Letters to the Editor Opinion

Letters: The editorial board is wrong to tell the mayor and city to wait to address air quality

We are surprised that after 150 years of demanding that Chicago take action, the Tribune Editorial Board now urges Chicago to wait for the state in its Jan. 28 editorial “Chicago should cool down on banning natural gas in new buildings and let this be debated statewide.”

Throughout its history, the editorial board has strongly advocated for Chicago mayors to proactively address air quality in Chicago. At no time prior did the editorial board advocate for Chicago to wait for the state.

In 1874, in pushing for the swift heightened regulation of the use of coal as an energy source, the Tribune Editorial Board wrote: “The city will shortly be blackened in appearance … and grow more unhealthy. What is to be done should be done quickly. … When the means for securing this result are so cheap and simple, it is the height of folly to go dirty any longer.”

The Tribune Editorial Board has written similar editorials and articles over 150 years urging Chicago to take swift action — at least up until its recent January editorial. At no time before then did it advocate that Chicago wait for the state, including that Mayor Harvey Doolittle Colvin wait for Gov. John Lourie Beveridge in 1874 or Mayor Richard J. Daley wait for Gov. William Stratton in 1958. Why, after 150 years, change direction and advocate that Mayor Brandon Johnson and Chicago need to suddenly wait for the state? Why, after 150 years, advocate for a wait-and-see approach for cleaner and healthier air?

The editorial board also urges Chicago to follow the New York model. On this, we agree and point out that New York City acted to set cleaner and healthier emission standards in 2019 before New York state followed in 2022. New York City did not wait for New York state, and Chicago should not wait for Illinois. We also agree with the Tribune Editorial Board’s admonishment in 1874 that it is the height of folly to wait and grow more unhealthy.

The time is now to act on Johnson’s Clean and Affordable Buildings Ordinance, which transitions Chicago away from fossil fuels toward carbon emission-free energy sources for new buildings.

We agree with the Tribune Editorial Board’s admonishment in 1874 that it is the height of folly to wait, especially as our city’s emissions grow more unhealthy.

— Angela Tovar, commissioner, Chicago Department of Environment, and Matthew Beaudet, commissioner, Chicago Department of Buildings

Johnson a lightweight as mayor

This is what happens when we get two inept, unqualified mayors in a row. Lori Lightfoot and Brandon Johnson are lightweights when we need a heavyweight in the position. The position of Chicago mayor is a crucial one, a really tough job that needs the backing of the entire city. It calls for someone with a background with big-city governmental accomplishments and fresh ideas.

The police are not cooperative, the City Council is not cooperative and even the governor is not cooperative. We are losing ground as a “sanctuary city” with $40 million a month to house, feed and meet the physical conditions of the migrants who just keep coming. That city leaders did not foresee the problems that would cause the city speaks lowly of their governing.

We need more police and new ideas to contain crime and shootings. The city is losing its place among the world’s great cities. Businesses are leaving, and those that stay are hurting. People are afraid to go downtown, walk the streets alone or use public transportation.

Is this the way our city is going to be and be seen by the world?

If we do not get better leaders and more responsible police, we will be doomed as a major city.

— Ronald H. Rodriguez, Chicago

Will mayor’s plan do as it says?

Mayor Brandon Johnson touts his plan for a real estate transfer tax hike as a fund to help people who are homeless. It’s just a ploy to play on people’s sympathies. Do the funds that would be generated by this plan go into a lockbox that could be used only for dealing with homelessness?

The funds most likely would go into the black hole that is is the general fund. We should not vote for this change.

— Armand Iaia, Chicago

Priorities, priorities, priorities

Great. Now that our mayor and the City Council have solved the Middle East crisis, tackling crime, taxes, schools and migrants should be a breeze.

— William Choslovsky, Chicago

Work on the issues that matter

Issues that Congress should address: Social Security solvency. Medicare solvency. Border security. Gun control. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients. The Jan. 6 insurrection. Women’s access to health care. Voter suppression. Hatred, bigotry and division. Tax inequality.

At No. 99 on the list: Impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

C’mon, Congress. Work on the issues that matter, not on your petty political posturing.

— Leslye Winslow, Riverwoods

Delivery of important news

I would like to thank my newspaper carrier, Jose Ruben Hernandez, for his hard work and effort in delivering my Chicago Tribune each day to my front steps. Since I am handicapped, I really appreciate this service. As a former newspaper reporter, I realize the importance of the news he is delivering and appreciate receiving my paper every day, which is so important to me.

— Alan L. Appelbaum, Wilmette

Done consistently and on time

On recent winter mornings, I have been awake at 4 a.m. and can hear wind blowing and filling the streets with ice and snow. I am warm in bed and can sleep a few more hours, but I also think of our newspaper delivery carrier, Tracy Moore, out on the road delivering our three papers to us. She brings us joy with our deliveries — I love newspapers — regardless of weather. She does it consistently and timely.

Great service. We very much appreciate her work.

— Kenneth Patchen and Elizabeth Ralston, Antioch

Nothing beats a real paper

Our Chicago Tribune carrier, Carla Toth, always has our paper on our driveway before 6:30 a.m. every day. It is doubly wrapped when there is inclement weather. The digital news articles are nice, but nothing beats that feel of newspaper between your fingers as you enjoy your morning coffee and work the crossword puzzle. In this age of online communication that is so impersonal and vast, it’s comforting and reassuring to have a “face” and contact with a large company. Carla is that person.

We appreciate her, and she certainly deserves to know it, not just at Christmas. (Though a good-sized tip is an excellent way to demonstrate appreciation!)

Thank you, Carla!

— Paul Muenchow and family, Frankfort

Delivery an important part

As important as the investigative reporting and excellent work by Tribune writers, photographers, editors and staff are to me, the delivery system plays an important part in keeping me as a loyal subscriber.

Jim Schaub has been our newspaper carrier for many years. I head out to my driveway just after 5 a.m. each day, and there is the paper, without fail. I know from how it’s wrapped whether or not I need an umbrella that day.

Even if I have to slide on ice on the way, there is the paper. I don’t know how he does it, but Jim gets through any weather and gets that paper to all of us without fail.

To those of you who understand, there’s nothing like turning the pages of your newspaper with your coffee on hand to start your day.

We are grateful to Jim for his work.

— Julie Hannon, Naperville

Chicago Tribune , 2024-02-08 10:59:08

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