To the editors:
The editorializing you did on the calendar item we sent you about our May 2 Town Meeting is inaccurate in almost every detail [April 27]. The Peace Conversion Commission does not operate out of the mayor’s office, but out of the Department of Economic Development. It was not formed by either of the Mayors Daley, but by the Chicago City Council, and appointed by Mayor Harold Washington. It was not formed “to figure out how Chicago could gain from a redistribution of money cut from the Pentagon’s budget,” but was created by the Nuclear Free Chicago Ordinance to hold public hearings and plan for economic conversion. This is not its first public splash; that happened in the fall of 1988 when the first city-sponsored public hearings on economic conversion in the country were held under its auspices. With regard to your comment that “neither City Council nor Daley will have much say about any cuts,” it is our belief that Chicago citizens have such a huge stake in this debate that our local elected representatives ignore it at our and their peril. We are happy that Mayor Daley is not ignoring it and is willing to use his influence to establish new federal spending priorities.
The Town Meeting was co-sponsored by the Coalition for New Priorities, which represents a large and growing number of Chicago-area organizations interested in securing this “redistribution of money cut from the Pentagon’s budget.”
We hope citizens continue to exercise their democratic rights as broadly as possible, and use all avenues to influence Congress and the Administration to make significant cuts in the oversized military budget and bring real security to our communities.
Bernice R. Bild
Chair, Chicago Peace