Should Emanuel move to Englewood?
Emanuel said reports labeling Chicago the nation’s most racially segregated city were greatly exaggerated. “I doubt we’re even in the top two,” he told reporters at a City Hall news conference. But he allowed that the city “had yet to achieve ideal diversity,” and that his desire to achieve that lofty goal had prompted the contest.
Aides to the mayor later said Emanuel really did understand segregation’s role in the high rates of poverty, homicide, unemployment, and high school dropouts in many Chicago neighborhoods, and wanted to do something about it because such problems make it harder to attract business and tourism to Chicago.
The aides said the mayor had considered several other approaches for combating segregation. The boldest plan called for Emanuel to challenge segregation personally by moving to a poor black neighborhood.
There is no way Chicago is going to significantly reduce the violence without investing resources in the communities where the violence is occurring.
Every time an ex-felon walks out of prison and returns to the neighborhood without even a job prospect, that person is ripe for trouble.
And how long will a young person who is struggling with basic reading, writing and math skills be content to sit in the back of the classroom pretending to learn. It won’t be long before that kid finds himself carrying a gun like a bookbag.
With Chicago homicides up 44 percent from last year, the city is starting to invest in CeaseFire
One plan under consideration for that area is additional manpower from CeaseFire, an anti-violence group based on the Near West Side that focuses on preventing conflicts from escalating. Last month, Mayor Emanuel announced the Police Department would work with CeaseFire, which said it has been promised $1.5 million in city funding—the first time the group has received money from the city.
CeaseFire Illinois Director Tio Hardiman said he plans to use the money to target three police districts that serve the areas of Woodlawn, Roseland and North Lawndale (which saw 12 homicides in the first five months of the year compared with two during the same time last year).
Hardiman said he would like to hire 15 to 20 workers for Woodlawn, which currently has two violence interrupters who walk the streets and attempt to stop arguments. Meanwhile, the Chicago Police say they are honing their anti-violence strategy by improving their intelligence on gangs and guns used in multiple crimes.
For more on the incredible work CeaseFire does on a daily basis, see Kartemquin’s The Interrupters.
“Immigrants have embraced Chicago and Chicago is embracing them right back,” said Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (IL-04). “By helping immigrants become citizens and full participants in the life of our city and nation, we are strengthening the bonds that hold our community together.
Mayor Emanuel announced the Chicago New Americans Initiative today. Led by a coalition of the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, the program promises to assist thousands of permanent residents in becoming citizens.