Let the finger pointing begin. After a bloody weekend that saw 62 people shot with 12 fatalities, mayoral challengers to Rham Emanuel and the mayor himself pointed fingers.
The challengers blamed the mayor for the murder, mayhem, and bloodshed. The mayor blamed lack of community attention and morals.
The aldermen, especially in wards affected by the violence, stayed in their natural state, silent. So did the state and federal legislators. State's Attorney, Kim Foxx, was in hibernation.
Chicago needs an immediate solution to the current spate of violence, especially in impoverished and distressed neighborhoods. It needs concrete and believable long-term solutions to mitigate poverty through economic investment and job creation. Crime is the alternative economy in these areas.
Chicago cannot just police its way out of the criminality plaguing the city without making big plans for struggling neighborhoods.
Chicago cannot buy its way out without immediately attacking the problem of gangs, gangbanger wannabes, and drug dealers who are wreaking havoc in our city.
The catch and release system set in place by Kim Foxx and the courts must end.
Law enforcement is not sports fishing.
Anyone caught with an illegal firearm should get appropriately charged. Bond should be set to guarantee public safety and appearance in court.
The State's Attorney's felony review office should be taken out of the equation for gun and violent crimes mandating felony charges. They should have no say in the decision-making process. In actuality, the office should be disbanded. It has done more harm than good for decades.
Prosecutors need to go after parole and probation violators in a ruthless manner. Parolees and those on probation must follow the rules of their release word for word or face jail or prison time. Right now, the current state of affairs is a sad joke.
Judges need to sentence violent criminals to the maximum set by law. This not only keeps them off the street. It sends a strong message that the courts will no longer tolerate violent crime.
We, all of us, need to demand better of our prosecutorial and court system.
The economic investment part will take heavy lifting from the mayor, aldermen, state, and federal legislators. It will take heavy lifting from Chicago's developers and the business community.
Chicago needs a big plan for bringing economic reform in distressed communities. Chicago has the talent. Chicago has the guts. Chicago has the private investment money. Chicago needs elected officials at the state and federal level to drive economic development dollars to distressed areas.
If all the money spent on social services over the decades had been invested in economics instead of keeping people in poverty, we would not keep having these conversations.
The poor will always be with us. We will never end poverty. Poverty can be mitigated through better education, job, trade, and career training, and investment in communities.
Crime cannot be stopped. It can be controlled. It can be reduced. The Chicago Police Department did it in years past when there were spikes in various crimes, such as carjackings, robberies, shootings, gang and drug-fueled violence. The strategic, legal templates and tactics are in place. They did it before and it worked. They just need to be tweaked to fall in line with current laws.
Chicago needs more federal law enforcement, including the IRS, and prosecutorial resources, modeled after the former organized crime strike forces. Setting up a large violent crime, gang, and drug strike force partnering with the Chicago Police Department is long overdue.
The mayor, no matter who it is, cannot shoulder the responsibility alone. We need all the politicians to stop hiding.
Chicago needs long overdue action or the term "career politician" should become an obscene profanity.
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