Dear Mayor Emanuel,
Like thousands of Chicagoans in neighborhoods across the city, sharing my home has sustained an important economic lifeline for my family. The extra income I make every year allows me to pay my bills, support my children, and if we’re lucky – take a short vacation.
With the city’s proposed regulations, I worry our city is trying to kill a service that has brought so much good to Chicago and its residents. We should not discourage this innovative industry that strengthens and empowers the middle class. We should be doing everything possible to make it easier for Chicagoans to share their homes with visitors and drive revenue to community businesses, restaurants, shops, and more.
This ordinance would disproportionately impact middle class Chicagoans in our communities with unrealistic and problematic expectations. We cannot rush this decision and push regulations out of fear or greed – this issue is too important for too many Chicagoans like me.
You have long called for equal access and stronger neighborhoods. I agree with you – there is no time to wait. Driving $230 million a year in economic activity, Airbnb is already having a major positive affect on our communities and we shouldn’t stop that progress. That’s why we deserve a thoughtful, open conversation on home sharing.
As such, I want to personally invite you to experience home sharing’s many benefits firsthand and stay at my home – my Airbnb. I can’t wait for you to see it and experience home sharing.
South Side, Chicago