Red Light Camera Protests Target Senators Cullerton, Millner Saturday
It was Valentine’s Day when Chicago’s last red light camera protest took place.
Now, with RLC “reform” legislation advancing in the state senate, protesters are coming back for round number two on Saturday with a pair of protests around Chicagoland.
The primary protest will take place this Saturday at the same location as last time, Western & Addison in the Roscoe Village neighborhood on the Chicago’s northside from 12-2 PM. This action is aimed directly at Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) and takes place in his district.
Cullerton has sponsored a compromise RLC bill that is close to a vote, but according to some anti-red light camera activists, the bill has no true reform contained within it.
“If Cullerton passes the bill as is, I think he’s sure to get beaten up in the media,” says Scott Tucker, GOP nominee for state representative in the 11th district who doesn’t feel the bill goes far enough. “The red light camera issue is an embarrassment to the majority party because it clearly illustrates their abuse of their constituents in the name of revenue.”
The other protest target is Sen. John Millner (R-Bloomingdale) who has brought red light camera reform legislation that was less than satisfactory to anti-RLC activists. Protesters will be in Millner’s home town, at Army Trail & Springfield in Bloomingdale from 12-2 Saturday. This location is the closest RLC to Stratford Square Mall.
“We’re not giving up,” says organizer Scott Davis of Campaign For Liberty, who plans to help distribute several thousand fliers encouraging suburban drivers to call Millner’s office. “We’re in the business of pain now. If he puts forward some real reform–we’ll back off.”
Protester propaganda accuses both Cullerton and Millner of accepting campaign donations from red light camera company lobbyists and thus beholden to the camera companies.
Cullerton accepted $1500 in lobbyist money in 2009, and Millner received a $1000 donation in 2008.
But Millner, who because of his years in law enforcement before getting involved with politics, stands behind his position on red light camera enforcement and defends his acceptance of campaign money from Red Speed Illinois. Millner argued he voted against speed camera enforcement legislation in 2008–an enforcement technology product Red Speed also markets.
But protesters are not the only ones taking Millner to task on this issue. Millner’s democrat opponent in the general election, St. Charles resident Corrine Pierog also feels Millner view on red light cameras is wrong.
“People in the collar communities are really upset about red light cameras,” says Pierog who has met many people opposed to red light camera enforcement while campaigning within the 28th district. “Why isn’t he advocating for safety instead of something (RLCs) that causes accidents? That doesn’t make sense. I just don’t see the purpose of them.”
These two Chicagoland protests are part of a network of 13 anti-RLC events occurring simultaneously nationwide Saturday, loosely organized by the Liberty Restoration Project.
In the meantime, Cullerton’s red light camera bill, while it seems to have the votes to pass, has not been called to the floor thus far. A vote is expected next week.
For more information on the protests, check out the Facebook page for the event.