It is hard to believe that since June 25 another 20,000 Americans have died of COVIC-19. It is inconceivable to me how our country finds itself in this condition. What has become very clear to me, and should be to all, that we Americans have been misled over the past 50 years to believe that we have the best healthcare system and the most proactive country in the world. We all know differently now – because the verdict is in.
When the greatest nation in the world cannot produce nasal swabs and personal protection equipment for our front line health care workers, something is terribly wrong. In addition, when the majority of our pharmaceuticals and medical equipment is produced off-shore, this should be a wakeup call as well.
My Brothers and Sisters, the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed all the weaknesses in our healthcare system and our critical supply chains. I say this to you because we are in the midst of a Presidential Election, and all of us should be asking of both candidates as to “what is their gameplan to bring manufacturing jobs back to America and to strengthen our healthcare industry? “
If we do not let our collective voice be heard then nothing is going to change. Remember, the majority of both Democrats and Republicans in the U.S House and Senate, as well as those who occupied the White House, over the last four decades, have stood and waved our jobs “good-bye” as big business invested off-shore, specifically, in China. This was done so that they could escape paying living wages, providing healthcare benefits to their employees, and avoid environmental laws, as well as not paying their fair share of taxes. I believe in the Capitalist system. What we see today, though, is pure greed, crony-capitalism and support of dictatorial countries by corporate leaders. How disgusting.
I, like the majority of Americans, have become outright angry as to what I see and experience every day. Our Federal and State-wide leaders have to put America first. Big business has a responsibility to the nation which helped to create them. This year, 2020, is a year that many of us would like to forget. However, we can’t. We can bemoan what is taking place or do something about it. You have heard me say on so many occasions over the years that, “a community is only as good as the people in it.” The same holds true for our country. Let us all recommit to looking out and caring for each other more than ever before.
The weaknesses have been exposed; disparity, ignorance, racism, lack of opportunity, poor healthcare and troubled and dysfunctional educational systems. These have had a debilitating effect on our country, state and city. I implore all of you get more involved and pay more attention than ever before.
How do you do that in a Covid-19 world? First, register to vote and exercise your right to vote. In addition, pay attention to what is happening on your own street and neighborhood; be proactive. Remember what President J.F. Kennedy said, “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Too many Americans are sitting on the sidelines complaining about what is happening around them, yet they choose not to get involved. No one is going to doing it for you, even though far too many believe that is the case. If you are waiting for government alone to rescue you and your family– you are in for a shock and a great disappointment.
As I have reported over the last month, I have received more phone calls and emails pertaining to neighborhood issues than ever before. There is a tremendous backlog to a whole host of neighborhood concerns city-wide specifically “quality of life” issues; ie. High grass, fireworks, illegal dumping, loud music, speeding and most disturbing police response to calls for service. City Hall is still only open two days a week until further notice, and finally Housing Court and Municipal Court have re-opened but are backlogged big-time.
Please be the eyes and ears of the community and continue to report issues of concerns especially into the City‘s new hotline of 3-1-1 for all calls except for police, fire and EMS. So, if you have an issue with high grass, road conditions, health-related complaints, or building & housing issues, or any other non-emergency service, just call 3-1-1.
Obviously, the shutdown has affected many projects and initiatives but we are beginning to see the “light at the end of the sewer pipe” for the East 185th Street Storm Sewer project. It continues on pace. Just be careful on the street. The Historic LaSalle Theatre is back open for business and their parking lot should be completed by Fall.
Our lakefront MetroParks are jammed as a result of city pools being shut down; parents and family members please watch your children. We have had some near disasters this year with unsupervised children playing in and around the water. If you are going to the beach be responsible and above all, watch your children. In addition, please clean up after yourself. The debris and litter left behind by some folks is totally unnecessary and disrespectful. We fought to get these parks, now we must respect them and nurture them.
Anyone who has not returned their 2020 CENSUS forms PLEASE DO SO. The response from the East side of the City has not been good. Far too many citizens have ignored the forms and as a result there could be a large undercount in the city which WILL affect the Federal dollars which flow into our city and state. The question I ask to all, “would you walk out of a store and leave your money on the counter without getting anything in return?” The same holds true for the Census. If our citizens do not respond, then when there is a cut to federal programs that have benefitted our citizens, then who is to blame?
Finally, Please WEAR A FACE MASK when entering a business or establishment, social distance whenever possible and practice personal hygiene (ie washing your hands). If each does their part then we can curb the deadly pandemic. We can then get back to enjoying our lives and our families, once again. Stay safe and stay healthy.