To the editor and publisher of the Reader:
A few weeks ago the Reader’s Hitsville section finally began to address the struggle that the nightlife industry of Chicago has been forced to endure [April 19]. The pieces about Berlin and Lounge Ax do raise certain questions about the (lack of) fairness of liquor-related licenses, however, in each instance Hitsville also chose to support the overall harassment which the nightlife industry as a whole has been subject to for years.
I am outraged that Chicago’s “premier” nightlife newspaper has not been paying closer attention to the witch-hunt that the Daley administration has imposed upon its patrons and advertisers–let alone shown signs of support.
For the last few years the mayor and several members of the City Council have been making every attempt to rid this city of its vibrant independent nightlife. They have enacted and tried to enact ridiculous laws which would legislate the liquor industry out of business. Lounge Ax’s predicament of suddenly needing a license that their zoning does not allow for is an excellent example of the difficulties facing a bar owner, but it is only one of thousands of cases of unfair business practices the city is currently operating under.
Why has the local media ignored this ongoing attack on the nightlife industry? Does no one wonder what the ultimate downside is to the systematic elimination of the bars and restaurants of this city? Are thousands of nightlife workers being forgotten, or the exorbitant taxes bar owners pay, or the millions of people who visit this city to experience its vitality?
I feel that it is time for the Reader to recognize that its industry is under attack and begin to offer complete and comprehensive coverage of this threat to Chicago’s reputation as a world-class city.
Obviously, our elected officials have not been acting for the majority of citizens. I do not believe Chicagoans want their nightlife to disappear. The silent majority must speak and the Reader needs to inform.
I encourage any concerned citizen to contact their alderperson and discover what stance they have taken on nightlife–check their voting rec- ords–they work for you!
Also, if anyone would like to help defend their right to choose, or needs more information on the ongoing struggle, contact the Chicago Area Social and Entertainment Organization at 573-1186.
We must speak up and stop the destruction of our great city and the Reader should be leading the way.