Leading Organizations Present Resolution on Independent Airport Authority to Increase Transparency, Accountability

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Negocios

SEIU Local 1, O’Hare Airport workers, Progressive Reform Caucus Chair Scott Waguespack (32), Chicago Black Caucus Chair Roderick T. Sawyer (6), Alderman Sue Sadlowski Garza (10), Alderman Leslie Hairston (5), Alderman Toni Foulkes (16), and Citizen Action Illinois today unveiled a bipartisan resolution to put the issue of an elected Independent Airport Authority on the November 8th ballot. With recent labor unrest at O’Hare Airport and other questionable contracting decisions, the Independent Airport Authority is needed to increase oversight of the Chicago Department of Aviation. It would also bring Chicago in line with national standards for effective and transparent airport administration. The announcement comes on the heels of the strike on March 31st that highlighted astronomical turnover and low standards at O’Hare Airport. Following the strike, two security officers were unjustly fired for speaking to the media about their concerns. By increasing transparency, the Independent Airport Authority will improve conditions for passengers and airport workers alike.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Negocios

“This resolution is about starting a discussion,” said Progressive Reform Caucus Chair Scott Waguespack. “An inclusive Independent Airport Authority would make O’Hare and Midway Airports more accountable to the people of Chicago.”

“O’Hare and Midway Airports are economic engines for the entire City of Chicago,” said SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff. “Our airports should be held to the highest level of accountability and transparency to ensure taxpayer dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. The Independent Airport Authority will give the people of Chicago a say in how our airports are governed.”

“Increased oversight at O’Hare and Midway Airports will help protect working parents like me from retaliation from contractors,” said Marcie Barnett, one of the Universal Security Officer who was unjustly fired last month. “The public deserves to know where our tax dollars are going and a say in how our money is spent.”

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