Friday, March 9, 2018 || LETTERS || @maywoodnews
As reported by the Chicago Tribune last summer, the top ten highest property tax rates in Cook County are levied on predominantly African American communities, including mine — Maywood.
Obscenely high property tax rates are only one facet of the structural racism low-income minority communities must deal with: poor schools, lack of viable business districts and park districts, predatory lending practices leading to high foreclosure and bankruptcy rates, sky-high water bills, and the list goes on.
The Tribune’s reporting also focused on the Cook County Assessor’s use of regressivity when assessing the value of homes (i.e., undervaluing high-value homes and overvaluing low-value homes).
Despite the Assessor office’s denials and shoulder shrugs, these findings were recently upheld by a report from the independent Civic Consulting Alliance. Our home’s assessed value jumped by 32 percent last year and our annual property taxes increased by $3000, to $11,500.
I live in Maywood, not Highland Park.
It will take a very long time before many of the structures that keep our lower income communities disadvantaged can be fixed.
One immediate step we can take, however, is to vote Joseph Berrios out as Cook County Assessor and take a very careful look at those politicians who endorse him because he is the chair of the Cook County Democratic Party.
It is time to start seriously addressing the inequities existing in our systems and we need to start at the ballot box.
— Amy Luke, Maywood
Congressman Danny Davis, please co-sponser the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act
My mother Jane passed away last year after battling Alzheimer’s disease for over 5 years. During those financially and emotional draining years, we hired over 20 different caregivers from private agencies to assist us in her care.
They all guaranteed us that their caregivers were trained in working with patients suffering from Alzheimer’s Dementia. Unfortunately that was not the case. My mother was a sweet, non-violent person, and uneducated caregivers would become frustrated or negligent because they did not understand how to care for someone with the disease.
Care-giving is a hard job, mentally and physically, and often time there is very little communication between the caregivers, family and medical staff. The proper training of our caregivers would of made a more manageable transition for our family and mother’s end of life care from this horrific disease.
Following these experiences, I have joined forces with the Alzheimer’s Association to encourage passage of the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act or PCHETA (HR 1676).
When enacted, this bill will help establish an adequate, well-trained palliative care workforce through training, education, awareness, and enhanced research. Palliative and hospice care are specific medical approaches that focus on increasing support for patients and their caregivers.
I want to thank Congressman Danny Davis for his past support and urge him to co-sponsor this PCHETA (HR 1676). This bill will help open communication between patients, caregivers, doctors, and staff to ensure that quality care is available for those who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
— Deanne Alexander, Oak Park
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