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By McKenzie Marshall

Chicago NNPA Defender Fellow

 

Chicago’s annual Pride Festival kicked of this weekend in Boystown. There were many extravagant costumes from body paint to metallic short-shorts.

imageIn the midst of all the fun, there was a memorial shrine on the corner of North Halsted Street dedicated to the victims of theattack in Orlando. The shrine was decorated with the LGBT rainbow flag, candles, flowers and notes.

As the festivities continued there were Lyft brand ambassadors who were also dressed up in festival gear, passing out flyers that had coupon codes for passengers utilizing ride share.

Recently, Alderman Anthony Beale proposed an ordinance where Chicago could potentially face loosing the popular ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft.

Lyft brand ambassador and driver Julie, 28, who wished to only be addressed by her first name, stressed the importance of Chicago citizens speaking to their alderman about the ordinance.

 

“Some people don’t understand what the ordinance will do to the industry, in the Chicago area we have at least 50,000 drivers who rely on this for some kind of income,” Julie said. “Many of which are part time drivers, so all of those people are not going to jump through the extra hurdles it requires to become a driver,” Julie continued.

Julie mentions that Uber and Lyft are not only ways to have an additional income; it is

also used to get people to work.

“We have people who rely on us for a time frame, in order to have reliable access to get other jobs, so we even have passengers that need us just to get to work,” Julie said.

Anthony Beal’s ordinance can have a negative affect on the city of Chicago if it is passed. The ordinance could potentially disqualify thousands of current Lyft and Uber drivers, which will limit passenger’s options.

“I wish people would just do the simple math on this, people think Uber and Lyft are these major companies coming in, but we provide 92% of rides on the south and west side of Chicago,” Julie said.

The next vote on the proposed ordinance is June 22.  Contact your alderman about the ridesharing ordinance if you believe you should have a choice.

Below is an extended interview with Julie.

 

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