If CTA won’t enforce mask policy, Chicagoans won’t ride trains

I have complained to the CTA, asking why the agent in the booth couldn’t monitor passengers more closely, only to be told that the CTA does not want staff to “risk their personal safety.”

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A man wears a face mask on a Blue Line train on Feb. 3.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

I believe in public transportation, and I want to support it. But the problem of people not wearing masks on the trains is persistent and growing, and makes me uneasy about risking the exposure.

I have complained to the CTA, asking why the agent in the booth couldn’t monitor passengers more closely, only to be told the CTA does not want staff to “risk their personal safety to confront someone not wearing a mask.” The CTA cited incidents “from our transit peers across the country in which transit employees have been assaulted and attacked after asking customers to put on a mask.”

Certainly, that’s a concern, but it seems someone inside a locked booth would be relatively safe from assault, even if they would be victims of harsh words. This is not asking anything more from them than we ask of flight attendants — to enforce a law. The CTA could also make more persistent announcements from the loudspeaker. The safety of the majority of CTA passengers depends on solving this problem.

Marjorie Isaacson, East Ukrainian Village

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Blaming Lightfoot ignores history

I am sick and tired of the blame games being played with respect to crime in Chicago. No, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is not to blame for Chicago’s murders, and she is not “tying the hands” of the Chicago Police Department. To believe that, you need to ignore the fact the number of murders in Chicago were half again as high at one point during Richard M. Daley’s time as mayor, and the average number of murders during the Daley years will be what we have this year.

Daley certainly never would have been mistaken as a police reformer, yet the murder rate was at times higher during his tenure. By blaming Lightfoot, police officers and their aldermanic lapdogs deflects from their poor performance. Stop talking and get working.

Don Anderson, Oak Park

Trump’s Afghan failure

The Trump administration signed an agreement with the Taliban on Feb. 29, 2020, to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan by May 1, 2021. Under this timetable, 427 days would pass between the signing and the departure deadline.

Former President Donald Trump was in office for 326 of those 427 days, or about 76% of them. Before I listen to complaints from Trump and his Republican allies about how badly the situation in Afghanistan is going, might I ask if 76% of the arrangements to evacuate our Afghan allies were in place when Trump left office on Jan. 20?

Curt Fredrikson, Mokena

Support greater humanitarian help

As a member of the Catholic Relief Services Chapter of Queen of All Nations Parish in suburban Hillside, I am writing to urge U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth to support increased federal funding for international humanitarian assistance in the next federal budget.

It is critical at this time, in particular, that the United States continue to lead the world in supporting countries in developing sustainable agricultural practices, address food security issues and support health initiatives that will benefit not only those individual nations but the world community as a whole.

Christopher Rosean, Elmhurst

Charge by crime, not age

I’m not sure what government entity is responsible for holding young violent offenders accountable, but it’s obvious these delinquents aren’t in the least concerned. Brazen Loop attacks, a DUI hit-and-run and an attempted armed robbery aren’t enough to keep them locked up — and they know it. They know their age will give them a pass.

I think it’s time these “kids” be judged by the violent crimes they commit, not by their age. I’m hoping that in the next election someone runs for office with that in mind. That’s a platform many of us will get behind.

Michael Pearson, Englewood

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