Challenges Facing the City of Chicago

 Challenges Facing the City of Chicago

ChicagoNow has an awesome monthly Blogapalooza event where all CN bloggers are given the same topic at 9 p.m. and need to publish a post on it by 10 p.m.

The results are varied and always interesting.

This month's topic is: Write about a great challenge faced. By you. By someone else. By an entity. At any point in the past or in the future.

For me, this is tough. I have never thought about facing a challenge but in reality we all face challenges. Life is a challenge and that's what makes it so awesome.

Since I write about about Chicago...it is easy to see the challenges faced by the city, the schools, the mayor and the citizens.  Pick one.

Let's start at the top of the heap with Mayor Emanuel and his top challenges:

"It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago—she outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them. She is always a novelty; for she is never the Chicago you saw when you passed through the last time. -- Mark Twain "Life On The Mississippi," 1883
Chicago, as Mark Twain observed in 1883, is a city that’s always changing."

Here are some of the mayor's top challenges:

1. Karen Lewis...and the CPS

2. opioids...the inquiry is unfolding as scrutiny of both the safety and long-term effectiveness of opioids is growing. Prescription painkillers are now the most widely prescribed class of drugs in the United States and are involved in about 17,000 overdose deaths annually. Citywide there may be possible lawsuit against them.

3. TIFs are a tax—a surcharge that the mayor and the City Council effectively add to our property tax bill without telling us. Good or bad...a debate he has to face.

4. Start ups...Emanuel is trying to attract the techs to Chicago...but how does he do it?

5. Money. With a budget deficit of about $600 million and billions of dollars in underfunded pension liabilities...Emanuel has to show Chicago the money.

6. Schools. The schools are woefully inconsistent with a $720 million deficit and a high school dropout rate is about 50 percent.

7. Crime. The city has been operating with as many as 2,000 police positions vacant in a city with a high homicide rate.

8. Transit. Declining service, rising fares and falling ridership. pension crisis because of the growing demand that’s crowding out all of the other investments.

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    Carole Kuhrt Brewer

    Arts and Entertainment Reporter for media since 1997.

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