Politicians care about what their constituents think. They want to be aware of situations where public opinion could cost them their jobs. They want to be aware of situations where public opinion could stand in the way of their agendas.
The short-lived sweetened beverage tax is a great example. Cook County levied a penny per ounce tax on cola drinks and related items. There was such an overwhelming wave of letters, phone calls and public comment that the tax was almost immediately repealed. It only lasted from August 2nd to December 1st, 2017. The vote to repeal was 15-2, with only Democratic Commissioners Larry Suffredin of Evanston and Jerry Butler of Chicago voting to keep it.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle darkly predicted the $200 million in lost revenue would cause layoffs and service cuts. But the funny thing is: as far as Practical Chicago knows those layoffs and service cuts went through without additional taxation. No appreciable change in quality of life was noted.
The City of Chicago web site lists an email address to send correspondence to the mayor:
You may or may not receive a reply. But you can be sure someone reads what you send. What you think makes an impact if you take the time to speak up.
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