Panel of tourism and hospitality professionals urges state senators to get Illinois moving

Mike Jacobson, president and CEO of the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association, says his industry means a lot to the economy – and to people who need jobs. (Facebook/Illinois Restaurant Association)

 

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – A Senate committee hearing gave the hotel and restaurant people of Illinois another chance to air out their complaints.

Mike Jacobson, president and CEO of the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association, says his industry means a lot to the economy – and to people who need jobs.

“63 percent of all hotel employees are non-white. We are also one of the largest taxpayers in the state, generating $8 billion in tax revenue each year.

“Of course, this was all before COVID-19 came about. We began seeing conventions and other large gatherings cancel in early March. No end is in sight, at least in the immediate near term.”

One senator said it looks unfair for, for example, a liquor store to be open but not a family-owned restaurant.

Dave Dahl can be reached at news@wjbc.com

Blogs

Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…