education had a school holiday to recognize the sacrifices of Gen. Casimir Pulaski. It eliminated the holiday, though other school districts and state agencies still honor it.
My brother, who joined as a volunteer to serve in Vietnam, felt very disrespected by his treatment 50 years ago. It is sad that we neglect our war heroes and often disrespect those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
Thomas Hencinski, Willowbrook