Our Pledge To You

Letters to the Editor

Don’t let those robocalls flood your cellphone

AP Photo/John Raoul

Robocallers are nothing if not persistent. lllinois area codes received more than 148 million robocalls in July and it could get worse.

Wall Street banks and corporations using robocalls for debt collection and telemarketing are working to persuade the Federal Communications Commission to gut our most significant protections from unwanted and abusive robocalls.

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Since 1991, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act has curbed the powers of aggressive debt collectors and other robocallers, maintaining consumers’ right to privacy. But following a recent court ruling in a case brought by the American Collectors Association, which called parts of the Act into question, the robocallers and their D.C. lobbyists are working overtime to persuade the FCC to greenlight unwanted automated calls and texts.

Determined to get you on the phone, the robocallers sense an opportunity to unravel the rules barring autodialed calls and texts to cellphones without the consumer’s consent, and to strip consumers of the right to revoke consent and make the robocallers stop calling. If they get their wish, calls to Illinois residents will skyrocket and we’ll be powerless to stop them.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth sits on the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees the FCC. She has been a leader on this issue in the past, and we hope she and her colleagues on the committee will insist that the FCC sides with consumers over the debt collectors and other abusive telemarketers.

Dory Rand
President
Woodstock Institute

Right side of town, wrong park, for Obama Center

We note with interest that former President Barack Obama felt the need to drop into Chicago on Tuesday to visit with some of his core local supporters and reassure them that progress on the Obama Presidential Center was on track —  with only a few obstacles.  As president of Preserve Our Parks, a plaintiff in the lawsuit that is one of those ” few obstacles,” let me make clear that our organization has always supported an Obama Center located on Chicago’s South Side; but we are committed to faithfully respecting and complying with the many state and national laws enacted to protect dedicated public parks and preserving the unique distinction of specific locations with historic value. It’s called the rule of law.

The key issue in dispute is the City of Chicago and the park district trying to locate that proposed Obama Presidential Center in the legally protected and world-renowned Jackson Park. Had Obama only made a more sensitive and less controversial choice for the location of his presidential center, no one would have had grounds to oppose such a project. Construction, without doing irreparable harm to the historic public park and with universal support, would be well under way. Now is the time for a right location decision to be made.

Herbert Caplan
President
Protect Our Park