Chicago - Sep. 19, 2020
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The [Monday] Papers

"Three more youngsters were killed in another shattering weekend of gun violence in Chicago, one week after five children were fatally shot and a week ahead of the Fourth of July holiday," the Tribune reports.

In response, police chief David Brown said this morning that he was putting 1,200 more cops on the street this weekend, the Sun-Times reports.

It will take more than that - or less - to change the dynamic that gives rise to the conditions that create these heartbreaking acts of violence and death. It's not about the number of cops the police put on the streets, or about mobile units or 'corridor strategies' or any of that. The police may at times mitigate (or simply move elsewhere) these shootings, and interrupting violence today and tomorrow can save lives, but over the long term the cycle isn't going to end until the city, state and country embark on a comprehensive strategy that focuses on materially changing the conditions of the neighborhoods where these tragedies continually take place.

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What does investment in these neighborhoods mean? It means more than attracing this business or that store and then crowing about it. That's hardly enough. Defunding police and shifting resources to social workers and similar needs isn't enough either, though it's certainly progress, however incremental. What we need is a bold economic development vision that redistributes current resources to (vastly) increase equity, a formula for distributing future resources, massive desegregation by race and class, and a huge imagination. (Here's one place to start. It was just back in the news, too.)

One guide may be to look at what Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel did in their tenures as mayor and now do the opposite.

For example, Daley tore down the city's public housing towers without an adequate plan for displaced residents. (He pretended that. under the so-called Plan for Transformation, that the projects would be replaced by new housing that mixed subsidized units with market-rate units, but that did not - or barely - came to be.) How about a massive investment in scattered-site housing?

And Rahm's largest mass school closings in U.S. history not only failed to live up to its promises, but quite literally hurt students. I don't know about the feasability of reopening some of those schools, but if we're really going to invest in underserved communities at a level that matters, that's a good place to start. And along with that, CPS should reverse its shift into a "portfolio district" filled with selective schools kids have to test into and then travel all over the city to attend; let's truly put neighborhood schools at the heart of the system.

All of these things, of course, have to work in concert with each other. If the emphasis is put on neighborhood schools in a district with segregated housing patterns, the schools will be segregated. Hence, scattered-site subsidized housing and imaginative economic development projects that can help shift the population.

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Oh, and by the way, if you are white and you moved to the suburbs for the schools, you have contributed to structural racism.

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Meanwhile . . .

"President Donald Trump sent a letter and a poke in the eye on Friday to Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot concerning the weeks of horrendous gun violence that have devastated Chicago," the Tribune editorial board says.

"Trump's intent was political gamesmanship. But if that's all Pritzker and Lightfoot absorbed from the insults, then they are missing an opportunity to make Chicago safer because the president offered support. He said he's willing to ask members of his administration to help the pair devise plans to combat the violence."

For example, don't report crime and you won't have cases!

I mean, really. I don't know what kind of alternate universe that editorial board lives in, but in this one Trump promised four years ago that he could solve Chicago's crime problem in a couple of days and we're still waiting for the plan. I'm almost ashamed to even be caught responding to this kind of tripe. The Trib even admits up front that Trump's offer was simply political gamesmanship. Taking him up on his offer is impossible because there is no offer, and the only kind of solutions the administration would come up with would be unconstitutional as well as including massive increases in firepower, which is not what we need.

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"To get at the root of the problem requires decades of work to eradicate joblessness and hopelessness in isolated neighborhoods. Decades of work? Chicago and its children don't have time to spare. The bullets are flying now."

True enough, but you said that decades ago.

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Also, it can happen a lot faster than that; look at how quickly the federal government got money out the door in response to the coronavirus. Look at how fast corporations (except newspapers) pivot to changing conditions. Hell, look at how fast the world's scientists are now working on a COVID-19 vaccine. Start now.

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"Which brings us back to Trump's letter. He wrote: 'If you are willing to put partisanship aside, we can revitalize distressed neighborhoods in Chicago, together. But to succeed, you must establish law and order. The combination of crime, high State and local taxes, and onerous State and local government regulations have caused thousands of Illinoisans to flee to other States. Between 2010 and 2019, Illinois lost more of its population than any other state in the Nation. If you are interested, I am willing to ask members of my Cabinet to meet with you and help devise a plan to make Chicago safe, since a successful formula has escaped both you and your predecessors. My Administration would also welcome the opportunity to engage with you and your colleagues as you develop bipartisan policy recommendations to improve policing and make our great cities safer for all.'

"If you're an elected Democrat in Illinois, you could read the above and see only the digs at your party and attempts by Trump to push his law-and-order campaign. Or you could filter out the noise and think about your terrified constituents. Trump is offering more federal support to improve policing and make cities safer."

By cutting taxes and regulations?

Let's face it, the Tribune editorial board is not a serious partner in this endeavor.

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"Pritzker and Lightfoot should call him on it. Schedule a meeting with Justice Department officials. Draw up a wish list. Federal dollars and law enforcement assistance are valuable. Maybe it means more manpower, more imaginative approaches, more technology. There are existing, effective social service programs in Chicago, ranging from gang conflict mediation to teen mentoring, that would benefit from a targeted infusion of federal dollars."

I didn't see where Trump is offering more federal dollars. Beyond that, I'm pretty sure CPD, like every other department in the country, and the city are in fairly regular contact with the DOJ and its grant-making programs - though not as much as they could be given that the Trump administration refused to oversee the federal consent decree aimed at reforming the Chicago Police Department, an effort that is intended to create a better police department that cares more about the people they protect and serve, and in turn helps create an environment with less crime. But I guess the Trib forgot about that.

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Dear Mayor: It's not enough.

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Every neighborhood needs a plan, interwoven into bold institutional and economic restructuring.

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We Are Now Florida
"Bars across Chicago reopened this weekend - and people in Wrigleyville lined up to celebrate," Block Club Chicago reports.

On Saturday night, Clark Street felt and looked much like it did on a normal summer night before coronavirus upended the city, though social distancing and new guidelines are part of the new normal. As patrons bounced from bar to bar in packs, some donned face masks. Many did not.

Crowds waited in long lines with little to no adherence to the 6-feet social distancing guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some people said they do have worries about the pandemic and are concerned they're part of the problem as cases rise throughout the country - but others said they're young and wanted to get out during the summer.

Phase 4 sucks.

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See also:

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Washington Post Editor Should Resign

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Reporters too.

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New on the Beachwood . . .

Chicago Cops Still Secretly Detaining People
Paging Homan Square.

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Here's Why Illinois Should Rename Calhoun County
But Chicago's South Calhoun Avenue is safe.

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Prove Your Paranormal Powers, Win $250,000
Or just refer someone for $5,000.

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Meet These Rising Latino Studies Scholars
UIC announces seven students working in the humanities who comprise the 2020-2021 cohort of a national fellowship program designed to mentor Latino studies scholars as they complete their doctoral research and improve their job-market readiness.

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The John Oliver Coronavirus Chronicles IX: Here Come The Evictions
"It might be worth thinking twice about what you're taking part in if you're throwing people out of their homes via Zoom - a platform you're only using because it's not safe for people to leave their homes."

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The Myth, Mirth, Malarkey And Magic Of Glastonbury And The Arts
The inimitable Jonathan Pie delivers the (bad) news.

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Global TV Market Spikes With Pandemic
Watching stuff surges.

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New from the Beachwood Sports Desk . . .

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #310: Is Baseball Really Back?
The virus doesn't care how much we want it to be. Plus: Other Sports Are Also Back Pending Death; Pandemic Baseball Sucks; Hub Bubs; Hall Of Fame Hossa; The Mystery Of Mitch's Motivation; Choking On Chalk; and It Was Unmistakably A Noose.

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TrackNotes: A Tale Of Two Tracks
Hawthorne and Arlington are each on the cusp of very different fates.

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Real Service Time
Our very own Roger Wallenstein looks back at ballplayers who served during wartime.

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ChicagoReddit

Baha'i House, from above from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Vulcan Glass Art Live | Chicago Art Show Stuff

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BeachBook

Kids From Around The World Photographed Surrounded By Their Weekly Diet.

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TweetWood
A sampling of the delight and disgust you can find @BeachwoodReport.

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The Beachwood Get A Grip Line: Grip it good.



Permalink

Posted on June 29, 2020


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