Rep. Quigley on Capitol riot, infrastructure and crime

Rep. Mike Quigley got his COVID shot the day after the Capitol riot, with no side effects. A staff physician told the congressman most people have no reaction to the vaccine—but then again, an allergic reaction wouldn't have much chance against the Jan. 6 adrenaline.

The 5th District representative visited a West Town neighborhood cleanup in April; 60 volunteers signed up, and picked up a lot of face mask litter, Neal McKnight reported. Quigley followed up May 3 with a virtual visit with EVA members. Citing FBI Director Christopher Wray on the threat posed by homegrown terrorism, he reflected on the insurrection. He plans to push for accountability and change on the House appropriations, intelligence and oversight committees.

"Just about anybody who was there could figure out what we needed," Quigley said, "a retractable fence, a fast-response team, a better trained, better equipped, larger police force, better ionformation, better coordination, better intel that's shared, and an agreement with the National Guard. ... I heard one of my colleagues say 'Where's the f-ing cavalry?'"

Nothing is easy in government, Quigley mused, when a $400 billion COVID relief program has to fight the perception that the pandemic is over. He proposes future relief for 1.4 million fitness workers who lost jobs in the lockdown, and advocates infrastructure relief to improve Lake Shore Drive, extend the CTA Red Line, rebuild shoreline and seaway, mitigate climate change, build the power grid, address the digital divide, replace lead water lines and possibly launch high-speed rail service.

In a question session, Quigley had answers for a range of issues. International travel is possible for the end of the summer. The new Chicago police call center and gun safety laws would start to address crime issues. COVID recovery could improve mail delivery yet structural change is still needed.

Chicago Rat Project

Rats fled restaurant districts during the coronavirus lockdown and took up residence in nearby homes, said Lincoln Park Zoo wildlife ecologist Maureen Murphy. Construction sites may also alter their habitats and send them elsewhere.

The zoo's Urban Wildlife Institute is trapping the vermin, noting their locations and testing them for disease. Researchers are taking online and home surveys in Logan Square and other neighborhoods as well to learn about their interactions with residents.

Internet

RCN has been laying fiberoptic cable underground in West Town to offer high-speed data service. Internet service is available (RCN's website may not say so) and likely cable TV service will arrive in September. Sales agent Michael Jovic will take inquiries at (312) 523-9883 or miodrag.jovic@rcn.net.

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