May 11, 2020
Dear Governor Pritzker,
Let me begin by thanking you for your efforts to keep all Illinoisans safe during this time of crisis. This is a challenging time for all of us. As leaders we are tasked with making decisions that we believe are best for our constituents. These decisions need to be supported with data and an understanding of calculated risks.
While I support a plan to reopen Illinois, there are parts of your current plan that need to be readdressed. Your current plan combines DuPage County, and specifically Elmhurst, into the same region as Chicago. Elmhurst and DuPage County are on track to meet the required COVID-19 data points dictated in your Restore Illinois Plan in a matter of weeks, if not days. Once we meet these requirements, we must be allowed to move to the “Recovery Phase” immediately.
As we are currently part of the Northeast region, per your plan, instead of opening our town in a matter of days we will be forced to wait monthsuntil Chicago and other densely populated areas catch up to our progress. To be clear this is unacceptable. What will you say to the residents of DuPage County once we meet your criteria but you continue to mandate that we remain closed? A more surgical approach must be applied as we continue to plan and push towards reopening. The current plan is unacceptable.
During this time of crisis large retailers such as Costo, Target, Walmart and large grocery stores have been open and successfully operating, servicing thousands of consumers every day. The data shows that these large stores can operate and we can still flatten the curve. There are measures in place to assure that consumers, workers and businesses can continue to operate safely. Small retail locations should be given the same opportunity to operate during this crisis. There are many retail shops in Elmhurst that can count their daily traffic in the dozens. I am confident that these businesses can open and operate safely. These businesses must be given the freedom to open or if they choose, remain close. Likewise, residents can choose to patronize these retailers or not, this is about freedom and freedom of choice.
I invite you to visit our community to further discuss this matter. I am happy to work with you to help create a plan that applies a more surgical approach. I am confident that together we can create a plan to reopen that is safe, acceptable and reasonable based on facts and data.
Governor you represent all Illinoisans, not just the city of Chicago. We are asking you to understand the needs of ALL communities. We both take our responsibilities as elected leaders seriously. As a local elected official for over 12 years, I have advocated for what is best for Elmhurst residents and business owners. I am seeking a revised approach that is best for the residents of Elmhurst, best for the state of Illinois and will sustain our local economy.
I look forward to your response and will make myself available at any time to safely meet and discuss how we can work together to open our communities.
Mayor of the City of Elmhurst
Please find attached a letter from Elmhurst Mayor Steve Morley to Governor Pritzker sent on May 11, 2020.