Dear Daley: Improving City Is Kid's Stuff

Third-graders give Mayor advice

Mayor Daley may be smarter than a third grader. But he'd do well to listen to some advice from some.

Today the Mayor will receive 2,000 letters written by Chicago Public Schools third-graders, presenting their ideas on how to best improve the city.

"The idea is for children to understand they are actors in history, too," Emily J. Harris, executive director for the Burnham Plan Centennial, told the Sun-Times.

And while some of the letters are simplistic in their problem-solving ("Make all the parking free!"), the letters do exemplify the kids' intelligence. They are truly concerned about the city they're growing up in.

"We can tell more people to plant trees in their yards... It will take a long time to grow. People would want to come to Chicago more because we will have lots of fresh air outside," writes Robin.

Little Lizabeth in Pilsen wants her friends to eat better, even if you have to trick them:

"My big idea is more natural and healthy food in school. I don't want no junk food. Kids should eat more healthy food or they can get fat... For the ones that don't like healthy food, you can mix it with food that's natural. It could tast (sic) pretty good."

Yehya Albasery from the North Side wants to know where his money—or rather his parents' money—is going:

"To make Chicago a better place, we need potholes to be fixed," he writes. "And what happened to all the taxes that my parents paid? You at least can fill the potholes and it [will] make our lives easier. Make the right decision and fill potholes. That's the least you can do."

From the mouths of babes.

We're not sure how many of the 2,000 letters the Mayor will actually read himself. Hopefully, some of the kids included an offer for Olympic funding. That will ensure a place on Daley's desk.

Matt Bartosik, a "between blogs" blogger, hopes to make the grade.

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