The following notion should scare the hell out of every Chicagoan. Mayor Emanuel is going to put the same effort he put in to “fixing” Chicago’s financial problems in to fixing Chicago’s violence problems! I would give you all three guesses which news outlet in Chicago had a columnist that wrote a column suggesting just that but I pretty sure you can figure out it is the Chicago Tribune.
Dahleen Glanton, the columnist in question, seriously authored a column suggesting this. Obviously, her lack of understanding about the true financial condition of the city and the games played by city hall are on full display. Now without having a clue of the city true financial condition of the city she urges the mayor to use the same prowess he used in “fixing: Chicago’s financial situation to fixing the violence problem in Chicago. What Glanton doesn’t understand is that Emanuel has been using the same prowess on violence. This is just the result we get. It is simply not as easy to hide the bodies as it is corrupt financial practices.
This is probably the best line of the entire column and it comes right up front.
“Faced with an $18.6 billion shortfall in the city’s government pension program last year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel did what a mayor is supposed to do. He pulled City Hall together and figured out how to fix it.” (Chicago Tribune, 2/27/17)
Yes, Rahm Emanuel is now a person that brings people together. Wow! Someone needs to tell the other 2.7 million residents of Chicago.
It is statements like this that make you think that Glanton is either not paying any attention to what is going on or is living in Dick Cheney’s cave that he used to hide from terrorists.
The column does not get better.
Glanton does state that city officials do not know how to stop the violence. This might be true but I really think they just don’t care about really solving the violence issue. Sure, Emanuel would like the numbers to go down but he certainly is not going to stop looting the city with his friends in hopes of making the real investment we all know it is going to take turn these neighborhoods around.
Hell, the city put in at least ½ a billion dollars of TIF money in to gentrify the south loop to make it the neighborhood it is today. It will take at least a similar investment in each neighborhood with the goal of uplifting the current residents and not just simply displacing them. This is something that Emanuel will never be in favor of.
As you read on you figure out Glanton’s big idea is for the Mayor and local alderman to hold town hall meetings in each community to hear from local residents and all of their great ideas about solving the violence issue. She reasons they are the ones living with the violence they must have good ideas for stopping it.
While I welcome massive increases in community input we haven’t really learned a way to facilitate this in a manner that would make it both efficient and worthwhile. The meeting around the remaking of the police accountability system in Chicago were not productive and in the end, had little to no impact on what was created. I know from personal experience because I was in the meetings with the mayor’s office debating the powers of the agencies and the ordinance language. What was not really ever mentioned were the community meetings.
Also, while I welcome community input we can save ourselves plenty of time and effort. The reality is that we all know the solution. It is living wage jobs that are more than flipping burgers but instead can be careers with opportunity for advancement. This is the very idea that Emanuel knows but spends all his time working very hard to avoid any discussion about. It would simply interfere with the looting of the city by his friends and campaign donors. Any solution to be found in the criminal justice system will be shallow and of very limited impact. Chicagoans have seen these programs tried time and time again over the last 50 years. They have all ended in failure at one point or another.