Illinois was once a state of industry. When industry left our state, however, so did the jobs. As someone at the beginning of their career, this is troubling to me. I am lucky to have a decent job, but I see several of my peers struggling with the current economic climate.
Many of our parents — including my father — received their paychecks from the once-thriving refineries and coal plants. Many of our parents — thankfully not including my father — also received retirement presents from these jobs like cardiovascular and respiratory problems, among other health issues. So we are at a crossroad: we need more jobs, but we can’t depend on the dying fossil fuel industry for job security or a healthy life.
I urge state Sen. William Haine to become a co-sponsor of the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill (House Bill 2607-Senate Bill 1485) in order to move Illinois forward. I also urge other community residents to contact their legislators in support of this bill. Our future looks brighter with the help of clean energy.
Alexandra Cope, Godfrey
What do firefighters risk?
Being a firefighter is not just a job for those of us that do it. We risk our lives so someone else can have a better day. We train so someone else can have a better day. This job is just not about us; it is about protecting your life and your property. When you call, we are there, trained and ready to go, to make the situation better.
Our families share us with the community we serve. Our families share the risk we give to our community. If something happens to us doing our job, it affects our household. When we leave home for work, our family expects to see us again, but they know that it is possible that could be the last time we see other, talk to each other, or the last time we live a normal life together.
If you were the child, spouse, or parent of a firefighter, how would you sleep at night? You never get used to it, no matter how many years your firefighter has come home safe. You never know if the day will come when you get a phone call telling you something happened to your firefighter.
We choose to do this job because we love it. It is our calling. We may not make it home the next morning. We may go home injured the next morning. If we are blessed, we go home the same way we left home. We would have it no other way.
Thank you for supporting us.
Derrick D. Richardson, Alton