Letters: Predicting the future with Brandon Johnson as mayor

Gun Rights

I don’t think it is difficult to predict Chicago’s economic future under Mayor Brandon Johnson. Mayor Lori Lightfoot, with a giant infusion of federal pandemic money, was able to raise Chicago’s credit rating from close to junk to a one a bit further from junk, with it playing out in a historically low interest rate environment. What is the future under Johnson?


Well, Chicago will turn to debt big time — pushing our debt back toward the junk bond cliff, where Chicago debt interest rates will go through the roof. This will be made worse by what will likely be a higher interest environment. We should all understand that the lower Chicago’s credit rating, the higher the interest rate Chicago will have to pay on its billions of dollars in debt. If you magnify that in a higher interest environment, then the more gigantic our current debt hole will be.

You might say this doesn’t really have anything to do with you. You just live in Chicago. Stay tuned. And watch for the first budget under Johnson.

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— Neil Gaffney, Chicago

The most important words in the op-ed by David Griffith and Michael Petrelli (“What Mayor Johnson can do to improve Chicago schools,” May 19) about what Mayor Brandon Johnson should do with Chicago’s public schools are seemingly innocuous and buried: “or nominate school board members who will do so.”

Those words are important because they expose how self-defeating Chicago Public Schools’ new elected school board structure is. In short, the elected school board — which Johnson supported — absolves the mayor of responsibility for schools.

Now when something goes wrong, the mayor can — and will — simply say: “It’s not on me. I lack power. I can’t fix it. Speak with ‘your’ elected school board, which is in charge of the schools and makes the decisions, not me.”

And of course, the new board will — same as our new mayor — be but a shill for the Chicago Teachers Union. How convenient.

— William Choslovsky, Chicago

The editorial in Thursday’s paper about Mayor Brandon Johnson inheriting a migrant crisis is both right and wrong (“Johnson inherits the migrant crisis. Does he have a plan? Will he share it?”). It starts by blaming Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for busing migrants from Texas to Chicago and other largely Northern, Democrat-led cities that have proudly proclaimed themselves to be sanctuary cities. Given the responses of then-Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, and the mayors of New York, Washington and other cities, they are “sanctuary” until the problem lands at their doorstep.

What are the border states and the good people who live in those states supposed to do? I assume the Tribune Editorial Board is intelligent enough to see why Abbott did what he did. The rest of the country and our impotent Congress and White House have largely ignored the problem for years. Well, it looks like Abbott’s strategy is working.


The board is right to push for comprehensive immigration reform. But I sure wouldn’t hold my breath.

— Rick Kyle, Wheaton

I’m getting awfully tired of seeing Texas Gov. Greg Abbott demonized in the pages of the Tribune over his busing of migrants to Chicago and other self-declared sanctuary cities. Texas has borne the brunt of absurd levels of immigration for years. That it finally decided to start sharing the pain with those who ostensibly rolled out the welcome mat was long overdue.

I’ve yet to see any explanation as to why anyone believes Texas and other border states should be left to deal with this crisis alone. Sanctuary cities are finally being expected to put their values and their money where their mouths are. It’s about time.

— Christina Miller, Elgin

I read Larry Craig’s letter of May 18 (“Country lacks religious values”) and shook my head. Craig somehow places the blame for today’s gun violence in this country on a lack of religious values. He also claims that tolerance is nothing more than ignoring other people. Neither of these statements could be further from the truth.


America is no more and no less religious than European countries, but we are the only ones who experience the kind of gun violence that we do. It has nothing to do with religion; it has everything to do with intolerance. We live in a country where, on the right, if you are not just like me, don’t think just like me and don’t act just like me, then you are an enemy. And somehow, the National Rifle Association has hijacked our legislative process and encouraged everyone to arm themselves to the teeth.

Tolerance is not ignoring other people. Tolerance is accepting other people’s differences and allowing people to be who they are. If we had more tolerance in this country, we would have much less gun violence.

— Martin Pierce, St. Charles

Readers are complaining that they can’t get downtown from the suburbs because of the construction traffic on the Kennedy Expressway. I want to introduce them to Metra’s UP-NW. To the letter writer from Barrington (“Ending theater subscriptions,” April 25), there is a station in your downtown.

For 40 years, Metra successfully carried me from Deerfield to downtown Chicago, the cost was reasonable and the stress was usually low. Try it!

— George Hovany, Gig Harbor, Washington


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Submit a letter, of no more than 400 words, to the editor here or email letters@chicagotribune.com.

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