Poll worker Carl Singletary Jr., right, hands a voter on Election Day their “I Voted” card at the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Center in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago on Nov. 3, 2020. | AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
You also need an ID to get a job, go to school or buy a car.
There has been an uproar over requiring an ID to vote, particularly by the left. They claim it is discriminatory to people of color, as well as the poor and disabled.
Yet it is not discriminatory to require an ID to receive government welfare benefits, to purchase alcohol or cigarettes, to get married, drive a car, fly in a plane, check into a hotel, purchase a gun, walk into a doctor’s office, apply for a credit card or open up a bank account. You also need an ID to get a job, go to school or buy a car.
Do you see where I am going with this?
Mike Rice, Jefferson Park
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Ramp up law enforcement to curb violence
When addressing the Biden administration about the senseless level of gun violence plaguing Chicago, several measures should be considered.
1. Adding 250 to 300 police officers permanently to the hardest-hit areas, including Englewood, Lawndale, Austin, Back of the Yards, Humboldt Park and Auburn Gresham.
2. Creating a combined task force with 250 new Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents to track and investigate illegal gun sales.
3. Increasing video surveillance in the hardest-hit areas to match the surveillance afforded to downtown and the Gold Coast.
4. Longer sentences for gun offenders, especially convicted felons, repeat offenders and criminal offenses in which a weapon was used and discharged.
5. Applying RICO statues against gang members who commit gun offenses. Under these anti-racketeering laws, the criminal offender, associates and gang leaders can be prosecuted including criminal penalties as well as asset seizure. A gang leader may think twice about ordering a retaliation killing if it costs him his house, his car and all of his possessions. The city may also consider suing gangs for civil penalties.
6. Consider labeling large street gangs not only criminal organizations but domestic terrorists. When innocent people are intentionally targeted, isn’t that the very definition of terrorism? This would allow for additional federal resources and longer sentencing.
Preventing gang violence cannot rest upon law enforcement alone. It will take additional funding for communities, housing and education. But continued silence means continued violence. It is time to stand together to defund gangs and support the police.
George M. Bridgeforth MD, Bartlett
Treat CTA employees with respect, dignity
As we all return to activities we have sorely missed during the pandemic, let us not forget the people who carried us through these challenging times: our city’s essential workers. Among those dedicated public servants are CTA’s frontline employees — thousands of men and women who oversee our rail stations and navigate our city’s streets to allow us to see loved ones, earn a living and enjoy our great city.
Just as CTA employees kept our city running during the pandemic, they are there for us now as we step back into our lives in a new way. As transit workers, these individuals are trained and ready for the myriad circumstances awaiting them each day as they manage everything from harsh weather to rush-hour crowds — all while working to stay on schedule and provide top customer service.
But the unfortunate reality is that CTA’s operators too often also face verbal and physical attacks by members of the public. My position on this issue has never wavered: An assault on any CTA employee is absolutely unacceptable, and we as an agency have zero tolerance for anyone seeking to harm our employees.
That’s why the CTA has put in place numerous systems and protocols to keep our employees safe, including our close coordination with city and suburban police departments, and the pursuit of the strongest charges possible against those harming our workers.
But we all play a part in ensuring these courageous workers — who came out to help all of us in our greatest time of need — are safe and protected while at work. Whether you have been riding us throughout the pandemic or if you are just now getting back on board, do your part by treating our employees with the respect and dignity they have earned and so deeply deserve.
Dorval R. Carter, Jr., president of the Chicago Transit Authority