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Rep. Gutiérrez Taps Chuy to Run for Mayor, Lincoln Towing Gets License Revoked, Striking Hotel Workers to March – Third Coast Today 09-13-18

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez Drafts Chuy Garcia to Run for Mayor

Outgoing Congressman Luis Gutiérrez (D-4th) will not run for mayor of Chicago, but says he’s attempting to draft Cook County Commissioner Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia, who ran in Chicago’s last mayoral cycle, to run instead.

“I want to thank the hundreds of you who have called to offer support and encouragement for me to run for mayor of our great city,” Gutiérrez said in a statement emailed to the press. “Because of my unending respect for all of you, I’ve listened carefully and believe me, from the bottom of my heart, I am honored.”

Cook County Commissioner Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia gives his concession speech in his runoff for mayor with Rahm Emanuel in 2015. Photo by Aaron Cynic.

Gutiérrez said he didn’t want to “undermine” or “undercut his daughter Jessica’s run for 30th Ward Alderman.

“She is carving her own path as a young, independent progressive leader, and a part of the exciting new movement coming to the forefront across our nation,” said Gutiérrez.

Instead, the Congressman says he’ll crisscross the country to fight for immigrant and refugee rights, as well as doing what he can to help Puerto Rico, the home of his parents, rebuild after Hurricane Maria decimated the island territory last year.

The island suffered a near total blackout in the wake of the hurricane, and estimates which came months later showed several thousand people died as a result of the powerful storm. As Hurricane Florence bears down on the East Coast, President Donald Trump tweeted twice about Puerto Rico, attempting to obfuscate the deaths and implicate Democrats in a phantom conspiracy to malign his name.

“3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico,” Trump wrote in one tweet, seemingly not realizing the effects of the natural disaster continued long after he stopped paying attention. “When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much.”

Gutiérrez said that the island can’t be rebuild with Trump as President. “Puerto Rico deserves my time and my energy and I will not rest until my work there restores it to its proper place as a home for hard working people and a haven for prosperity,” he said. But “Rebuilding Puerto Rico can’t be done with Donald Trump as president.”

The Congressman said he’ll be circulating petitions for Garcia, who is running unopposed to replace him in the 4th District, this weekend.

“Chuy took us almost far enough four years ago bringing a new spirit of independence and honesty that survived his defeat. It’s time to let his vision be fulfilled,” said Gutiérrez, adding “If Chuy doesn’t have petitions out, I will print them myself. I know how to spell his name.”

Striking Hotel Workers Will March Along Mag Mile

Striking Chicago hotel workers will stage a large march Thursday afternoon along the Magnificent Mile beginning at 1:00pm.

Workers at more than two dozen hotels went on strike a week ago, with more joining as the strike progressed. Workers, which include housekeepers, food service staff, room service attendants, and more expanded their strike this week to a 26th hotel, the Cambria in Streeterville.

While it’s unclear how many workers have walked off the job, their union UNITE HERE, represents some 6,000 hotel employees in the area. Their contract expired on August 31st. The biggest demand from the workers is year-round healthcare. At present, many hotel workers are laid off during the slow season and lose their health insurance.

“I hope my customers put their shoes on my feet to see how they feel when they work for a company that doesn’t provide the medical coverage for their family,” hotel worker Samuel Yolo told NBC5 on Tuesday.

“Striking hotel workers deserve year-round health insurance, sick days to see a doctor, workloads that keep them healthy, and wages that keep up with the cost of raising a family,” wrote UNITE HERE in a Thursday morning press release.

A rally will begin at 1:00pm at  Ogden Park Plaza across from the Sheraton Hotel in Streeterville, with the march to head north on Michigan Avenue until it reaches the intersection of Michigan and Oak at the Drake Hotel.

Lincoln Towing’s License Revoked

Lincoln Towing, Chicago’s most infamous towing company that’s been the bane of motorists since the late 1960’s, had its license revoked Wednesday by the Illinois Commerce Commission in a 5-0 vote.

“This is a victory for Chicago residents and visitors who’ve been wrongly towed,” said ICC spokesperson Victoria Crawford, according to the Sun-Times.

A two-year investigation by the ICC looked into allegations of 462 unauthorized tows and 369 instances where the company used an unlicensed operator.

In a statement published by CBS, the ICC said:

“After an extensive proceeding during which Staff presented evidence of over 800 unauthorized property seizures by the Licensee the Commission finds, based on a preponderance of the evidence, that Protective Parking Service Corporation d/b/a Lincoln Towing Service has not conducted its business with honesty and integrity, that it is in fact unworthy to be entitled to hold a Commercial Vehicle Relocators License and that its license shall be immediately revoked and Lincoln Towing be ordered to immediately cease and desist from operating a relocation towing business in the State of Illinois.”

Lincoln vowed to appeal the decision, and an attorney for the company said it would continue to tow vehicles. The ICC said that the license revocation however, was immediate, and any tow from Wednesday on would be considered illegal.

The first complaints against the company were logged in 1968. In 1972, folk singer Steve Goodman immortalized the company with a song called the Lincoln Park Pirates.

Many Chicagoans tweeted celebratory messages on Wednesday.

 

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