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The [Wednesday] Papers

The key excerpt from the Metropolitan Planning Council's The Cost of Segregation, which is getting a fair amount of media buzz:

Chicago's present-day segregation did not occur overnight and it was not a process that occurred "naturally." Private and public policies and programs built our divides: Restrictive housing covenants. Urban renewal. Redlining. Predatory lending and the massive foreclosures that followed. Illegal discrimination against housing voucher holders. It is not merely by chance that public school quality closely follows the racial composition of the student body, or that after the housing bubble, property values have recovered or even risen in well-to-do, largely white communities while they remain well below for much the South and West sides of Chicago.

It didn't occur naturally, and it won't be solved naturally.

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Overlay this report with those of the Police Accountability Task Force, the U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the Chicago Police Department, and every map of Chicago illustrating socioeconomic well-being, public health issues, poverty, violence, school closings, mortality, economic development and neighborhood vitality, and you see Chicago, and America, for what it is: Cruel and ultimately indifferent.

To which I say to our political and civic leaders: Where's the plan?

Resolving the city's segregation and inequities should be front and center of every decision City Hall makes, embedded in policy, not just in its own bucket stuck in a corner to be touched upon from time to time, mostly when politically necessary. It should touch every policy, because in Chicago, every policy touches upon the whole stinking mess.

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Oh, here's one:

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration 'did not appropriately account' for more than $4.5 million in fees collected from developers to build affordable housing, but is refusing to replenish the fund, the city's inspector general concluded Tuesday," the Sun-Times reports.

Click through to see the mayor spin and pivot.

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I'm reminded of a college paper I wrote for an honors ethics course about my then-girlfriend's father, who worked at a community bank. Besides his regular duties, he was the one who injected ethics into every policy the bank adopted. That fascinated me. It was simply a matter of asking who would be impacted by each policy and how, and then determining if what was at hand was the right thing to do, not just from the standpoint of the bank's profits or convenience, but from the standpoint of the community. It was simply a matter of introducing that question into the discussion, and it turned out it wasn't that hard to do. It was simply the right thing to do. I admired him greatly, and still do.

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Perhaps the plan could have included a blues museum and a Star Wars museum in Bronzeville, as I've written, the Peotone airport, and a better idea for the U.S. Steel site.

Certainly it wouldn't have included Rahm's mass closings of schools, mostly in poor black neighborhoods.

Sorry, I'm not impressed with the number of construction cranes downtown, or our return on VC investment.

None of that is going to change the equation.

We need a plan, threaded through everything the city does.

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Personal Notes

Sorry for the self-indulgence, but I need a confidence boost right now. Plus, fun. And I need to do some career-type boosting every once in awhile, which comes as you scroll down.

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By the way, selfish neighbors and hyper-permitted parking played a role. Won't tell the story here now, but someday, when the pain finally recedes. I loved that car.

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Want more? Wait for the book. (Anyone want to offer me a book deal - with an advance?)

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As I Was Saying, Most Of What People Believe Isn't True.

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Memories: Me And Becky Carroll.

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Journalistic Integrity.

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My Old Press Box Columns For Chicago Magazine.

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Better Locker Rooms
It's not just a transgender thing.

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BeachBook

Taxpayers Pay Millions In Bonuses To Outgoing Lottery Firm's Staff.

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Lottery Manager Still On Job After Firing.

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Case Against Couple Accused Of $45 Million Health Care Fraud And Keeping Indentured Servant Fizzles.

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The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind The Trump Presidency.

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Panic Spreads In Iraq, Syria As Record Numbers Of Civilians Are Killed In U.S. Air Strikes.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Yup. Reminds me that sources close to the Beachwood said comments were being overvalued when the new media boom hit, and those sources, namely, me, were right. And yet, engage, engage, engage. Most people don't have more time to give to the news; working on delivering news more efficiently and respectfully of that was always a central problem in the business. Should every citizen make more time for the news? Certainly. But demanding - begging - more and more of readers' time is not the way to do it, unless you are satisfied with readers who have too much time on their hands and many axes to grind. Engagement has to be woven into the threads of the news - ProPublica (yes, disclosure, I've applied for a job at ProPublica Illinois) has found innovative ways to do that, with great intelligence and respect. But only in niche subject areas with experts, hobbyists or other highly interested parties are digital exchanges productive, and that almost always excludes politics.

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Try engaging with this:

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Systems engaged.



Permalink

Posted on March 29, 2017


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock Including Riot Fest Highlights.
TV - No Rehabilitating Vietnam.
POLITICS - Trump's Farmer Heavily Subsidized.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Maddon's Lousy Playoff Managing Exceeds Playoff Pleasure

BOOKS - Dots & Dashes.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: My Bastard Heart.


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