City Hall has announced plans to increase police and SWAT presence on the CTA L and subway platforms, and I have noticed that presence in the past week. But why, as a city, have we waited for public safety to get worse before it became a priority?
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has introduced new fees on rideshare service downtown. She says she has done this to reduce road congestion downtown and encourage more people to take mass transit.
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But the mayor is not really encouraging people in the slightest. She is, in fact, discouraging and penalizing a behavior — people using Uber and Lyft instead of mass transit — without addressing why people are making that choice. Chicagoans and visitors are aware of rising levels of crime on and near trains.
Public transit is my preferred means of transportation, and it’s a valuable and robust service in Chicago. Not many cities can say that. As a resident, I recognize that using mass transit supports the city, reduces congestion and is environmentally beneficial. But I’ve come to the point where I will use a rideshare app two or three times a week instead, depending on the time of day, my location and my destination.
I personally have never been in a situation where I have felt in danger. And I am gratefully that I can financially manage the new rideshare surcharge. If I have never been in an uncomfortable situation on mass transit, it might because I can afford to choose ridesharing when I feel it’s necessary. But what about the individuals who don’t have the means? Countless people in Chicago are put in unsafe situations because there there is no alternative for them.
I welcome additional security forces on the L, but that can’t be the only solution.
Mike Ellison, the Loop
‘Moral failure’ all around
In her column on Thursday, Mona Charen singles out Bernie Sanders in discussing his “moral failing.” And yes, she has a point. But every candidate has “moral failings” — none of them (or us) are perfect.
So in choosing a champion to do battle with Trump, we have to look at the bigger picture. Following a president who is corrupt and tempestuous, we need a person of calm and deliberative mind. We need a highly intelligent candidate with the intellectual curiosity to dig into problems and come up with practical solutions. We also need a healer — someone who can lead and bring people together, as well as compromise for the greater good.
Our choices come down to an angry socialist, a dry but competent technocrat, a cranky uncle, a firebrand, a lady who looks good on paper but can’t get enough public support and Pete Buttigieg — who has it all, except for a depth of experience.
I’m tired of anger, insults and ideologues. That’s why I am voting for Mayor Pete.
Carol Kraines, Deerfield
How Trump ‘drains the swamp’
It’s time to give President Trump credit for keeping his promise to drain the swamp, by which I mean people who have been convicted of corruption or lying to Congress and the Justice Department.
This is a president who ferrets out corruption wherever he finds it. Case in point: Six Trump associates and close aides have been convicted and jailed or are awaiting incarceration.
I am sure that eventually a Democrat inhabitant of the swamp will be charged and convicted of wrongdoing, but so far it has been only Republican associates of the president.
That has to be a coincidence, right?
Victor Darst, Huntley