Time to reopen Illinois? You go first

Feel free to risk your own personal health on a daily basis. And let’s see you do it for $15 an hour.

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Demonstrators gather outside the Thompson Center in Chicago on May 1 to protest Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home executive order.

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If Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch thinks parts of the state’s economy are ready to be opened up, my suggestion is that he goes first.I want to see him getting up close and personal with the general public, risking his personal health on a daily basis.And I want to see him do it for $15 an hour.

Don Anderson, Oak Park

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Given the vagueness of statements by Gov. J. B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot, along with the stance of the Chicago Teacher’s Union, the writing seems to be on the wall that there won’t be real school in the fall.Instead of having a can-do attitude, it’s as if we’re searching for reasons to remain shut down.The only thing “virtual” schooling assures is virtually no learning.

As a parent of two CPS kids, we are looking at other options.

Jim McIntosh, Hyde Park

Working with renters

As a large association of apartment owners and managers with properties ranging from two-flats to high-rises, the Chicagoland Apartment Association is proud to have signed Mayor Lightfoot’s Chicago Housing Solidarity Pledge. During these unprecedented times, true to the Solidarity Pledge, countless property managers are practicing grace and patience when rent is due, including extended payment plans, waiving late fees and offering significant grace periods. We expect these scenarios to repeat tens of thousands of times going forward.

It’s important to emphasize what the mayor has said repeatedly: Those who can pay rent must. Not only is it vital to stabilizing the housing market, it also increases apartment owners’ flexibility to extend a helping hand to the thousands of tenants facing hardship in the wake of the pandemic. Apartment owners are under similar financial pressures. Their monthly costs including payroll, property taxes, insurance, maintenance and capital expenditures.

A group of Illinois lawmakers is endorsing #CancelRent legislation, but we would note the idea of forgiving widespread rent could result in a tremendous amount of foreclosures, exacerbating the region’s shortage of quality affordable housing options. Short of the federal government delivering direct rental assistance, the best strategy is for property managers and residents to partner together.

Early, open communication from residents regarding their COVID-19-related needs is key to finding mutually agreeable resolutions.

Michael Mini
Executive vice president
Chicagoland Apartment Association

Natural selection

It’s ironic that so many supporters of Donald Trump don’t believe in evolution. In their refusal to shelter in place, wear face masks, and practice social distancing, they soon will present us with a startling demonstration in natural selection.

Daniel Welch Glen Ellyn

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