Sunday, October 23, 2005

You might think that in a country that went to war with the alleged purpose of setting up and promoting a democratic government that it would not be that hard to get a response from my democratically elected officials.

Turns out I'm wrong. While surfing the web a few days ago I noticed that my area alderman Mrs. Virginia Rugai, had a web presence on the City of Chicago website complete with an email address. I thought, great, here is my chance to say something to the person who has represented the 19th ward for as long as I can remember but who I have never actually seen or heard speak. Why, I wondered was she so invisible? Was she invisible to most of the ward or just those outside of her tight cliche?

I wrote to Alderman Rugai and asked here a few polite questions. I asked what the City of Chicago's plans were to establish a city-wide wireless network and why my street had been paved. I could be mistaken but it seems to me that my block on South Campbell is paved every 4 years- replacing a perfectly fine street with a slightly darker and stickier new perfectly paved street. I asked Alderman Rugai whether there might be a better use of city resources than repaving perfectly fine streets. If the city didnt have a legitimate reason for spending the money- then maybe it shouldnt be spent.

It seems almost daily that the city is imposing a new fine or regulation for such egregious violations of law such as talking on a cell-phone while driving or even sleeping on the "L". The City seems desperate in its efforts to cover the costs created by the underbudgeted Millenium Park project or the publicly funded renovation of Soldier's Field.

Perhaps, its time that we citizens of Chicago watch who spends our money a little more closely. Perhaps its time that we exercise our rights to petition our representatives at the local, state, and national levels. Is it unreasonable to expect a response? Is it unreasonable to believe that an elected representative would care enough of what a voting constituent of the ward thought to answer a simple email?