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Keep name-calling out of remap process

Ald. Michelle Harris, the chairwoman of the Chicago City Council’s Rules Committee, was accused of not engaging fairly in the map-making process or even that she did not engage at all. This could not be further from the truth.

Ald. Michelle Harris
Ald. Michelle Harris (8th) is the first woman, and first woman of color, to hold the leadership role in the ward remapping process.
Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Over the last week, we have watched with great disappointment as some of our colleagues have brought the Chicago City Council’s process of creating a new citywide ward map to a new low.

As debate over a new map has continued, some of our colleagues have engaged in political sideshows instead of working together. This has resulted in public name-calling and attention-seeking games that do not seek to find collaboration or compromise but the latest headline.

In particular, these tactics took aim at Ald. Michelle Harris (8th), the chairwoman of the City Council’s Rules Committee, who was accused of not engaging fairly in the map-making process or even that she did not engage at all. This could not be further from the truth.

Ald. Harris is the first woman, and first woman of color, to hold this leadership role. Our colleagues’ comments have minimized and undermined Harris’ leadership and the work she has done to bring all sides to the table to craft a new map. We find these comments disrespectful, offensive and wholly inappropriate.

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There are many voices and perspectives that must be considered in our remap process. The map considers new and growing populations as well as communities of interest. The map increases Latino wards, creates our very first Asian American ward and ensures Black communities maintain representation at City Hall.

Now we will enter the important phase of hearing and considering public feedback on the map over the course of several hearings. We will also continue to incorporate feedback from our fellow council members who represent all of you.

We believe the people of Chicago want us to put a fair map in place and get back to pressing issues like public safety, education and an evolving global pandemic.

We urge our colleagues to end the vitriol, commit to a respectful process and get back to creating a map that is good for all of Chicago.

Ald. Pat Dowell, 3rd; Ald. Sophia King, 4th; Ald. Leslie Hairston, 5th; Ald. Michelle Harris, 8th; Ald. Stephanie Coleman, 16th; Ald. Jeanette Taylor, 20th; Ald. Carrie Austin, 34th; Ald. Emma Mitts, 37th; Ald. Samantha Nugent, 39th; Ald. Michele Smith, 43rd; Ald. Maria Hadden, 49th

Prosecute gun violations

Good editorial [“Demand solutions to gun violence,“ Friday] about gun violence, but direct it where it is needed: the state’s attorney’s office. There are more than enough gun laws, both state and federal, but they are sporadically enforced. Have State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office fully prosecute everyone with a gun violation.

She should refer as many cases as possible to the U.S. attorney for federal prosecution. Right now these criminals are let out on bonds and electronic monitoring. The solution is simple: Arrest a person with an illegal gun and hold them on no bond (they are potential murderers and a threat to the public). Fully prosecute them. That’s what any cop will tell you. But an academic won’t. That’s why there is never a solution.

Robert Stasch, Norwood Park

Lack of response

With so many problems facing our nation, many of us are frustrated by the lack of a response from our elected leaders. I see letters almost daily asking why they don’t do something about guns, infrastructure, taxes, etc.

More often than not, the well-intentioned writer appeals to “Congress,” “politicians” or “Washington” to take action. The fact is that there is only one party, the Republicans, responsible for the partisanship and dysfunction in government.

They have opposed en masse any proposal that comes from the Democrats. Gun control, no. Voting rights, no. COVID-19 mandates, no. Spending on social programs, no.

Our government is broken because Republican leadership in the House and the Senate will not do anything that might favor President Joe Biden or anger Donald Trump and his MAGA crowd. Plain and simple. Let’s stop blaming both sides and face reality.

Richard Keslinke, Algonquin

Endorsements didn’t work

Thanks to Mona Charen for her column regarding Dr. Oz. I followed him for a long time until I discovered that his endorsements did not work. I was especially interested in his heart burn remedy. “This will work,” he said. Well, it didn’t. So I stopped watching immediately.

Virginia Dare McGraw, Naperville