Leticia Espinosa, Chicago Tribune, Sept. 2
Latino residents of the Northwest Side Cragin neighborhood are accusing their African-American alderman of racism after she attributed a growing problem with rats to the ward’s rising Latino population.
Aldo Morua of the 2300 block of North Lockwood Avenue said the Northwest Neighborhood Federation initially approached Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) to arrange for the trash to be picked up at least twice a week, saying residents’ garbage bins are not sufficient and the service is not consistent.
Morua became more upset when he read a letter about his request that Mitts sent to Michael Picardi, commissioner of the city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation.
“Due to the enormous amount of Latinos that reside in District 37, including many families living in the same home, the amount of trash and rodents have increased immensely,” read the letter, dated Aug. 12.
“The letter is racist, and we want Mitts to apologize to the community,” Morua said.