Mayor Lightfoot’s ‘solidarity pledge’ is a slap in the face to Chicago renters

This nonbinding and totally unenforceable pledge allows landlords to say they’ll go easy on tenants while providing no substantive, universal relief.

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If Mayor Lori Lightfoot really cared about Chicago renters, she would urge Gov. J.B. Pritzker to repeal a statewide ban on rent control, writes a Sun-Times reader.

Sun-Times Media

The “Chicago Housing Solidarity Pledge” unveiled by Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday — at a press conference attended by bankers and real estate lobbyists but no tenants or tenants’ unions — is a slap in the face to Chicago’s renters.

This non-binding and totally unenforceable pledge allows landlords to say they’ll go easy on tenants, for example, by eliminating late fees while providing no substantive, universal relief to struggling renters.

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If Lightfoot truly cared about renters, who comprise more than half of her constituents, she’d use her platform to urge Gov. J.B. Pritzker to repeal a statewide ban on rent control through executive action and institute a rent and mortgage freeze.

She’d listen to the tenants and advocacy groups who have been fighting for this, to those of us warning that once the eviction moratorium is lifted, families with several months’ of rent debt will be on the streets.

Instead, Lightfoot is listening to the deep-pocketed developers who funded her campaign and whose sole interest is protecting their profit. Shame on her.

Helena Duncan
Lift the Ban Coalition
Hyde Park

“The Jungle” returns

Are we again living Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle”? 

President Trump has forced the reopening of meat plants, which will force people to work at these jobs during the pandemic, putting their lives on the line for a pay check. Of course, they could choose to not work there. But if not there, then where?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made recommendations to better protect the employees, but there is nothing mandatory. And if the meat plants are not forced to take action to protect their employees from COVID-19, which would add to costs, they won’t.

The elite of the Republican Party are forcing people to put their lives on the line for a paycheck to pay the rent and feed their families. Welcome to “The Jungle,” where if you are sick you will be replaced. If you die you, will be replaced. 

Mark Mazzuca, Mokena

Good luck to next president

An American nurse, dealing every day with coronavirus patients, must envy a foreign nurse who is dressed in a complete hazmat suit. The American nurse must use one mask all day and one gown all week. Some nurses wear garbage bags. One nurse quoted in the media said her supervisors say she can’t wear homemade masks or masks that are different from everyone else’s, though she struggles to get clean masks.

Meanwhile, states left on their own by the president are forced to order supplies covertly. One state employee had to take a $3.5 million check in a Road Ranger to meet a supplier. Other state officials have driven decoy trucks to protect the trucks with the actual supplies.

Does this sound like the plot for a NCIS show?

Who would have thought that the richest country on earth would be groveling for supplies to keep our workers safe and our citizens cared for?

Could it be that the current occupant of the White House has abdicated all authority over the pandemic? It seems the only thing he’s interested in is “opening up” business again so he can brag about the “great” economy, and, in turn, brag about himself.

Singularly unqualified presidents have been elected before, but somehow they rose to the occasion, surrounding themselves with qualified people. We were able to move on.

Thanks to the states, we are muddling through this crisis. I hope, if we survive as a nation and as a people, that we will be able to re-establish able leadership in the White House. It will take years, maybe decades, to come back from this disaster of a presidency. 

Good luck to the next president. He or she will have their work cut out for them.

Karen Wagner, Rolling Meadows

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