Lake Shore Drive is no big deal outside of Chicago

Go ahead and rename it DuSable Lake Shore Drive. It’s not like it’s Wall Street, Sunset Boulevard, Madison Avenue or Fifth Avenue.

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South Lake Shore Drive

Brian Ernst/Sun-Times

We rename things all the time. Outside of the Chicago area, Lake Shore Drive is not that well known. It’s not like it’s Broadway, Wall Street, Sunset Boulevard, Madison Avenue or Fifth Avenue. If we’re going to honor Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, then let’s do it right. No second class or Jim Crow honor.

A statue that you could put in somebody’s basement? Programming on the Riverwalk? Please, who’s going to pay attention to that? And if we going to rename an expressway after DuSable, it should be the Kennedy. That’s the one coming from O’Hare Airport, with its horde of international travelers.

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No one is saying we should rename the City of Chicago or Michigan Avenue or State Street after DuSable. But a prominent roadway like Lake Shore Drive would pay real homage to DuSable, the first non-native settler of our town. Every mile of DuSable Lake Shore Drive would be a proud thoroughfare in sheer exultation, from the North Side to the South Side.  

Just put the name DuSable in front of LSD — call it DuSable Lake Shore Drive.

Michael Riley, Uptown

No financial rewards for vaccine

Illinois has the dubious honor of being first in the nation when it comes to pension debt. And budget mismanagement through the years has hurt the state’s economy and caused residents to move to other states. Yet Gov. J.B. Pritzker intends to financially incentivize citizens to get the COVID-19 vaccine. This will further add to an already crumbling Illinois economy.

Getting or not getting the vaccine is a matter of personal choice. If the governor’s goal is to increase the vaccination rate in Illinois, why not develop an effective educational campaign rather than run up further debt?

John Livaich, Oak Lawn

Democrats must deliver or lose

If Democrats want people who are Black, Hispanic, young and disenfranchised to show up at the polls next year to expand the party’s majority, they need to give us a reason to. 

President Joe Biden inherited a country plagued by a pandemic, economic recession, distrust in government and a glaring racial gap. In response, Democrats must now deliver big structural change to the American people. That means student debt relief, D.C. statehood, universal healthcare, better climate policy, consumer protection, immigration reform and criminal justice transformation — all issues popular among voters.

At the end of the day, Democrats have two options: Abolish the Jim Crow-era filibuster and deliver or lose in 2022.

Dylan Toth, Schaumburg

End filibuster and help Americans

I don’t want to name names, but there are a few Democratic in the U.S. Senate who clearly care more about protecting the filibuster, an antiquated procedural norm that allows a minority of senators to stop any bill, than making progress for the American people.

It’s hard to understand why, especially when our nation has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pass bold, sweeping legislation that could dramatically change American life for the better. Without the filibuster, legislation that would raise the minimum wage, promote comprehensive climate action and protect voting rights actually has a chance of passing in the Senate. I hope that Democrats see this moment for what it is — a rare opportunity to make government work for the American people — and act before it’s too late.

What is power for if not to help people? I’m calling on the Senate to step up and get rid of the filibuster.

Tanya Clark, Lincoln Square

Filibuster blocks progress

The filibuster isn’t mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. Not even one time. Despite what some senators might imply, the filibuster is just a procedural measure that can be changed at any point, such as when Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump put Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.

It is so ridiculous that the filibuster still stands in the way of almost every single progressive priority on the Democrats’ docket. We can’t let a minority of senators block the progress that a majority of Americans voted for.

Carol Joswiak, Palatine

What happened to market risk?

Texas lawmakers are considering legislation that would add fees to everyone’s power bill because of the massive electricity outage the state experienced last February. Classic American capitalism: privatize the profits, but socialize the losses. The system is working as designed.

Bob Chimis, Elmwood Park

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