As state representative of Illinois’ Eighth District, I would like to respond to the important issues raised in the Viewpoints column by Rev. Greg Livingston [Why don’t our leaders speak out on health care cuts? Feb. 15]

I think it is important not to mistake the “silence” of hardworking state legislators as being unconcerned and out of touch. This issue is very important to me because it does affect many of my constituents and many more people throughout Chicago and the rest of Cook County. I know of many state legislators who have met with members of the Cook County board to figure out a solution to this critical issue. I have personally attended community meetings, the most recent being at Trinity Church on Jan. 23, to discuss creating solutions and addressing the concerns we all have regarding the current state of health care affairs in Cook County.

I believe patients who rely on the Cook County network of health care need and deserve the best care possible. State legislators are here to offer our support, but we must remain respectful of our county commissioners who were elected to do this duty. I truly believe that we as state legislators cannot do all things, but we can make a difference if we have the heart, ability, and desire to do so.

LaShawn K. Ford
State representative, 8th District