C is for Corruption…C is for Chaos…C is for Chicago! I am a Chicago native born, raised, and educated including undergrad and post-grad studies. I still love my hometown. Those who have moved away usually have done so because of reasons that are not specific to the city. Well unless you count tons and tons of snow and severe cold.
We’ve moved because of opportunities elsewhere. Or possibly because of family. And yes because of the winters. We watch the news our hearts ache when shootings occur and innocent children die. And with the most recent incident that has been brought to light regarding a teenager shot 17 times by a Chicago police officer, we sigh a deep sigh of hurt.
My hometown has a history that was built in the 1920’s during the heydays of prohibition. Bootlegging and the speakeasies were big in Chicago as well as other major cities. With bootlegging came the onset of organized crime or as many know it the mob. Still today people associate Chicago with Al Capone.
The other name that is associated with Chicago is Daley. Richard J. Daley served as mayor of the Chicago from 1955 until his death in 1976. His son Richard M. Daley served 1989 until choosing not to run in 2011. The Daley dynasty was massive and even called the Machine because that is how it ran like a precision machine. But there was something unique with all the power within the Machine, it remembered that the neighborhoods are what made the city.
Currently Mayor Rahm Emmanuel who was elected in first elected 2011 and during the lowest voter turnout reelected in 2015. Emmanuel’s focus as I see it has been on bringing big industry to Chicago. Under his leadership there were approximately 50 school closings in 2014 as well as many other decisions that did not focus on the core of what is Chicago.
It saddens me to see a leader who is from Chicago not understand the importance of the people. Not understand the need for after-school programs and activities for youth. Yes, there are other underlying problems but when you build strong neighborhoods, you build a stronger city. Focusing on big industry and the downtown area is not what will mend a torn city.
In another few years the opportunity to vote Emmanuel out will come again. However, until then Chicago citizens need to let their voices be heard loud and clear. Holding all elected officials accountable is needed. From neighborhood Alderman/woman to city and county elected officials. Chicagoans are tough and I know they will survive this most recent wave of corrupt leadership but it is time for all to step up and be aware.
A fellow Chicago native, friend, and former high school classmate eloquently wrote her opinion of what being aware looks like. What are things that should be done and can be done to elect better officials. It is posted as an Op-Ed in a separate post give it a read and leave a comment. Feel free to submit your opinion as well.
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One thought on “My Kind of Town”
Rahm is not the best by no means. However, the Daley machine has lent itself to much corruption and lazy politicians that believe they have lifetime employment, just because!! It has created most disappointedly black politicians that have become complacent with doing little for fear of not getting re-elected! Giving jobs out of patronage!! We need a change without reimagining those Daley years! Harold tried but died too young!