Dear Mayor Emanuel:
You didn’t see me today, but I was at City Hall for the Chicago City Council meeting. You couldn’t have seen me, because I was not allowed in – nor were any members of the general public. Maybe in your eyes this made the meeting run more smoothly. In my eyes, it was a travesty.
For as long as I can remember, I have heard those in your generation and older bemoaning how the young people in this country are uninformed and apathetic about politics, particularly at the local level. I am in the demographic that supposedly does not vote, does not know their elected representatives, does not read legislation, and certainly does not attend City Hall meetings.
Except that I do vote – in every election, big or small. I know my elected representatives by sight and by name. I read ordinances and other legislation that is up for a vote and contact my representatives with questions and concerns. And now, this week, I showed up at City Hall to sit in on some meetings. I never expected that when I wanted to engage in the political process this way – personally – I would be turned away.