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Restoring health of our forest preserves will benefit Cook County in essential ways

If you’re concerned about climate change, protecting our precious resources of breathable air, drinkable water and native habitat, plus job creation, your vote can do something powerful in the upcoming midterm election.

Vote “yes” on the referendum at the bottom of your ballot to increase funding for the Cook County Forest Preserves. Raising our property taxes by 0.025% — less than $1.66 a month for most homeowners — will pay for the restoration of some 30,000 acres of forest preserve land.

And here’s why that’s important: Restoring the health of our forest preserves benefits Cook County communities in essential ways.

The Forest Preserves’ millions of trees are our collective lungs; by absorbing pollution and cleaning our air, they make air cleaner to breathe in the Cook County area, reducing health complications such as asthma.

SEND LETTERS TO: [email protected]. We want to hear from our readers. To be considered for publication, letters must include your full name, your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be a maximum of approximately 375 words.

The Forest Preserves filter storm and rainwater; by keeping pollution from entering our waterways, they ensure cleaner water sources for all while also reducing the risk of flooding from heavy rainfall in communities across our area.

The Forest Preserves protect local habitat and wildlife, because native wildlife thrives when land and water are conserved.

Plus, voting “yes” will help create and sustain thousands of jobs, summer jobs and scholarships for county residents, including those from historically underserved communities.

More than 100 environmental, labor, civic, business and faith organizations throughout Cook County — the Illinois Environmental Coalition, the Nature Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land, the Field Museum, the Chicago Botanic Garden — back this referendum.

Add your support for the Cook County Forest Preserves and the environment: vote “yes” on Nov. 8. For more information, visit voteyesforestpreserves.org.

Wendy Greenhouse, Oak Park

Amendment 1 will protect collective bargaining

I am very disappointed that the (generally worker-friendly) Sun-Times has given such a prominent position to the anti-labor screed produced by the Illinois Policy Institute headlined “Amendment 1 measure is a property tax hike in disguise.”

The amendment is solely aimed at preventing Illinois from being a right-to-work state (the goal of former Gov. Bruce Rauner). Protecting collective bargaining rights has zero connection to property taxes. The IPI is nothing but a propaganda machine.

Bill Sellers, secretary, Indivisible Lincoln Square

Unfair to top cop

Kim Foster’s letter to the editor regarding the Mexican Independence Day celebrations was unfair. Chicago Police Supt. David Brown can only do so much. When you get such poor support from other officials, there is a lack of faith that those arrested would even face a night in jail

If arrests were made that weekend, given her history of failing to prosecute even violent offenses, what were the odds that Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx would prosecute those responsible for traffic “interruptions?”

Moreover, because of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s fear of losing a strong voter bloc, there was probably little, if any, encouragement by the mayor to have the superintendent push for arrests.

The mayor voiced no disappointment with the manner in which Brown’s officers policed ​​the “honking horns, blasting music, dancing in the streets.”A lack of support, politics and a lack of prosecution of those arrested can obviously discourage arrests and leave the top cop feeling he is in a “no win” position.

Terry Takash, Western Springs

Explosion at Austin apartment building

I am very familiar with the apartment building at 5601 W. West End Ave. and am saddened to learn of the recent explosion. I lived there for the first few years of my life and went to Emmet School until our family moved to Skokie. I still have fond memories from those years gone by.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of those injured and the many left homeless as a result. My hope is that all of the injured make a speedy and complete recovery, and the displaced will have suitable housing made available to them as well as food, clothing and medicine.

My guess is that some lost everything. But let us be grateful that more were not injured.

JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater, Florida

Americans are fracturing our union ourselves

I guess we can stop worrying about whatever our enemies in Russia, China, Iran and other places are doing daily to weaken the US, because over the past 25+ years we’ve done a mighty fine job on our own to fracture our fragile union by spewing vitriol and demonizing our opponents 24/7.

Why?We are so desperate to win, and to continue winning and retain power. How else can we, if we are opposed by the vast majority of our fellow citizens on most major issues, continue to impose our will and have our way? Not unless we make the rules and continue to control who makes the rules and the process for making the rules.

We must win by any and all means and at any and all costs. So of course we must demonize and destroy all those who oppose us.

Floyd Babbitt, Buffalo Grove

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