Skip to comments.Politicians say this time they really, truly have a plan to fight Chicago's violence
Posted on 06/06/2014 1:18:35 PM PDT by rey
Mick Dumke Congressman Bobby Rush convened a roomful of heavy hitters who promised to bring "hope and healing" to scarred neighborhoods. The reporters were told to wait outside the meeting room. The suggestion was that something big was happening in there.
We were in the south-side office of Congressman Bobby Rush. He'd sent out word that he was convening a large group of elected officials, business leaders, and clergy to discuss what can be done about the daily casualty counts in Chicago.
Rush's office is on a busy stretch of 79th Street in Chatham, just a couple doors down from where special-education teacher Betty Howard was slain by a stray bullet last week. Her killing was one of at least 137 since the start of 2014, a rate of nearly one a day that's climbing higher as the weather warms. The city has also averaged almost six shootings every day.
Most area elected officials are frustrated and unsure of what to do about the violence, so they just don't discuss it.
But othersincluding Mayor Rahm Emanuelregularly respond by holding press conferences, often to blame political opponents and propose tougher laws.
As a veteran TV reporter joked as we waited Wednesday: "They solve this problem ten times a year."
Finally, about a half hour after the scheduled press time, reporters and camera crews were invited into the meetingjust as it was breaking up. There was no way for us to know what had actually transpiredwho'd proposed ideas or who'd tried to cover their assesbut we were allowed to catch glimpses of Governor Pat Quinn, schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett, and state's attorney Anita Alvarez as they walked out the door.
Other heavy hittersincluding Mayor Emanuel, Cook County Board president Toni Preckwinkle, and police superintendent Garry McCarthystuck around for the cameras, lining up alongside Congressman Rush as he announced the formation of the "Working Group on Hope and Healing."
Less clear is what the group is actually going to do. Rush said goals include creating jobs, rehabbing a vacant building down the street to use as a training center, and bringing a neighborhood festival to East 79th Street. But he said that will be worked out in the coming weeks and months.
The other officials expressed similar ambitions. The mayor promised that the group would work on revitalizing the surrounding neighborhood and "bringing back what has slipped away." He then left for another event.
McCarthy noted that he had first deployed extra police in the area two years ago, but that law enforcement alone wouldn't change anything. Preckwinkle stressed the importance of jobs in keeping young men out of gangs. Michael Sacks, a hedge-fund manager who's one of Emanuel's biggest donors and closest advisers, promised the support of the business community.
None of the proposals were specific, no dollar amounts were committed, and no timetable was established.
Rush conceded that he and others had tried this before. "We had a similar meeting in 2006 at my church in Englewood," he said.
But this group is more committed, Rush said, and would meet again as soon as next week. He insisted that the spirit of the gathering was itself a sign of progress.
"We were not in here pointing fingers," he said. "We were holding hands."
Does anyone find anything useful in the article? How is this "plan" any differrent?
Didn't "Bobby" advocate violence when he was a panther? Didn't he say "We need to arm ourselves against the police"? I guess if you want to know the cause of violence consulting Bobby Rush is a good start.
Does anyone know how the deserter, Bobby Rush, got an honorable discharge from the Army?
Maybe “hope and healing” will work better than “hope and change” did...
The murder rate in Detroit is down 24% this year compared to the same time period last year but I doubt any Chicago pols want to contemplate why.
To solve the violence problem in Chicago:
Ban Public Unions
Ban all government assistance except to married folks
Encourage all law abiding citizens to buy guns
Celebrate when they kill thugs
Lock up the thugs. Put them in chain gains.
Allow the new non-union police force to go after the thugs
Reduce taxes. Reduce regulations. Encourage all sorts of businesses (jobs) to come back to Chicago.
Parents + jobs + 2nd Amendment + non public unions = less crime
Politicians say this time they really, truly have a plan to fight Chicago’s violence
Really? I thought violence in Chicago WAS down. Ther ferals had killed each other so much so that there was hardly anyone else to shoot.
I guess breeding and importing new victims keeps the dream alive.
1. Detroit is an open carry city with a growing number of people carrying.
2. a good police chief who supports armed citizens and has ended idiotic feel good community outreach programs in favor of actual police work.
Be serious. How can all that be a better solution than politicians holding hands? /s
Who says that you need an honorable discharge from the military to be elected to office in Chicago.
That neighborhood festival ought to do the trick.
And all this time I thought Midnight Basketball was to solve the problem.
Fifty years of LBJ’s “Great Society” has destroyed the black family. Now, young black men look to gang members and rappers for role models instead of solid father figures.
I’m betting there will be shootings/violence at this festival.
Have they tried free ballet classes for “disadvantaged youth” yet?
Is the Cook County Board Presidents name Toni Preckwinkle?
Or did they spell it wrong.
TRANSLATION: “Gibs me dat.”
The white areas of Chicago are safe. What’s the problem?
Left-wing Detroit is open carry? Are you sure? Since when?
Michigan has been an open carry state for years. Detroit’s current police chief is an advocate for an armed public, so the city doesn’t have the illegal/unconstitutional practice of hassling people who are legally armed.