Suburban Standards | Letters | Chicago Reader

Suburban Standards 

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Neal Pollack's article about the street vendors ["The Pushcart War," May 9] failed to mention the widespread opposition to the presence of these vendors in our community. Many long-term residents of the northwest side resent the fact that these vendors have invaded our community, and our voices have been ignored by the press. These vendors are and have been operating illegally all along. They have never been legitimate sellers of goods. Yet Mr. Pollack elected to present only the corn vendors' point of view.

Our objection to the vendors stems from two fairly universal realities--the noise they make in selling their products and the waste they generate which ends up on our property. Those two factors alone have made the corn vendors persona non grata in our community. Then, after watching a vendor or two relieve himself on our property, the question of sanitation arises.

As property owners and voters, we have certain rights to determine who can operate a business in our community. Those rights have been abrogated by these vendors, who were keenly aware of their illegal status long before any legislation was ever proposed and have chosen to ignore the illegality of their operation.

I am not at all surprised that the Reader has presented only one side of this story. The fact that you are trying to sell papers at the expense of the peace and quiet of many thousands of city residents has apparently escaped you. What are the odds that this type of business activity is or would be tolerated in a middle-class suburb? Why do you have such a problem with city residents' attempts to maintain middle-class values in their communities? What rights do these corn vendors have that we citizens do not have?

William Taedt

Vice President

U.N.I.T.E. Civic


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