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Fostering disrespect for police

Illinois Gov. PQuinn

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn

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Updated: May 10, 2013 6:13AM

Regarding the woman awarded $55,000 after disobeying a police officer: As a pregnant woman and mother of two children, you do everything to protect your children in life and in utero.

A person should know that disobeying and disrespecting a police officer results in certain consequences. An officer is not a medical professional. He or she is not required to have a civilian fill out a medical history form prior to taking measures to uphold the law. By choosing to ignore an officer’s requests, a person puts him or herself in danger and (if pregnant) an unborn child in danger.

Paying this woman $55,000 for her actions tells other civilians and her children, who were seated in the back seat, that it is not only OK to disobey the law, but rewarded.

We have lost sight of what is right and wrong here, not to mention what it teaches future generations about law enforcement and respect.

Brooke Street, Garfield Ridge

Raise minimum wage

Friday’s editorial, insisting that “Illinois can’t afford to raise minimum wage,” fell far short of making its point, instead citing compelling evidence for raising the minimum wage. The authors note that if the minimum wage had kept pace with worker productivity since 1960, it would be $21.72 an hour, $13 above the state’s current minimum. Then, inexplicably, they argue that employers will be forced to ship jobs to other states if faced with raising wages a fraction of that amount.

Businesses may threaten to leave, but today’s minimum-wage jobs are largely service jobs. Businesses couldn’t ship these jobs — burger flipping, car washing — out of state if they wanted to. And the truth is they don’t want to. Most minimum-wage businesses are thriving because of high worker productivity. They are raking in profits because their low-wage employees work hard. Yes, teens need jobs, but adults need them more. When adults make more money, they spend it to feed and clothe their family. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has found that a $1 increase in the minimum wage results in $2,800 a year in new spending for each worker, resulting in more jobs being created. The bottom line is that Illinois can’t afford to not raise the minimum wage.

Elizabeth Parisian

Policy Director, Stand Up! Chicago

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