There are contrasting views on how to dig Chicago out of its hole. Here’s the first from Tom Rogan at DC Examiner:
First off, Chicago needs to increase its rewards for justice and witness protection programs. Unless residents feel they can submit evidence with confidence of their own security, most will avoid doing so.
Second, federal prosecutors need to bring more Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO, prosecutions against identified gang leaders. That course of action would deter violence at the margin by introducing far more significant costs on gang leaders for their underlings criminal conduct.
Third, Chicago should dramatically ramp up its already significant use of remote video cameras to monitor crime hot spots. As an extension, the mayoral candidate should run on a pledge to have the police increase their stop-and-search activity against young men in violent neighborhoods. Community tensions are now the secondary concern to imminent risk of violence.
Fourth, recognizing the need to do more in an exceptionally stretched budgetary environment, as in Camden, N.J., in 2012, the Chicago Police Department should face a choice. A choice, that is, between disbandment and a new deal that reduces their per-officer operating costs and allows the city to hire hundreds of new officers at present budget levels. It is ludicrous that as the shootings continue, the Chicago Police Department remains notoriously inefficient.
Ultimately though, Chicago needs a mayor who is willing to rip up the playbook. Ramhbo has failed and his blood-drenched streets are the proof of it.
An alternative view comes from Kim Bellware at the New York Times:
Giving the police more of anything — more numbers, more money, more liberties — to quell violence is still a reactionary, and thus limited, posture. And yes, so is simply calling for tougher gun laws (regulations the city of Chicago has, but its immediate surrounding area does not). To the communities affected, policing and gun laws are only parts of the puzzle.
Missing from Mr. Giuliani’s playacting concern for Chicago — and too often absent from the familiar pattern of reactions in our media — is an exploration of what the communities whose residents are being disproportionately shot and killed say they want.
On the city’s predominantly black and Latino South and West Sides, there are some who may want more police officers and stricter gun laws, and some who may not. But surely none wants only those things.
There’s been talk, fanned by President Trump, of sending in the National Guard. And the city is actively pursuing plans to spend $95 million on a new police training center.
But the activist and community groups already on the ground like The Black Youth Project 100 and Assatta’s Daughters have long been arguing for a more holistic plan of action that unifies increased resources with organized mentorship of the most at-risk young people and more investment in educational programming, along with more democratic police accountability.
A frequent and inaccurate response to Chicago’s gun violence is that the people most affected by it aren’t doing anything to change it. Many are doing whatever they can.
Most recently, community groups like CureViolence and The Faith Community of St. Sabina Church helped organized peaceful protests that took over the Dan Ryan Expressway and Lake Shore Drive — the city’s most famous thoroughfare — to try to bring the attention and political urgency necessary to shake local institutions into seeing them as equal partners in identifying remedies.
For all the years Chicago has struggled with gun violence, there’s never been a fully energized effort by the city’s Democratic machine to create that sort of Marshall Plan. Yet there has never been a Republican proposal for such a holistic approach, either.
Much of her attention is focused on criticizing Rudy Giuliani’s remarks. In fairness the last time a Republican was Chicago mayor was 1931. Said another way it makes not an iota of difference what proposals Republicans do or do not put forward. Chicago’s problems must be solved by Democrats.
What is clear is that Rahm Emanuel’s program of gentrifying Chicago leaves out the people of the South and West Sides of Chicago, where the carnage is occurring.